I remember the girl you fell in love with, Seth. Her name was Lindsey, but she hated it. She didn’t know the history behind it, that she was named after the guitarist in what would, 6 years after you and she broke up, become one of her favorite bands. She wanted something simple from life and thought that would always be enough. To get married, to have three kids, one of which would share the middle name passed down from grandmother to mother, mother to her . The only part of herself she liked. Kay. When you entered her life, that was what she liked about herself, three little letters in the middle of an incomplete life.
She didn’t feel like she had any worth. I remember she tried so hard to love people. To love them a way her leadership camp had taught her how to love people. With intensity and compassion and loyalty and, of course, through action. The girl you were getting to know in leadership class, the girl who danced to music that wasn’t playing, that girl was lonely. She’d walk the halls between high school classes, smile practiced, tried but untrue.
In October, I remember how you came over for the first time and it was just the two of you. You watched a bad movie, what would be the first of many bad movies. I remember us, and a spark. I remember recognizing something new – there had never been a anything like that before. . She knew, if she cupped her hand to protect it just right that she wouldn’t be burnt.It was an easy spark, and one which changed everything for her. That pesky spark was unstoppable, unavoidable when you looked at each other. That spark is what I remember most about that girl, and the song that summarized that love best. The girl you fell in love with thought that “Hands Down” was ‘your song.’ It’s because of this tiny extended moment’s memory that she’s engrained in us. She and I are separate people now, but we share a familiar past. One that involved loving you for years and years. The song, though, she would sing in the car as she drove to your house. Usually to your dad’s. There, every night together ended at a reasonable, respectful hour. Nights at your mom’s could turn into days without leaving your basement bedroom. But back at your dad’s, there were lingering goodbyes. That golden memory, which I measure most others against, is the one that mirrored the verses of “Hands Down” perfectly. As you held her, leant against the Saturn her parents bought her, the ground was wet and the night around us was chilly. In her head she played “My hopes are so high / That your kiss might kill me / so won't you kill me / So I die happy.” That goodbye, each time your kiss began to end and your eyes would meet hers as you pulled away, it was as if that was all that she needed to be completely happy, forever and ever amen.
That girl loved you, and I remember that love well. She no longer exists though, in the same way you no longer exist and that kiss, that love, that spark no longer exists.
Nothing in this world is permanent, except the memories that lay between lovers. Those memories, as faded as they may be, will reappear alongside a familiar chorus. That love will reappear, if only for an instant. Much in the same way when the girl I am today runs into the man you are now, just for a minute, I can feel the warmth of our spark, and I’m nostalgic for those “Hands Down” moments.
[Lindsey Bluher was named after Lindsey Buckingham, but as her hands are too small to reach all the strings on a guitar she chose to make a life writing about all the bands she'll never be in. Lindsey is Seattle native, lover of street meat, and proud holder of a useless degree in History. How Kristen Bell feels about sloths is how she feel about otters.]