||In fourth grade I had my first hopeless, obsessive "romantic" crush.|
||It was on a girl in my class named Kim. I didn't know her very well, nor did I know really what the point of a crush was, but that didn't stop me from having one.|
||It was not a mutual crush. It went on a really long time without becoming any more mutual, or maybe it went on that long because it wasn't mutual.|
||I didn't ever actually get to know her much better during or after that time, and after high school I moved away.|
||"Bestemor Sang Djevelord"
||Thill Smitts Terror
||But we were nominally reconnected on Facebook a few years ago, so I had at least tiny glimpses into her adult life, or at least the parts in which her son was doing something adorable.|
||This is not exactly the grandest vision-statement for social media, but it allows us to maintain once-tenuous personal connections with ongoing tenuousness.|
||Monday night, a friend I do know forwarded Kim's brother's sad note explaining that, after years of struggling with depression and alcoholism, Kim had taken her own life.|
||Rereading her Facebook posts, which were never intended to suddenly represent a whole life of tragic internal struggle, I could imagine ways in which they concealed pain,|
||but only in retrospect.|
||Northern Light +1
||I never knew her. Our tenuous connection never became meaningfully less tenuous.|
||Her 50th birthday would have been May 15th.|
||Final Star +3
||Mine was Tuesday.|
||"Gonna Get Right with God, Right After This Next Cigarette"
||My daughter is in fourth grade now.|
||"Love Looks Like (with Natasha Bedingfield)"
||All our connections are tenuous, and you can arguably make any connection tenuous by pondering it long enough.|
||"9 (After Coachella) (feat. MØ & SOPHIE)"
||But it works the other way, too:|
||"Sorairo Dayz (April Fools)"
||Emotional current can flow over tenuous connections, and you at least partly control how tenuous they are for you by how much you invest in them.|
||The crush was as formative for me as it was meaningless for everybody else,|
||"Inside Us (feat. ChiChi )"
||and her suicide and my daughter's coincidental age will now be inextricable parts of my subjective milestone.|
||"Senin Mi Hayat"
||You can't undo other people's deaths by living,|
||but you can try to appreciate that you have been granted another day.|
||You can try to hear something you wouldn't have heard if you were dead already.|
||Of course, I guess there's nothing inherently more valuable about the things you didn't miss by dying yesterday than the things that were already around yesterday but you were listening to something else,|
||or all the things that people sang before you were born,|
||Black Sun Empire
||The Wrong Room
||or before all the world's songs were loaded into computers,|
||or while you still ignorantly believed you didn't like whatever you still think you don't like.|
||50 years is not that long, but it's long enough to compile encyclopedias of regret.|
||If that's how you channel your energies, it's short enough to spend doing nothing else.|
||I spent a year of my childhood gazing longingly at a girl for reasons I didn't understand then and don't understand now, and she lived her adult life in pain and I did nothing better for her than click "Like" on a couple pictures of her son wearing a baseball uniform.|
||That's one way to look at it, anyway.|
||"Live To Die Another Day"
||Then again, a couple fewer clicks and I wouldn't have known even that much about her life, nor her death.|
||"All Love Is Lost"
||Don't spend your time compiling those volumes.|
||Don't spend your time proofreading them, don't spend your time reading the comments on the reviews of that book.|
||"Fatti bella per te"
||Il secondo cuore
||Do something you can only do because you're still alive.|
||"1996 La stagione del rumore"
||Play new songs.|
||Look at a child and remember what it was like to have lived only that long yet.|
||Like the picture of their son in a baseball shirt if that's all you can do today.|
||It costs nothing, and it's unlikely to be worth much less than that,|
||but it might be worth more.|
||"Wie man Feuer macht"
||Fall in love with anything, whether you understand it or not.|
||If nothing else, you are exercising your capacity for love,|
||and somebody you can reach will need that later,|
||The case against love is that isolation protects you from loss,|
||or at least from the impact of loss,|
||Darling of the Afterglow
||but credit this argument only if it comes from someone who has lived forever by living alone.|
||Last Leaf Down
||Bright Wide Colder
||And I'm not entirely prepared to stipulate that none of these people exist, but I'm pretty sure you didn't go to fourth grade with them.|
||Brian & Helvetin Peruna
||Keikalle Flow'hun / Pojat
||And thus you never followed them around for a year thinking happily that they could somehow make you happy.|
||"Bringing Me Down (feat. Ruelle)"
||Bringing Me Down
||There's no way around this being their loss.|
||There's a way around it being your loss, though,|
||"Fire in Hell"
||and it is just this: Don't lose yet. Not yet.|