I’ve been struggling to find the right words to say, to put them in the right configuration. I keep drafting emails and deleting everything in exasperation and starting over. Words are about as powerful as they are sometimes incredibly limiting. There’s so much more nuance to what I want to express, shades, colors. So, true to Jorge tradition, I’ll reappropriate the music of others. You need to listen to these tracks now, more than ever. Why? Because…
The Mountain Goats- “How to Embrace a Swamp Creature”
Because this song describes the first few months of our acquaintance to a T, particularly that scary elevator ride up to your old apartment. Because my memory clings on to the silliest little things– the smell of your kitchen, failed attempts at making pizzas, DVDs that won’t stop skipping, hunting down streaming video links across dozens of shady websites riddled with pop-up ads. watching entire seasons of “Damages” together in the span of a week. Because I remember stepping into your restroom and washing my face and feeling helplessly outgunned in every way. And still I never wanted to leave.
Leonard Cohen- “Take This Waltz”
Because Federico Garcia Lorca through the lens of Leonard Cohen somehow seems wholly appropriate for you. Because of our shared appreciation for the genius of Cohen, for his words and for his voice. Because of that one night that I clumsily and awkwardly recited the breathtakingly stunning final verse of this piece for you, tripping over syllables, missing beats, lacking any finesse or style. Because you need to listen to it as it was meant to be heard, minus my nervous fumbling.
Crooked Fingers- “Boy With (100) Hands”
Because you’re better than the world you live in. Because, all through our 18-month acquaintance, I felt like I had stumbled upon something strange and wonderful that could only last for so long– and would eventually have to give back to the world. Because the process has been painstaking and gradual and sad, like the rumble of a bowed contrabass in this song. Because apparently I can’t make mixtapes without including at least one Eric Bachmann song. Because I’ve one hand to hold you in my heart and one hand to let you go.
This Will Destroy You- “I Believe in Your Victory”
Because we listened to this song on repeat one evening and it was an experience that felt transformative and profound. Because we didn’t listen to it enough. Because powerful and evocative post-rock is something that you should definitely keep in your life. Because I now associate this song with broken futons.
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy- “I Called You Back”
Because I know how you like a good male-female harmony. Because I don’t listen to Will Oldham nearly enough. Because somehow this song sounds like you, like those dinners in Palermo during which we’d get oddly emotional, like those inordinately long chat sessions that would go for hours and devolve into glorious gibberish. Because I can’t call you back, and I can’t keep you here. And I wouldn’t ever dare.
Lucinda Williams- “Kiss Like Your Kiss”
Because of our mutual epiphany, listening to Lucinda late at night. Because this is a sea-chanty slowed down to a crawl and morphed into a tender lullaby. Because the guitar sound is the right kind of desolate. Because you don’t like Elvis Costello, and here he is harmonizing with Lucinda. Because this song is lovely, and you don’t get to argue.
Todd Rundgren- “Can We Still Be Friends”
Because of hours of frustrating conversations. Because of turmoil, and rules and arrangements. Because of drunken and dramatic emails at 5 in the morning. Because of resentment from across the table. Because of the ties we tried to sever and couldn’t. Because we rode it out. Because it’s been a blast. Because sometimes you have to wait it out a bit.
Magnetic Fields- “My Sentimental Melody”
Because proper goodbyes are important and I don’t know that I got to give you one. Because I’m a hopeless romantic and you’re a terrible flirt. Because we should be so lucky to live in a world that sounds like a Stephin Merritt composition. Because this feels right. Because I’ll miss you more than you’ll ever know, and goodbye.