58

Song: Hands Down (Acoustic Version)
Artist: Dashboard Confessional
Age at time of Song Memory : 18
Current Age: 20

Song Memory: “Breathe in for luck, breathe in so deep.” It was the summer after my high school graduation and I vowed to make it the best summer of my life. I had gotten close to a friend of mine at the end of the school year and we had planned to spend time together before we were off to college. I spent time with my family and even hung out with other friends but nothing could compare to spending time with my friend Michael. I never saw him as more than a friend until one day I hung out at his house talking and laughing until he grabbed my iPod and played whatever came up on shuffle, it was Hands Down. “This air is blessed, you share with me. This night is wild, so calm and dull, these hearts they race from self control. Your legs are smooth, as they graze mine, we’re doing fine, we’re doing nothing at all.” The song had perfectly described what I was feeling at the moment and as we listened to the comfort of the acoustic guitar in the background the room felt silent and he told me that he had a crush on me. “My hopes are so high, that your kiss might kill me. So won’t you kill me, so I die happy.” As he leaned in to kiss me, I felt a rush of uncertainty as I turned my cheek and said I had to go. The disappointment on his face was etched in my mind for the rest of the summer as I replayed the scene over and over in my head wishing I had the courage to kiss him back. I continued to play the song each night before I went to bed until one night I realized that I really did like him back. But, my shyness masked my feelings and I never had a chance to tell him how I felt that summer. It was the beginning of college and I found myself lost in my first weeks at New Paltz. I continued to hear Hands Down each night to comfort me and remind me of home and my friend and it turned out to be a song that my roommate and I bonded over.

Fast forward several months, relationships and break ups with other people (both he and I) to the summer of 2012 where I found myself hanging out at my friend’s house again. Was this deja vu? Had I come across a second chance? “Hands down this is the best day I can ever remember, I’ll always remember the sound of the stereo the dim of the soft lights, the scent of your hair that you twirled in your fingers and the time on the clock when we realized it’s so late and this walk that we shared together. The streets were wet and the gate was locked so I jumped it, and I let you in. And you stood at your door with your hands on my waist and you kissed me like you meant it.” The lyrics had aligned with reality so perfectly and he kissed me and I had kissed him back with no fear. It was that day that I fell in love with my best friend. It’s been months since then and we are great friends but I still have not brought up the courage to tell him how I really feel about him in fear that he wouldn’t want more than just what we have. Whenever I’m feeling down, I just play Hands Down and my heart goes back to that first summer, to that first week in New Paltz and becoming friends with my roommate due to our similar taste in music, and to that last summer where everything changed. And when I am ready to finally tell him that I love him and always have for all this time I will play that song in the background, close my eyes, and hope for the best. “And I knew that you meant it, that you meant it, that you meant it, and I knew, that you meant it…that you meant it…”

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