Listening to Majid Jordan fills me with a blueness unlike any other kind I have ever experienced. In October of last year I somehow stumbled on their music, I forget exactly how. What I remember was the piercing loneliness and sense of despair I was drowning in at the time. Their haunting music was not helping and I could not tear myself away from it. It appealed to the pining part of me that is ever a tickle at the back of my neck, that hunger that never seems to go away. I felt disconnected from my friends, from my family, and however hard I tried I felt that there was something I had lost: a key into a room that I was locked out of and could only strain to look into. My connections never felt more tenuous, that they could have been washed away at any moment. The worst part about it all is that I did not mind in the least, hiding the despondency well. I know how to hide behind a smile.
There was a girl I was infatuated with at the time, and we shared quite a few intimate weekends. She went quiet around that time and I felt that I had been yanked away from her bosom and left naked. I was holding hot coals to keep her warm and her back was turned, leaving me dancing in pain. Again, I had made it about myself, forgetting that she had her own life to unravel. However, I could not shake the feeling that she had moved on. I did not, and still do not, have the right to be jealous. Our realities are more complicated than romance permits, and this knowledge ate at the granite that was my angst ever so slowly, each bite seeming to diminish me. I held hard to the anger. It was the only thing I could feel completely.
At the time, my life had been put into rude perspective. I was not doing well and it was bearing down on me. If I had money I would probably have been drinking heavily. I was stuck and the rest of life was moving past unapologetically: a dead-end job, a school course that seemed to be mocking me with its complexity no matter how hard I tried to grasp it and a pervasive silence from the people I had come to lean on at times like that. A Place Like This was one of the first albums I had on my then just-acquired smart phone.
I bought it from my father for a reduced price because he had found it difficult to use. I have not even started paying for it and he still does not know I lost it. I do not know what I am more afraid of: coming across as that crying and careless six-year old too scared to look him in the eye and sense some disappointment or my sneaking suspicion that he will, most likely, laugh and “Hebu tell me about that…!” and go on about how such experiences as muggings are good for you, that they remind you that life does not always go the way you want it to. If ever there was a man who went with the flow. I digress.
It was the perfect soundtrack for my love life at the time, and by extension, all of my life. It resonated with my unfulfilled desires and hopes that were looking vanquished. All these months later when I come back to it, I am reminded that I am not as far from the edge as I think. One misstep and I will be sucked back into that abyss. It must be some cosmic joke that no matter how far you have come, how far you still have to go.