Day 21. “Whatever & Ever Amen” by Ben Folds Five

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Square One Coffee House, Lancaster PA-Circa 2007 Photographed by the great Nicholas O’Madden

Oh to be young and in love again…I was in my second year of college, studying in Pittsburgh, PA. I loved the people, but dreaded the town. A couple years before, I had been participating in a fan club for a favorite band of mine, MxPx. I had become fairly close with some of the other members, and was sad to leave the group when I started school.

One day I was flipping channels in my dorm room in Pittsburgh, and I came across a familiar face on the television. It was Nick, who appeared to have won the trip of a lifetime to Ireland from the travel channel. Nick and I had shared conversation, photos and stories on the fan club forum. We would even skype from time to time, but had lost touch since I moved to Pittsburgh to go to college. Nick was from San Diego,Ca.

Watching him on the show was delightful. I enjoyed his love for his Irish heritage, and his goofy enthusiasm. My laptop sat nearby, so I searched through my old e-mails for his address.

“Hey Nick,

It’s been awhile, and maybe you don’t remember me….but I am pretty sure I just saw you on the Travel Channel..in Ireland?! I thought it was an interesting coincidence, and couldn’t resist sending you an e-mail. What have you been up to?

Laters gator,

Mealzie”

The next year was one of the best years of my life. I ended up leaving Pittsburgh to visit Nick in San Diego. It was my first time in California, and it was pretty freakin’ awesome. My friend from Pittsburgh, Brittany tagged along on the trip. While Nick was working, we’d spend our afternoons drinking lattes and sunbathing in Carlsbad. Then he’d pick us up for a new adventure. After a week of visiting, it was time to go back to reality. A 5 hour flight, and I was back in Pittsburgh.

Nick and I were on the phone every night after that visit. And not even 2 weeks later, he was on his way out to experience Amish Country. His two week visit became 3 weeks. We were inseparable.

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Track 7-“Smoke

Leaf by leaf and page by page
Throw this book away
All the sadness all the rage
Throw this book away
Rip out the binding and tear the
Glue
All of the grief we never even
Knew
We had it all along
Now it’s smoke
The things we’ve written in it
Never really happened
All the things we’ve written in it
Never really happened
All the people come and
Gone
Never really lived
All the people come have gone
No one to forgive
Smoke

I left all my friends and family, and moved to California that September of 2007. I was able to continue my bachelors of interior design online. Being in San Diego felt like a never-ending vacation. Nick and I spent almost every day at the beach. In the evenings I would accompany him to his band’s show, and hangout with his friends at the bar. I was barely 20 at the time.

Track 2-“Fair

Every couple nights or so
You know you pop into my
dreams
I just can’t get rid of you
Like you got rid of me
Ohh but I send my best
Cause God knows you’ve seen
my worst
But then all is fair in love

But, after a year of bliss, the honeymoon phase was over. As Nick struggled with emotional issues, I struggled with the jealousy of his gaggle of geese. Every show brought different women into his life. They showered him with attention, and I quickly slipped into the background.

“Whatever and Ever Amen” is one of the greatest. Ben Folds does heartache, and he does it so well.

Track 12- “Evaporated

he sings:

Don’t you know I’m numb, man
No I can’t feel a thing at all
’cause it’s all smiles and business
These days
And I’m indifferent to the loss
I’ve faith that there’s a soul somewhere
Who’s leading me around
I wonder if she knows
Which way is down. . 

I started to go to less and less of Nick’s shows because I couldn’t handle the jealousy. I would sit in our room alone, and listen to this album. He’d come home after his show, piss-drunk, give me a peck on the cheek and tell me to stop listening to such sad music.

I poured my heart out
I poured my heart out
It evaporated. . .see?

…to be continued…

Tomorrow: “Pearl” by Janis Joplin You say that it’s over baby, Lord, You say that it’s over now, But still you hang around me, come on, Won’t you move over!

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