This week, I’ve been listening to songs for my sister. Some, we loved together. Some, I think she would have loved. All these years later, there are some I cannot listen to without too many memories. Tears and guilt and a weight that will never be lifted. My memories are snapshots of us under the eucalyptus trees, wandering through the pasture, fighting about chores, fighting about nothing and everything, and learning to fly in our own ways. I miss her every day.
She was in love with Rick Springfield. How did we not tire of “Jessie’s Girl“? And she was in love with David Lee Roth – “Jump“. “Every Breath You Take” made her want to play guitar. I think we acted out the video for “Our House“. “Dancing in the Dark“, Bruce Springsteen – Oh, how we wanted him to be her dancing on stage with him! When Quiet Riot came along with “Cum on Feel the Noize“, hell yes, we rocked the big hair! “Rock Me Amadeus“, “Manic Monday“, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” … Prince, Journey, The Beach Boys, Huey Lewis & the News … We were California kids of the 80s.
More recently, I think she would have liked “Crazy” from Gnarls Barkley. And for that matter, Cee Lo’s “Fuck You“. “Supermassive Black Hole“. “Lose Yourself“. I think she would have liked Outkast, Gaga, Pink, Kelly Clarkson. I would have wanted her to like “Count on Me“, “Make You Feel My Love“, “Let it Be Me“, “Whiskey, Whiskey, Whiskey“, or maybe just because I think of her when I hear those.
She would have danced Gangnam Style around her living room to make her kids laugh. She would have asked me who the hell Calvin Harris is. She would have remained true to Rick Springfield.
Oh my dear sister, I don’t think the others really knew, but it was always you.
I used to believe we were just like those trees. We’d grow just as tall and as proud as we’d please. With our feet on the ground and our arms in the breeze, under a sheltering sky. … and when I look up at you looking down, say it was only a dream. “Only a Dream“, Mary Chapin Carpenter