pete and repeat were on a boat. pete fell out. who was left?

When I find a song I love, I listen to it incessantly, obsessively. I have put songs on repeat for weeks at a time. The point of this ad nasuem exercise is to overwhelm my ears with a melody that I want so much to get inside of. The repetition of it becomes almost like a rhythmic chant which lulls the listener into a trance. In that blissful state you can float in and out of the notes, swirl around the vocal ranges, and land safely back in the chorus. Of course, I’m being a little dramatic. The obvious reason is to memorize the lyrics and commit them to memory so that at any point in time my mind can reference that song. The current song is “Seasons of Love” from the Rent soundtrack.

The refrain asks us how we measure our lives. What instrument could we possibly use worthy of the task and it settles on love, seasons of love, knowing that love is an ever-flowing and changing thing, it comes in waves, it leaves with seasons’ shifts and yet it is the most important thing our lives offer us. It’s a lot to pack into a song that is about 2 minutes long and preempts a tale of AIDS, drug abuse, homosexuality, death, poverty, racism, and friendship in the span of one year. But it’s the melody that grabs you before the lyrics ever do. It’s song’s book cover, the dust jacket, the teaser, the temptress.

I’ve recently learned of a friend’s betrayal and it has stirred so many emotions inside me. I am mad, sad, wounded, angry, confused, and most of all disappointed. I’ve gotten good at weeding out the toxic friendships in my life, realizing that the void left at letting go of a toxic friend is far more rejuvenating than enduring and holding on to wisps of the good qualities I was once so enthralled by. Sometimes the melodies of people, their book covers, are more enchanting than what lies beneath and this fact saddens me so much. I am not perfect. I’ve done things and hurt people in ways I probably won’t realize, but I know that to my friends, to the ones who pour their hearts out to me, I would never stab them in the back. I would stand by them even if I was the only one in the room defending them because friendship is something I take seriously, very much so.

In finding new friendships I take my time. I wade through the waters carefully with respect to my own heart and theirs. And I put our conversations on repeat in my mind, turning over the joy of finding common ground, of connecting, of making a little more sense out of this life. Friendship is not a season for me. It’s not something I swing in and out of lightly, but when it goes down I can’t help but know that that toxic friendship was a season, not of love, but of learning.

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