On a whim, and in a bid to smother the noise from Cowboy’s boxing game on the TV, I put on my Beats headphones and I clicked on an album in my iTunes that I haven’t listened to in quite some time. It was Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Kanye is my guilty pleasure (one of many). He might not be the most authentic hip hop artist out there, but I do see some talent in his poetry, and the beats are always good. I resolved to let the album run, without skipping ahead. It’s been a throwback.
I am gently emerging from the depression. My kitchen is clean and tidy again. The laundry is done. I went to the supermarket and bought food – sort of. I feel the malaise moving on, the long exhale. Sometimes a bit of hip hop helps me on my way.
This album has a particular sound to me. It sounds like quiet contemplation. It sounds like anger. It sounds like frustration. It sounds like joy. It sounds like lust. It sounds like sitting on the tube on the way to and from the job that fed my depression like a wellspring, feeling the anger, the frustration, the joy of the brief hours away from the office, the quiet contemplation that my life was this endless swing of misery and escape, the lust for a new life.
Well, here I am, 5500 miles away from that life. This album sounds like freedom now. Like miraculous escape. It sounds like laughing. It sounds like that last day at the office, when I left behind an occupation that was entirely unsuitable for me. It sounds like a loneliness, that I thought would stretch on forever, being blown away like dust at the sight of one cowboy standing at the airport door, still wearing his spurs.
This album sounds like late nights of furious creativity. A few days ago, I opened up a new document on my laptop, and set up the first draft of my last novel beside it, and began to rewrite. It’s a strange feeling to write with another person in the house with me, in the same room, even, but this is how I will have to do it from now on – unless I go out and sit in the dark in my massage building which has no power yet, but which has the solitude I might be looking for.
The album has reached the track Lost in the World. This song sounds like dance class with Kenrick Sandy, when I was just about fit and strong enough to cling to the choreography, and thought that maybe I still had it. It sounds like pounding the steps so hard that the sweat soaked into my pants, and my breath chafed in my throat. It sounds like these days I don’t care if I can dance well or not, I’ll dance anyway. It sounds like the exertion needed to chase out the black dog.
This one track might get replayed.