G is for Goodbye

“Goodbye Norma Jean,” in particular.

Why that? Well. Let me tell you.

I’d been flailing about for a few days, reaching for, and never quite finding, a good “G” word. Of course there is “Gratitude.” And that is always an important one for me to muse on, to internalize, to write and think about. But…every other word so far has felt like…inspiration. A gift, urging me to write, in a time when writing hasn’t been a thing.

How do I explain it, when a thing is so important to you…when it’s such an integral part of you that imagining it gone is inconceivable…and then it is. Gone. Just like that. A neat, precise incision cut out of your very center, like with an apple corer. A hole punched in you.

That was how my writing has been for me.

Until just these last few days. I don’t know what it is, but, suddenly, words are a great flood, overwhelming me. Not fought for, reached for, painstakingly scraped from my writer’s heart, but…pouring over me. In great waves. Are they good words? I don’t know. AND I DON’T CARE. This meme has freed me to simply vomit forth whatever it is that wants to come forth onto the page.

So. Back to “Goodbye.” Like I said, I have been struggling a little, casting about, for what my “G” word would be. And then, tonight, I turned on Pandora to a station that the roommate listens to.

Actually, I have a new phone, so I had to download Pandora to my phone first.

I am…cautious…with music. There are so many tangled memories that music dredges up. So many, many deep memories. Music was an integral part of W’s and my scenes. He crafted his playlists, and eventually I did mine, and our scenes grew in those playlists. The music we chose, the playlist we put on, drove us into the spaces we found. I’m having a hard time articulating this – especially as it happens so seldom now – but the music was a part of us, flowing around and through us, connecting us. It held me, cradled me in the notes and the silences, rapt and almost beguiled: all that was him and I spun between us by the throb of the music, moving thru him and from him to me. It was like drifting in a sea of sensation, with the music binding us together. Even now, certain songs…they take me back to those moments.

So…caution. But. I wanted to listen to something, and roommate had on a fun station.

And then, when Pandora had downloaded, it asked me to sign in.

I don’t know what account I had been signed in to before, but the only one I could remember was my piecesofjade account. The account with which W and I had shared so much music, so many custom stations.

I froze. I knew what I would see, what I would hear if I logged into this account.

Fuck how this shit blindsides me when I am least expecting it.

Sitting there, looking at it, it was like…fuck I don’t know… It felt momentous. It felt like taking another step in that world where all the things that used to hurt, don’t hurt. Stripping away their significance. Rendering them inert.

I don’t want that. I don’t want to forget. To not feel.



I signed into my account. “Goodbye Norma Jean” was the first song from the roommates’s station. Nothing that had any resonance with me.

I cried all the way through it.


  1. Mrs Fever

    I understand very well what you mean about the deep-seatedness of memory, about it tapping wellsprings of emotion and being a part of you. A tangible, integral, living part of your relationship with another person.

    I am extremely cautious about sharing my music with people close to me, for those very reasons. Attaching a melody to a memory is an emotional risk for me. It’s not something I take – or give – lightly.

  2. Cammies on the Floor

    I understand the memories tied up in music, almost an avoidance because of it. I also thank you for sharing the parts of yourself that hurt, for exposing the vulnerability. I love you all the more for it, and I’m grateful in ways that are wholly self-centered. It’s hard to share, I think, these parts, but you do it beautifully


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