Hate Me Today

“I Hope You’re Happy” is playing on the record player. It’s a newer album, put out by the band Blue October, and my mind is awhirl with thoughts of the past.

On a gum stick-sized Mp3 player close to 20 years ago, Blue October’s music played non-stop in my ears on hikes up Manastash Ridge, a popular trail leading to a spectacular view of the Kittitas Valley. 

That player barely held only two albums so I’d listen to their songs two or three times on the trip.

“I have to block out thoughts of you, so I don’t lose my head
They crawl in like a cockroach, leaving babies in my bed
Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I’m alone
Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home.”

Their lyrics disturbed me but also – interestingly enough – inspired me. The song writer’s ability to communicate pain with such unique and vibrant imagery challenged something in me that longed to find words for its experience.

So in 2018, when Blue October came to The Showbox SoDo in Seattle I felt strangely excited and conflicted about the prospect of attending. Would I still relate, even though I was far from that place I was back then?

I decided it ultimately didn’t matter and gave Dave the greenlight to buy the tickets. And in the meantime, I freshened my memory of what the band had been up to during my time away.

Once saddled with addiction and depression, the lead singer had gotten sober, an experience that mirrored my own. But his lyrics, still powerful, had changed.

“I’m up here
I’m looking at the way down there
I’m staring through the I don’t care
It’s staring back at me
The beauty is
I’m learning how to face my beast
Starting now to find some peace
Set me free, yeah.”

When Justin, the lead singer, and songwriter, took the stage, I pushed my way to the front. Hearing his rocker voice live and up close blended past and present together; of those old hikes and my feelings about myself and life on that day.

“Believe in yourself, and you will walk
Fear in itself, will use you up and break you down
Like you were never enough
I used to fall, now I get back up”

It’s time for a walk to the beach. Although chilly and slightly windy, the sun is out. The fresh air and sound of the waves will be lovely.

Thanks for stopping by.


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