Saturday, August 11, 2012

Letters to Marge (Chapter 31): Meet Messrs. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, and the Time Machine called Music

Dearest Margaret,

Hello there, little girl. Hmm... you would probably argue that by now you are a "big" girl because you are, after all, due to become a big sister very soon. Fine... Fine... But know you this, even if you get more little brothers or sisters after this next guy, even when one day you fall in love, get married, and have kids of your own (yes, in THAT order dammit!!!), you will always be my "little girl."

Now read on...

my Maverick glow stick of new wave devotion
Last night, your mom and i went to the Araneta Coliseum out in Cubao to catch a concert of two wonderful musicians and the rest of their band. These guys wereRoland Orzabal and Curt Smith, better known to 40-somethings and almost-40-somethings like me as "Tears for Fears." While there, i saw an acquaintance and client watching the show with her husband, and there was also my old boss and mentor, Kenneth Quintal. Remind me to tell you about him one of these days.

stupid phone camera...
And as i write this, i keep clearing my scratchy throat since i lost my voice screaming and cheering while they played and sang music that threw me back to that time when knowing a bunch of British pop songs that few people know about was cool, and having vinyl records imported from Hong Kong was even cooler. And the fewer people who knew those British songs, the better. No, i didn't own a lot of imported vinyl records, my dear cousin Jan did. I owned only that odd record or two he gave to me out of friendship. One of these days, ask me about him, too. His story is interesting as well.

It was a lonely time, because your grandmother had to leave for something back then, your grandfather never really came to terms with that until much, much later, and your uncles had no idea what the heck was going on.

But it was also a simpler time. It was a time when i began meeting the people and building the friendships that kept me strong when i needed them, the people who would be my islands and shores in my long swim in the sometimes turbulent seas of my young life. It was a time when my weekends and summers were spent alone with an old notebook wherein i doodled odd-looking cars, imagined new video games, my own superheroes, and wrote poetry. It was a time when i looked around my then quiet life and told myself that i knew there was going to be much more than that.

And every so often in the background, i would pop in a cassette tape where i recorded Curt Smith crooning out "Welcome to your life, there's no turning back..." randomly followed by Roland Orzabal declaring " features form with a change in the weatherrrrr..." along with so many other lines that at that time seemed to me like slightly sensible British metaphysical rubbish. But they weren't, not by a long, long mile. These were songs that meant something deeper, and wanted to say something bigger. These were great songs. This was great music. This was a great band.

So yes, last night your mother and i saw a great band, Tears for Fears. I was young again, and the future was an infinite ocean waiting for me to dive in and find my own treasure. And while i was skirting the shores, Tears for Fears was one of the bands playing in the air.
I hope that as you grow older, you will learn to love music like i do. Songs will be capsules to times in your life where you have to look back to from time to time. The times when friendships began simply because you both liked the same book or the same TV show (in your case, probably the same website), or perhaps the same music. Let music make you look back to remind you that at one time, you either had more than what you have now, or perhaps you had less. But for better or worse, times definitely can and will change. If they have changed for the better, then that's great. If they have changed for the worse, then take comfort in the surety that things can change again for the better.

As you get older, you will join people like me who complain about how life is too short. But it really isn't. It's long enough to look back and be happy for what you've had, and definitely long enough to look forward to all the good and better things that can still lie ahead. And it's long enough to enjoy good music from bands like Tears for Fears.