Today marks the release of Death Cab For Cutie’s seventh album Codes and Keys. Six years ago I would have been anticipating this day like no other.
In fact I was. In 2005 Plans was released and I was nervously biting my nails, jumping up and down anticipating what that first riff might sound like. When it eventually came my body tingled with delight, a release of tension that had been welling up inside my body for a good six months. One of my all time favourite bands had FINALLY released new material. Yet last week when I downloaded the leak of Codes and Keys, those first bars were met with a slight smile and a thought ‘This sounds nice’ This is not a particular criticism of the band itself, but rather the change they have gone through and I have not.
A friend often jokingly refers to me as a ‘teenage girl’ not only for my tastes in music and television but also for my tendency towards obsession. I consume everything to the point of saturation, often repeating the same songs on ITunes incessantly and constantly raving about my latest discoveries. There is a reason I do this.
I live an extremely sheltered life; sometimes because of my disability and more often through design. I live my life vicariously through pop culture. I was never invited to (or wanted to go to) high school or university parties, I never had to choose between two attractive girls who fought for my attention and I never got the chance to play the sports I wanted to play. So I am drawn to texts that reflect my idealised imaginary experience, often resenting the characters that play the parts I never got the chance to. No fictional work accurately reflects the experience of someone who is caught between my two communities: the crippled one who I often think I am too good for, and the able-bodied one, which I can never fully be apart of because the members of that community do not fully appreciate my internal struggles.
So what does leave me with? Angst. I don’t fit in. I crave the type of love that I struggle to receive, because I am not really capable of accepting it, or giving it. So it is only natural that I hold on to tales of adolescence and the music that reflect those moods. There is a reason that Death Cab for Cutie now fail to excite me. They are over thirty. Though I will hit that mark in the near future, the experience of Ben Gibbard’s fourth decade will in no way reflect mine. I won’t have a stable relationship. I will not be domesticated. And I won’t be content with my life.
Basically all that I will have are regrets. Future angst will be mixed with a nostalgic one, resenting both what I could never experience and what I will never get the chance to experience. I look back now realising that I will be forever caught in an infinite loop. In the words of Stable Song:
The gift of memory is an awful curse, with age it just gets much worse.