She went to see Rocketman last night in the city. The reminiscent songs immediately flooded her head with visions of pre-teen years, one of her favorite places to go digging around but also one of the most somber. The featured songs of Elton John’s first albums took Kris straight to the den off the living room of her first house where the big console stereo sat like a portal to another galaxy. The loud click of the on button and the humming of the speakers assured her she was not alone for long. With the aide of the over-sized headphone’s cushy foam enveloping her tiny head, she too was capable of space travel on occasion.
Kris skipped school quite often. It started very early in grade school, days needed to recover from the world’s constant revolving. An afternoon for her soul to catch it’s breathe and heal from what she often could not quite cope with, the cohesion of time. She thought to herself, there should be breaks. She never would have wished to be born if she knew life was such a constant. In a way she felt tricked, a cruel joke from her maker. Previously her mother would help determine when time outs were in order by either of their current mental states, but now, a bit older and alone in the house, she made the call as to when and how often she would bow out.
As an adult Kris read about psychedelics and how they have been instrumental in erasing pre-grooved paths in the mind, how they help with depression if you break up and explode the road so to speak. At 11, It wouldn’t be long before these tools were readily and steadily available to her on the regular. She already completely understood their value but the console stereo served this purpose as well, and felt more organic and healthy for her mind then what she had experimented with so far.
Many early mornings she walked to get the bus but just did not have the wherewithal to board it. She would return back home less than an hour after leaving, knowing very well beforehand it would most likely be a failed mission. But she did try her best, even when her best was shit. If she couldn’t participate socially, she still had a lot of work to do in order to function again. There were puzzles to be processed, clues to life that people had dropped on the floor at school or by ways she was treated, something someone said that bothered her. Oftentimes what took her down was simply observing another’s strife, a universal empathy read that wore her down. A family member, her mother, a friend. She herself was highly sensitive and her heart could harden or break too easily.
One method worked quite well to keep her from falling into the abyss. Upon coming home, placing albums across the carpeted floor in the den and laying down in the center of that tiny room. With windows on both sides, whether it was a light breeze, rain, the bitter cold of winter, it would all be so far away as long as the sound was pumping in through the headphones. That sound was the only reality that existed with closed eyes.
Before drugs and alcohol, life was never diluted. It always came at you at concentrated strength and that was a lot for this particular girl. But the story the singer told, the bass line or the way the guitar danced around, spreading out the song like frosting across a cake, gave her the ability to follow the instruments, the lyrics, the overall sound, or even just the feelings it evoked. They all lead away from the present while still honoring it, giving it the attention it demanded. It was just another way of digesting the world presented to her.
Elton John’s piano and voice tone was everything she wanted to say to anyone she cared about. At that point in life, she didn’t even have words for those types of emotions. She could only hear them in music but instantly recognized them like old friends. On those days she was only able to listen, and think, take it all in. She could not express or convey, just lie breathing like a wounded deer on the road at night, struck suddenly by a speeding car, frightened and considering death. The world stopped as she knew it. She would get back up the next day always but it was never guaranteed. She could only concentrate on her reformation.
She couldn’t do it. Today, as Kris lay on her bed with the curtains drawn to shut out the beautiful spring light, she thought about all the call outs in her life, the collective time she took to put herself back together back then and how it continues now. She could not walk the planet today or pass as normal. She had to shut down all the power. She had spent her successful attempts to psyche herself up in succession. She would need to succumb to this familiar need. It was important, a priority not to be ignored. She had lots to see, review, remember. It’s possible she wasn’t able to be a part the first time around, to stay in her body. She believes it’s not important that your life happens in real time, as long as you do experience it eventually. How its like the stitching together of a giant quilt, piece by piece, with care and intent. Anyone can see it’s totality when spread out in front of them.
And the music has always been there for her to administer as self medication. In the quiet morning following the movie, where she was almost able to stop the air and seal off her room from time, she realized how no one has ever put words to her affliction other than the music of great lyricists and songwriters. She can go back to see each groove in those records as proof she existed.