10.15 Awful Sound

What is it about certain songs? You know which ones I mean. The songs that stick with you, trigger certain feelings when combined with specific experiences. They get lodged in our brains, stored away to be released at exactly the right time.

I don’t know why, but the song Awful Sound by Arcade Fire gets me every time. I have listened to it probably a million times, but every once in a while, it knocks me right over. I’ve even already written a blog post about this before.

This latest time was just last week. Lots had been going on, my mind buzzing uncontrollably. I uncovered some shitty things from the past and didn’t know if I wanted to deal with them, or just forget about it. If even for a moment.

It’s finally warming up here and I’m out walking more and more these days. I found myself down by the lake on a windy day. The lakeshore was packed with people who probably haven’t been outside since October. That’s the one drawback of being an all year walker - you muscle through the winter months, but you get the trails mostly to yourself. In the summertime, you have to share them with every nitwit in town. I say that with love.

I looped around through Ontario Place and crossed a bridge over near Dufferin. I made the mistake of hitting up the stadium just as a soccer game was starting up. People were everywhere. Didn’t they know that this was my parking lot? I’m kidding, of course. Nitwits.

But then Awful Sound kicked in. It actually fades in, gets in your head gradually. I walked along the stadium, past all the crowds. Off to the side was this man, now he might’ve been high on something, I don’t know. What I did know was that he danced. Like I mean danced like no one was watching. That kind of dancing. He was giving it all he had. And the weird thing was that it looked like he was dancing to Awful Sound. I slowed down and just took in this performance that seemed to be just for me.

The song played out and the illusion was broken. I took my earphones off after that, and walked much further than I had anticipated. I listened to the sounds of the city as it woke from a long winter. The birds, citizens taking over the streets again, seeing frustrated drivers and weird people and the sun.

I’ll end this blog entry the same way as that first one so many years ago.

I was so disappointed
You didn’t want me
Oh, how could it be,
I was standing beside you
By a frozen sea
Will you ever get free?
Just take all your pain
Just put it on me
So that you can breathe
When you fly away
Will you hit the ground?
It’s an awful sound

Gets me every time.

Paul Dore