It’s no secret that I’m heartbroken, and the road to recovery feels less like a road than a quagmire. And I don’t care who knows it, because I lost all sense of shame when I lost the man I loved. And, since I’m an unconvincing liar and extremely sensitive, I often end up talking about my troubles to anyone who will listen (sorry, people—you know who you are). But every once and a while something coaxes you to emerge from your cocoon of narcissism and think that, maybe, just maybe, life could, actually, be worse, and the ground might not actually be crumbling like crackers beneath your feet. In this case, the one who has inadvertently lifted the shroud of perpetual pessimism, self-pity, and hopeless pining that has been covering my head like crown of despair for the past three week is one of my very best friends from home, Ariel, who is doing relief work for UNICEF in Haiti right now. Her emails detailing what the people down there are going through make my troubles pale in comparison to their plight. So, although my pain still hasn’t gone away, it certainly makes it seem less apocalyptic.
And a similar phenomenon transpired last night. I went to see Perfume Genius, a new KEXP discovery of mine, perform at Bottom of the Hill, even though it was a Monday, and I was already at home, and I hadn’t been able to convince anyone to accompany me to the show, and I knew it would go late, and I haven’t been feeling that well. But then I said fuck it and hopped on my bike. It’s a downright travesty that the show was so sparsely attended, because Mike Hadreas, a frail wisp of a boy with an equally fragile voice and a devastatingly mournful mien, delivered such a haunting, soul-baring string of piano ballads that afterward I wanted to walk behind his keyboard, take him in my arms, and tell him everything is going to be ok, even though people have been telling me that on a daily basis and I never believe them. Singing with an ethereal timidity, he managed to muster so much sadness with his music that the air felt thick with tears, and it was obvious that he often dwells in a very dark place. I think he really is sadder than me. By a lot. So there’s that. For perspective.
Who: Perfume Genius
Where: Seattle, Washington
Why: “No one will answer your prayers until you take off that dress / No one will hear all your crying until you take your last breath”