Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Clarity x10

about 8 or 9 years ago, near the end of my college days, i was going through a breakup with sharon, and my little brother, derrick, who's musical tastes have always been years ahead of my own, gave me a few albums to help me through the trying times. one of those was jimmy eat world's 'clarity'. in the cliched way that music seems to define important moments of our youth, clarity was the soundtrack for every angry, heartbroken day of that breakup as well as my eventual recovery. unlike a lot of the music i listened to in college that seems embarrassingly silly and contrived in retrospect, clarity has only become more touching and insightful over the years, as if we were growing up with each other. it seems fitting then, that when i find myself going through another breakup with sharon, jimmy eat world is doing a 10 year anniversary tour of clarity and playing a show in our adoptive home, los angeles. this breakup has been vastly different in tone and drama from our last one, allegedly thanks to having become mature tax paying adults and growing apart slowly as adults tend to do, but it's still been an unexpectedly rough transition for me, especially during the last few days as she and i strive for that balance between being ex's, close friends and roommates. i originally wasn't even going to buy tickets. i had missed pre-sale and by the time they sold out, individual tickets were easily costing upwards of $100. but i figured i would regret missing out on my favorite band of all time playing my favorite album of all time more than i would regret increasing my credit card debt. i had purchased the tickets before sharon and i broke up and the concert happened two weeks after. i suppose it would make sense that we not go together, but our relationship over the years has always defied reason so it's not surprising that our break up be unique as well. and the music of jimmy eat world has as much defined our good times together as it has our bad times apart. so within the context of my love life coming full circle at the same time as this anniversary tour, last night's concert was perhaps the most significant musical experience of my life. as distant as sharon and i have been as a couple lately, once the music starts i instinctually take her in my arms, the closest we've been to each other physically in months. catching her scent off her skin, feeling with certainty that this is the last time she and i will be together like this, knowing that this ending is what's right and good and necessary for both of us, i'm in tears before the first song, table for glasses, even hits its stride. it's a good cry though. the relieving kind of cry that you can't remember why you were holding in so hard once it finally comes out. by the time goodbye sky harbor begins, i'm so exhausted inside i can barely stand. but sharon is still in my arms. when the show ends and the house lights and top 40 music comes back on, sharon and i return to our roles as roommates but perhaps not as far from each other as we were before the show began. it's as good a swan song as one could hope for to a relationship spanning over a decade. heres to anniversaries and endings. here's to clarity.


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