A beautiful girl can make you dizzy, like you’ve been drinking jack + coke all morning. She can make you feel high, full of the single greatest commodity known to man: promise. Promise of a better day, promise of a greater hope, promise of a new tomorrow. This particular aura can be found in the gate of a beautiful girl; in her smile, in her soul, and in the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it’s gonna be okay.
There are a thousand quotations from books I love and lyrics from songs I adore that could better unveil the depth-potential we have with our words. I have yet to find someone who doesn’t, in some way or another, connect with music. People love music. It has everything we desire to stir our souls, leaving ripples on the surface. And so, even though I don’t listen to Taking Back Sunday anymore, I saw these words the other day and they struck me.
I’m the type of person who is reminded of a time or place or person when just about anything happens. If the kitchen smells like marinara sauce, there’s Grandma cooking manicotti. Everywhere there’s a cactus, I’m rewound back to a bustling Tijuana kitchen, eating it for the first time. When it thunderstorms in the suburbs, I’m playing hockey with my new stick in the parking lot by my house in the rain. I listened to a lot of alternative punk rock when I was in high school. For a bit, I dated a boy who did too. He was a sweet kid, if a touch overly sentimental; I’m almost certain that this band was his influence.
I’m not as much bent to relive a high school fling because of the memories that this song returns as I am to stand by the truth of this little intro nugget. The song’s about losing a girl, more or less, and this paragraph is a speaking introduction that lays over the rhythm bass and a simple guitar riff. The song begins immediately after “okay”, leaving no time to reflect on these thoughts – which always troubled me because there’s quite a bit to chew on.
The way this beautiful girl makes him feel, that’s real isn’t it? He tells it like it’s a buzz during the part of the day you’d never expect to feel that way. He says that man’s most precious asset is promise. Is it? I’d never thought of it like that, but how different is promise than what I hang my hat every single day. Jesus Christ promised to die for my mess, and He came through. Everything hinges on the fact that He came through. Promise of a better day, promise of a greater hope, promise of a new tomorrow. No person can promise that in good conscience. Jesus did and people were all wha? because it was crazy to even think. The offer of that kind of promise turns heads, it should be appealing, but every good idea has its haters.
I’m caught wondering how often I’ve been swept up in his smile, in the details of his character, his intentions, in his soul. Because on days when I think someone, anyone, can patch up my wounds with this kind of promise, I’ve lost sight of the truth. That said, Taking Back Sunday may be old news in my music scene, but I think they have a point about loss. He’s lost this girl, whatever the situation, and he’s realizing how much she made his day. Every day. He doesn’t feel like he used to feel, he’s lost hope on some level, he misses the way she used to turn it all upside-down for him. The obvious is that he needs a Savior, not a girl for that kind of transformation. But the hidden truth in it is that people can have a deep and severe impact on our lives, and what is our problem that we can’t figure it out until it’s over? Why can’t we use our words to paint such beautiful images before we’re singing about how wonderful she was? Words can say a lot, sometimes more than we’d planned. They have such power to speak to a lot of topics that we don’t want to touch. And as far as words go, this punk rock paragraph is as much right on the real-life-money as it is far off in left field.