Beneath These Fireworks

We're driving home on the dark highways after putting in an evening of work together. Moonlighting painters, partners.

"How does Beneath These Fireworks sound?"

I nod in agreement as I hear Matt strum the first bars of Angel. A migraine brought on by the long day can't stop a smile from creeping across my lips. I tilt my head against the cool window as the city lights come into view.

You sounded so good on the phone
All moved up and all moved on
Me and gravity we never could agree

As we drive in silence listening to the album enfold, safe in the knowledge of each other, secure in just breathing each other in, I drift back to 2003. Again I smile, this time a sad smile.

And it's amazing the look in your eyes
Like you could save me
But you won't even try
And then you tell me again
How everything will be all right

The first time I heard this album was on a CD he had burned for me. The front was white and he had decorated it. For me.

"Those are fireworks, in case you can't tell."

I smiled. We had been broken for a few months, talking here and there. Mostly hurting, directionless, unsure. I wasn't ready. I was afraid. I was lost. I wanted to touch him but knew I shouldn't. His kisses left me weak in the knees but my body wasn't strong enough for the fall.

And I'm coming down, hitting ground
Breaking open, twisting around
The sweet sound of the lies you told
When you were broken

This album coincided with our break up, my crack up. It captured so many of my thoughts, feelings, tears. I cried to it, left it in my AOL away messages, knowing he would see them and know I still thought of him often. Even though we weren't together it was my way of letting him know he still had the largest piece of my heart. The romance of 18 is one for the ages.

I know you hear me catch my breath
But I'm not listening for the right words anymore
I'll take what's left

I floated adrift for 18 months starting 10 years ago. I drank, too much. I dated, too much. I partied, too much. I cried much more, in secret. It took me those 18 months of seeking to realize that I had already found what I was looking for. It had been in front of me the whole time. It was him. No amount of booze or boys could make me shake that fact.

I never thought that I could be who I am
I never thought that I could see where I was
I never thought that all this was wasn't me
I always thought all this was could never be

All of this is flooding back to me as we drive through the city this night. The same city where I was lost. I drove those roads alone at night countless times. Little did I know he did too.

Yes, I remember you best
Hating all the boys who got to you
And all the things they took that you'd kept for yourself
Every car crash, every misstep, every word

This night, black skies, city lights whizzing by, is ours. Not his, not mine, ours. We have found our way back to each other more than once. I look across the front seat at his face, the face of the boy I lost myself in, and I can't help but smile again. We listen to the album in silence, both lost in the reverie of our joint and disjointed past. And I know he feels it too.

Sing me sweet
Sing me low
Say you'll never let me go
'Cause I've gone long enough
Waiting for wonderful

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