Shake it out

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“Don’t take my cigarettes.  Jenny, please, leave my cigarettes.”

My freshman year fling begged me to allow him his only working addiction despite having painful bronchitis.  I was just trying to help.
We sat in the dorm living-room watching late night tv.  We had sniffed each other out amongst all the other partying, studying, trying-to-find-ourselves co-eds.
We were  self-inflicted outsiders.  We shared old halloween photos.  Him as Sid Viscous.  Me as  Nancy.  “Sid!  What about the farewell drugs,”  was super funny to us.

He was in recovery from so many things.  Drinking, drugs, very messed up parents.
I looked for things to be in recovery from.
College is about the kegs.  I liked sweet drinks.  I’d drink my way around the dorm, play some ping-pong, and wind up in his room.  He liked the taste of alcohol on my breath.  We spent hours in painful, clothed make out sessions – just because it’s fun to want.  We also got naked despite my brainwashed body image.  But, I guess he had that too.

I lied to everyone about the nature of our relationship.  I wanted my secret. My bitchy roommate liked to taunt me, “I know you’re fucking him.”
I just smiled.

He moved out of the dorm mid year.  My first friend with an apartment.  He fed me mac & cheese, teaching me to eat it white-trash style, with ketchup.  We shared treasured writings and books.  We explored each other as best as our 18 year old minds could figure.  Mostly using examples provided by the media or porn.

He liked Morrisey and the Smiths.  I liked Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.  Almost a deal breaker on both sides.  And yet, we liked hearing each other’s bad taste.

He drove me back home for an old girlfriend’s wedding.  I wore my best hot-yet-appropriate blue summer dress. He gawked at me all dolled up.  He introduced me to his mom.  I was pissed off that there was no free booze at the wedding.  We tempted fate driving back on the freeway.  I wondered if he could drive the whole way with only his left hand on the wheel.  He liked the challenge.  I showed him what to do with his right.

There are moments we can feel free inside our boxed-in world.

We are told that secrets are lies, and no one wants to be a liar.
But I like to keep some things to myself
Sometimes it’s our secrets that keep us real,
and whisper truths that, eventually, we can hear.

~jrb

PRESS PLAY: 

Shake it out, Florence and the Machine
Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to playAnd every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawnAnd I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I’m always dragging that horse aroundOur love is pastured, such a mournful sound
Tonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues drawn
But it’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It’s a fine romance but it’s left me so undone
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Oh whoa, oh whoa…

And I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t
So here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hope
It’s a shot in the dark aimed right at my throat
‘Cause looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Looking for heaven, found the devil in me
Well what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me, yeah

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa


					
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