Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Can you feel the love tonight?

Never play this song to me. Never let me be in the same room for more than two bars of it. Never be around me if I decide, against my better judgement, to listen to a bit of it.

The song is Can you feel the love tonight? You know, the schmaltzy one about fucking Disney lions. That one. The video is appalling. It has Elton John in his pudding bowl wig phase (or was it a hair transplant? whatever it was, it was heinous). His podgy besuited frame is interspersed with scenes from The Lion King. Those bits are fine, lovely in fact. Not at all sure why they decided to include Mr John himself. He does tend to ruin things of a visual nature.

Perhaps I should explain. While I doss about my house and write/hoover/stare at walls etc, I usually have a music channel of some description on. And they tend to play endless top 10s - stuff like 'the top 10 best romantic emo songs'. Well, just now it happened to be 'the top 10 romantic movie songs'. And Can you feel the love tonight? came on.

I was, alas, too far away from the remote to mute it immediately.

Now you may be thinking I despise this song because I think it's cheesy or that I hate cartoons (sorry, animated movies) or that I dislike ballads. You'd be wrong on all counts. I pretty much live for cartoons and/or films with anthropomorphised animals. Seriously. I liked Garfield (the film with Bill Murray). Cats & Dogs is more enjoyable to me than Scarface. Marmaduke = awesome.

It's definitely not that.

I also have a penchant for cheese and I'm not averse to the odd romantic ballad.

The reason is that for some reason this song taps into the part of my brain where I store the box labelled 'my dad is dead'. It immediately causes me to shed the past decade and return to the years before The Day That Changed Everything. People go on about 9/11/2001. My personal armageddon was 3/16/2001. By the time the towers came down I was stuck in a thick fog of my own shock and grief. It wasn't a national event and it didn't garner media coverage. His funeral was small and he was here one moment and gone the next. He died overnight. Just like that. Nothing dramatic. Nothing even unusual really. Just another guy dying. Happens every day. But for me, it changed everything.

Dad bought me The Lion King on DVD when it came out, because he knew about my love for these kind of films. He loved it too. We watched it together. Of course, I'm aware the film bastardises Hamlet for the under 5s and the main hook is the death of Simba's dad. Which doesn't help. But it's mostly about the memories it evokes.

The speed that it turns me from my normal fairly dour but perkyish mood to howling and gibbering with rage and pain is shocking. It happens rarely these days. Grief is something you have to forcefully pack into a box in your brain and never, ever open it. Don't face it, don't look at it,don't talk about it (people don't know what to say anyway, it's uncomfortable for all concerned). In fact, don't think about it at all if you can possibly help it.

Because if that lid comes off it's as fresh and painful and agonising as the moment you heard those three words: "Your dad's dead." And it's remarkably difficult to get on with day to day tasks when you can't breathe and your chest has constricted from a feeling of horror so intense you almost can't take another breath ever again. And you almost don't want to.

I finally located the remote control and switched over.

The lid is now back on and - now I've finished this post - locked down tight.

I'll go back to thinking about my ex for a little light relief.

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