“Clinging to me like a last breath you would breathe. You were like home to me…”
I stood on the concrete platform of the Q train at the outdoor Prospect Park subway stop in Brooklyn, bundled up in my embroidered black, winter coat, gloved hands in my pockets and my IPod blasting one song on repeat. The passersby appeared to move at the same slow tempo as Ellie Goulding’s somber ballad, “I Know You Care.” The crisp, cool night air lazily bit at my flushed cheeks as I stared aimlessly at the railroad tracks a few steps in front of me. The repetitive piano melody began to match the wistful blinking pattern of my tired eyes.
“…You were like home to me. I don’t recognize this street…” Ellie Goulding murmured into my ear buds. I had lived in this neighborhood for the past eleven months though, somehow, everything still felt utterly unknown – forced, like I was often pretending. I was frequently alone, desperately searching for comfort, companionship in the most unlikely places, just as I was standing alone on the train platform that particular night.
“…But there’s trouble ahead, I can feel it. You are just saving yourself when you hide it…” the melancholy song hauntingly continued resounding in my ears. It was all that I could hear. Strangers’ conversations and passing trains were all unnoticed background noise in comparison to the discomfiting song that I had just heard for the first time that evening.
Little did I know at the time, as the wind from an approaching train whipped stray hairs behind my ears, there was trouble ahead – dire trouble.
“Please don’t close your eyes. Don’t know where to look without them…” I had already lost myself, four months into my marriage…”Outside the cars speed by – I’ve never heard them until now…” What is wrong with me, I asked myself as the bitter wind persistently stung my exposed, rosy skin and Ellie Goulding unashamedly confessed.
The affecting lyrics consumedly washed over my longing body, my heavy heart, like an icicle as I began to gently sway with each down beat. “…I know you care. I see it in the way that you stare as if there was trouble ahead and you knew it. I’ll be saving myself from the ruin…”
There’s trouble ahead, I disappointingly told myself.
Stop thinking like that – be positive! Another part of me violently countered my negative instincts.
Run, Lindsay – save your self from the ruin, the song spoke to me in unison with my intuition.
Stop listening to the damn song, for God’s sake – you’re gonna drive yourself crazy! There is nothing to worry about! This song has nothing to do with your relationship! My optimistic, hopeful, at times, delusional side overpowered and momentarily convinced my keen instincts.
“…I know it wasn’t always wrong but I’ve never known a winter so cold. Now I don’t warm my hands in your coat but I still hope…”
David and I always walk like that, I achingly recalled, my cold hand lovingly intertwined with his own in his coat’s pocket. As I successfully used this memory as a justification for my naïve optimism, I noticed the bright, red neon letter “Q” in the distance. It was my awaited transportation and also a temporary savior from the reality of feeling lost, alone and at the helm of an unexpected inner battle between my sharp instinct and my compassionate heart of boundless hope.
“… ‘Cause this is how things ought to have been and I know the worst of it wasn’t all that it seemed. Why can’t I dream?… ‘Cause I know you care. I know it’s always been there.”