Wax On Radio (Part III).

Right now, it's a little bit past 2 o'clock in the morning, and I'm listening to Wax On Radio. Specifically, their album, "Exposition", which I first got roughly a year ago. I don't even know if they've put anything else out since then. At the time, though, I wrote about it in great detail on this blog. Twice, actually--something like 4,000 words total, expended on this one album. That certainly speaks well for how much I liked it at the time, but whether or not some album I wax eloquently about when I first get it will stand the test of time is another question entirely. Apparently Wax On Radio are here for the long haul, though, because here it is, mid-fall, the time when the weather first starts to get cold here in Richmond, the time when the clocks get set back and it starts getting dark really early--the time it was last year when I first got this Wax On Radio album. And what happens? I start getting these songs stuck in my head again. I start wanting to hear this record again. I'm carrying around the CD-R I burned of it (it is fucking criminal that I still don't own a proper copy of this album, but then, I've never seen one for sale) in my CD book, I'm putting the album on late at night when it's bedtime, and I'm playing it over and over again during the long afternoons of the days when I don't have to work.

This album is here to stay, I think. This is one I will be reaching for years from now, in the same way I go back to The Smiths and early R.E.M. and Angel Hair and Black Flag and Dungen and Jeff Buckley and so many more, immersing myself in their records every once in a while even after having owned everything there is to own for a long time. And I think it'll be happening a lot around this time of the year--this record has placed its stamp on this particular season. It sounds like mid-fall to me now. More than that, it sounds like the night. And more than that, it sounds like nights when I lie awake thinking about girls. Last year, I was dating someone who lived hours away from me, and I often had to drive at night for long periods of time in order to see her. I played this album a lot on those trips, and it underscored a lot of restless confusion on those long drives. I had started dating this girl because she intrigued me, but had quickly realized that I wasn't connecting with her in any real way. She was hard to draw out, hard to get talking, and when I did, I either found thought processes that I couldn't relate to or emotional issues that no amount of discussion seemed to help her work through. By the second time I hung out with her, I knew that there was no future in the situation, but I felt bad breaking things off with her. She was a nice person, she really liked me, and worst of all, there wasn't any appropriate time to do it. Over the phone, from three hours away? Seemed like a callous way to go about it. Driving up just to break things off, then turning around and going home seemed pretty terrible too, but then, so did spending a day or two in her company and pretending nothing was wrong, only to end things right before I left. I didn't know what to do. So I listened to Wax On Radio, and I thought about it.

Eventually things were broken off, right around the start of the holiday season. In fact, I last saw her right before Thanksgiving, and drove back from her house straight to my parents' house, knowing I'd seen her for the last time (even though I hadn't yet broken things off with her). The drive through holiday traffic was long and frustrating, and the Wax On Radio album played all the way through at least three times. Despite the fact that I'd already loved it for at least a few weeks, I think it was that night's experience that cemented it in my mind for good. That huge, expansive sound that they somehow obtained when they recorded this album just clicked for me. There was room within that huge sound for all of my hopes and dreams about the perfect life. I had been through so much over the previous couple of years where quests for love were concerned, and with all of those issues rattling around in my head, I still didn't know exactly what I wanted (still don't even now). But I knew what I wanted it to feel like, and I could feel that floating out there somewhere in Wax On Radio's music. But more than that, I could feel that Wax On Radio were evoking it as a desire rather than a concrete reality. They too were reaching out for something, and they too only had the most abstract idea of what it would feel like. But they were describing it, and at the same time, touching on the more melancholy feelings summed up by reality as it currently stood. There was no love here, and it was hard to imagine the possibility of it ever being here. I knew what that was like, and could feel my own emotions reflected in the melancholy undertone of the singer's soaring vocals.

I'm still feeling it. It's nearly 2:30 AM now, and I'm still wide awake. I don't foresee getting much sleep tonight. Some nights are just like that--a thought before bedtime anchors in your mind, and you know that getting it out and getting some undisturbed sleep won't be possible until you've stared at the ceiling for a few hours and felt your emotions shredding themselves. I've had a few of those lately. There's a girl in my life now, really only on the periphery, but there's some interest there on my part, and it's been very tentatively returned. But this girl is interesting and beautiful, which is enough to strip me of any real hope that anything could come of the situation. I have this terrible tendency to believe that anyone who even seems like they might make me happy as a romantic partner will never actually be attracted to me. The only people whose attractions I can allow myself to trust are those whose attentions don't interest me. Which is terrible.

What's even more terrible is that, while I'm lying awake tonight, I will doubtless fantasize about something eventually working out between myself and this girl. I will admit that the situation isn't entirely without potential, but it's very hard for me to believe in anything coming to pass. That's not going to stop me from daydreaming about it, though, much as I wish it would. And those dreams, while they won't go far enough to get my hopes up, will certainly make things harder than they otherwise will be. Thank god I have the Wax On Radio album to play tonight. I'll probably be listening to it over and over until 6 AM.

Apologies for this pathetic, emotional post. It's late, and I'm not at my strongest.

Wax On Radio - Remembering
Wax On Radio - When In Rome...



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