Suffocate Me with Unsaid Words

(Entry below was written on September 29, 2005)

I still remember the day I bought the Garbage single, Only happy when it Rains. I was at the mall with my sister, and I put it on in the car as she drove us home. I remember listening intently, staring out the window but not seeing a thing. My sister laughed at the line ‘I only smile in the dark’ but I could only focus on the movement and power of the song, filled entirely with Shirley’s rich, dark, distinct voice. It’s still so vivid.

I remember also the day when I bought the debut Garbage CD. I think I had only heard Only happy when it Rains and Stupid Girl at that point. I was in the mall with my sister again and I remember looking for the CD and not finding it and getting annoyed. My sister told me to ask the guy that was working in the store, so I did. She made fun of the way I asked him for some reason. And I remembered the line from that old ‘EMF’ song: ‘ You say to me I don’t talk enough, but when I do I’m a fool.’

I took the CD home and during the summer when I turned 16, I must have listened to it every single day. I listened to it over and over until I knew each song by heart. I would lie in bed, hold the CD and stare at the back cover- at the picture of the band standing on some street at night. All the guys wearing black and Shirley in her wine colored pants, light t-shirt and blue nail polish. I would stare at her long red hair, slouchy pose and heavily lined eyes while listening to each song so carefully and deeply that it seemed like my life depended on it.

How did she know everything I was feeling and couldn’t articulate? It was some kind of miraculous thing. No music had ever affected me that way before, reaching so deep inside me. And no one’s voice ever compelled me to listen so closely, it was emotional and raw. I would listen and forget who I was… finding strength in every note that emerged.

No other band could ever capture my imagination in the same way, and give voice to the things I was always scared to say, or just didn’t know how to say. I couldn’t get over the depth of it, the gorgeous noise complemented by a perfect voice. I listened to it so many times, each time still hearing something fresh and new. Something special happened, and I didn’t feel quite as alone as before.

I hope Garbage never stops creating music.

“Everyone I know has gone away
died or left or just forgot to stay
sometimes took for granted
sometimes turned away
sometimes didn’t say what…
I meant to say”

-Garbage (Dog new tricks)



March 31, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Music, writing.

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