I found you darker than the sky above

I've wanted to write about this song for a long time now. I just haven't been able to find the words. How embarrassing, right? Someone who writes a blog can't find the words to write?

I'll give it my best shot anyway.

For a lot of my teenage existence, I was involved in a super turbulent relationship with a girl. I first met her in freshman year; she transferred schools and was "the new kid". Everyone was enamored with her. All the boys had crushes on her and the girls knew nothing about her but she ended up in my friend group somehow. We dated (and by "dated", I mean we passed notes and walked together in the hall, occasionally brushing hands and blushing) for a grand total of four days.

Later that year we tried again and "dated" for a couple months; the first time we held hands was on a ski chair lift and on the way down she broke her arm. I ended up meeting her dad when I went to visit her in the hospital. As a freshman with no real experience and both of us being discouraged to date until we were 16, I was scared out of my mind. Her dad was very nice to me, but disliked me from that moment on.

Once she got out of the hospital, she ended the relationship (even after I gave her a mix CD!) and I spent the rest of that school year avoiding her and being hurt. Then one day, everything was back to normal. We were best friends like nothing had ever happened.

We tried again sophomore year, but she ended up cheating on me with a freshman who was in band class with her. I didn't have the guts to confront her about it, and after three weeks of adolescent torture, she ended it via note delivered by one of her friends. That was the only time I cried at school (you know, hormones and teenage romance and betrayal and all that). After months of not speaking, we were best friends again.

We tried AGAIN (jeez dude, don't you ever learn?) in between junior and senior year. It was a summer thing and it went nowhere. We both had serious relationships during senior year and were best friends like always. The end of the school year came, and we were both newly single.

By now, you're probably thinking "dude, just how stupid are you?". Well, I must have been the captain of the S.S. Idiotic because we got together during the summer. We were working at the same pool and swam laps together, and I guess for some reason I thought it would work. I'll save you all the trouble and the awkwardness and just say that I suffered some humiliation and put up with some stuff I shouldn't have and she ended it after we moved to college.

The years went by, and we were still best friends. She got married and I went to her reception, I got married and she made it to my wedding. We were homies. She knew me better than most people on the planet, and I knew her just as well.

A couple years ago, I finally started diving into my own mental health and all of this stuff got dredged up. I started really looking at events that had happened in my life, things that I thought I had resolved but really I had just made sure I never had the time or the energy to try and fix. Because of all of the stuff I was working through, our friendship had come to an end.

It's been over two years since we last spoke, and I don't know that we'll ever speak again.

So why do I tell you this? Why was it necessary to hear all of this teenage love/hate drama stuff? Why did I put you through that? Why was this something I needed to tell you about?

Well, I hoped that giving you some backstory would allow you to understand why the song I'm writing about is so important to me and why it was so tough to write about this.

When I first heard The Lulls In Traffic's single "Regret", I was hooked. Aaron Marsh from Copeland was handling the music and the sound was just so different from what Copeland was doing. The record dropped (The Rabbit In The Snare, for those of you looking for new music) and I got the vinyl for my birthday.

The cool thing about vinyl records (besides being a pretentious hipster about how "it just sounds different/better", of which I am guilty) is that they usually come with a download code for the album. Naturally, I slapped that bad boy on my phone so I could listen to it while commuting to work (I was working at SleepNumber at the time and the store was an hour away).

The first time I heard the track "Winding Ivy", I burst into tears. I was surprised, too; I knew I was struggling with some stuff but sweet, fancy Moses man. At least give me a warning before starting the waterworks.

This song spoke to everything I was feeling; I was having a hard time at home due to two small children and trying to figure out where our lives were going, along with dealing with all of the emotional stuff I had buried for years. I was also struggling with my job and feeling like I had no time for myself. I was spending two hours in the car every day driving to a job that I didn't like, missing out on spending time with my family, and being exhausted all the time.

I had also been struggling with getting older; the album came out the week before my 27th birthday and I've never been good at getting old.

But probably the biggest reason I was emotionally kicked in the groin by this song is because it reminded me of my ex-girlfriend-now-ex-best friend. I had called her a few months before to try and resolve all of my stuff, and we hadn't spoken since then. Listening to the lyrics in this song hurt me because it was honest; we weren't good for each other and each time we were together I let her consume me and leave me when she was done. Then all I would be left with was the suffocating realization that we were never going to work and that it would end the same every time.

I'll leave you with the chorus, which is usually where the waterworks start for me.

I found you darker than the sky above
But brighter than what my love could shine through
And you're leaving me alone
After kissing me blindly
After holding me tightly
And when your beauty faded out
What was left to choke me out here but this winding ivy?

Sorry to make you sad and stuff. I hope you at least enjoy the song, if not the emotional rollercoaster I took you on to get to it.

- Kit