Posted by Duff

You know how certain songs take you back to a memory, spotlight it, show you yourself at a different (and, in retrospect, immature) time?

Through the fantasticness that is Pandora, my Sting station plays newer Matt Nathanson alongside Sting’s mid-90’s Hounds of Winter, which probably holds minimal signifcance for many, but I know you’ve got your own version of it: the song that reminds you of the, well, sting of young, melodramatic, unrequited love.

The pain of this heartbreak is all but muted now, minus the minor time travel that dropped me into my 21-year-old self–not into the lost love of a boy,  but what it meant to be myself before I knew how things would work out. Can you even imagine what it would have been like, at the peak of your unrequitedness, to know what was to come? I probably wouldn’t have believed it, honestly. Though it would have been comforting.

Because just then, Atticus handed me a toy car, and made his way over to his train table, and smiled at me.  He had kicked me in the throat earlier that day, and spread oatmeal on the TV and unplugged the cable connection. But he also begged me for my homemade meatballs (bland) and chocolate chip cookies (when will I learn to use real butter?) and linked arms with me while I read him a bedtime story.  And told me I was pretty, (even if by accident) and often tells me he loves me (sort of, like a parrot would) and thanks me for anything I hand him.

Talk about requited, 21-year-old self. You just wait.