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A tape can be a useful way to make your life seem more dramatic. You create your own ninety minute narrative, with highs, lows, big set pieces, love scenes, battles, flowing on nicely one from the next to reel the audience in and keep them there right until the last act. You can show him your history, (that song that you loved last year and still love because it reminds you of that time last summer when...Ã?Â¦) your present and what you want the future to be. You can show your dark side, your happy side, how you feel about your friends, your sense of humour and most importantly, your taste and whether it's compatible with his. A litmus test of feelings and moments. All courtships, those between lovers and friends, should involve mix tapes. Letters are for the 19th century; pop music for the present.
It seems strange but he's now become one of those memories tethered to those songs, a memory you allude to when making tapes for someone else, someone new, someone you can say is yours. You still compose track listings in your head for him, on buses and trains, or when rifling through your music. You realise that this is different; you're choosing songs that you want to be about you now, about you and that someone else. You want to show off what you have to him, give him a glimpse from a distance, wanting his approval and his blessing as if he knew his part in what got you to where you are now. You wonder if that's what he was doing all along with the stuff he taped for you back then, displaying just a little of his life to you at a time, like a bashful peacock. You realise that was half the appeal all along. You realise it doesn't matter so much anymore, that there isn't a big ending, just a mess of friendship that ebbs and grows. You're dancing, and laughing, and finally living.
How annoying is it that life just gets in the way and makes you drift apart from people you had a proper real connection with? How annoying is it when you try to rebuild those connections and it just doesn't bloody well work out? When do you just say - fuck it, we're obviously not friends any more?
I don't mean this as intense as it sounds, honest, just missing some of the people I used to be so close with. :)