I vividly remember riding in my family’s mini van to Coconuts to pick up Something Corporate’s “North” on release day. It was a typical October evening in upstate New York – dark, damp, and chilly. As soon as I got home I ran up to my room, put it in my Walkman, sank down to my pink carpeted floor, and devoured it from start to finish while following along in the lyric book.
That album was a constant companion during my early morning bus rides that fall. I remember scrawling on ripped loose leaf corners and passing notes in Spanish class that read, “give me just one inch I swear that’s all I need.” On Friday nights I talked to my friends about my big plans, places I was going, places that they hadn’t been. It was 2003, and no one understood me like Andrew McMahon.
And that’s why it was so hard to get rid of all of my CD cases and inserts while playing the Minimalism Game. Do I need them anymore? No. To be honest I hadn’t touched them in years, but it made me long for that ritual of picking up a new album and instantly sitting down to memorize every word and riff. Streaming music on Spotify just isn’t the same. But after a fun night of nostalgia (complete with a Fall Out Boy DVD), I went through each book, thanked them for the memories, and tossed them in the trash.
I saved just one lyric book that I couldn’t bear to part with: “Everything in Transit” by Jack’s Mannequin. The artwork alone evokes memories of high school heartbreak, turning 18, and my last summer at home. It was what my friends and I scream-sang in the car when we felt alone in a crowded room. It’s the lyrics I still recite every time I need caffeine in the bloodstream (AKA Starbucks). It was the soundtrack to my own personal coming of age story, and it was the perfect closure when I met my future husband on the first night of college, almost one year to its release date.
You can breathe now. We were made for each other.