So I was feeling all nice and sick this morning, but unfortunately I had two midterms today, which meant that I couldn’t stay home and watch crappy talk shows. So I drove to school (I drive on Thursdays instead of taking the el) and took my two tests, both of which we’re going to say I did “satisfactory” on. I still felt really sick, but I had a class at 5:00 that I had to go to due to the fact that the professor is currently very pissed at me. So I nestled down in the BSB computer lab for a nice three-hour wait until my class started.

I threw up in the computer lab.

Classy

At least I made it to a garbage can and it gave me a valid excuse to just drive home and be done with this until spring break is over. I’ve also been feeling very shitty and scared about the fact that my college career will be ending soon and I have no clue what I’m going to do with my life. So I sat in traffic on the Kennedy, still feeling crappy and hoping that I didn’t throw up in the car (which isn’t technically my car) and listening to Rage Against the Machine, which has been my current driving to school music as of late.

For some reason I brought with me this morning The Instigator, the first solo album by Rhett Miller, the lead singer of the Old 97’s. I haven’t listened to this album in almost four months. You see, when I first bought it I was involved in a wacky little relationship with a girl, and this CD sort of became my unofficial driving to her house music. Thoughts of her and the songs on this album became inextricably linked in my mind, so after we broke up I pretty much stopped listening to it.

So there I am, sitting in completely halted traffic, all pukey, worried and edgy, when I just suddenly eject Rage and pop in Rhett. As the opening chords of the first track faded in, an overwhelming thought pushed everything else out of my head:

You must sing this song as loud as you can. Now.

Richard Wagner's letters to his lover Mathilde were a mess
He should have quit before he had written the address
They made love on the mezzanine
her husband was his friend
Vienna in a fugue-state working on a thing
That when he finished it took almost seven hours to sing
He still found time to write to her
his heart-exploding words

Our love surpassed our love so fast
Our love's all wrong our love goes on and on
Our love became our love by name
when I wrote it to you in a song
Our love goes on and on
Our love, our love

Kafka in his letters to his lover Milena was alive
But he was waiting for a love that never would arrive
Their rendezvous was singular
her husband was his friend
She is a living fire she is a reason to live
She is killing me burning only for him
I'll spend my whole life loving her
my heart exploding words

Our love surpassed our love so fast
Our love's all wrong, our love goes on and on
Our love became our love by name
when I wrote it to you in a song
Our love goes on and on
Our love our love our love our love

I knew all the words. Exactly.

As I sat there in the so-called express lanes, the traffic parted and the haze around me lifted. This song is pop treacle, but it’s damn powerful stuff. I did not feel sick anymore. I could see the sun setting in front of me. I felt the unseasonably warm March air. I saw a whole week stretching out in front of me, filled with possibilities and chances to get my shit in order. I felt a will to find someone else this album can be associated with. Someone I could sing “Four-eyed Girl” to and mean it (there are a couple of ladies in the running).

Saturday night I’m going to the Flogging Molly-Mighty Mighty Bosstones show with one of my four-eyed girls and it will be the starting point for an excellent week.

Next Tuesday, Rhett is going to be in town playing at a tiny pub by my house.

I’m going to have to go and thank him.