A few years ago (maybe more like six or seven years ago now) I was invited to a regional sales meeting. Part of the prep for the meeting was to answer the following question:
“If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have one song to listen to, what would it be?”
This memory popped into my head today because I was listening to Alice In Chains Jar of Flies and thought: “If someone asked me the same question today, it would be the same answer:”
Alice in Chains ‘Don’t Follow’ from Jar of Flies. The end. Full stop.
I can’t remember how I came to own Jar of Flies or who introduced it to me, but since I was 19 I have listened to the whole thing AT LEAST once a week.
I listen to it when I want to relax. I listen to it when I have to make a hard decision. I listen to it when I need to focus on a project and get it done. I listen to it when I am stuck in traffic, in heels, in a manual transmission car. At 3:30 AM on the night before my wedding, when I couldn’t sleep, and the “Why can’t I sleep??!!” crazy was starting to set in, I found the headphones that my incredibly fantastically wonderful wedding planner had put in a little kit for me. I was out before the first song was over.
More than anything, the reason that this is the answer to the desert island question: this album has been the soundtrack to my entire adult life. That bass line in ‘Rotten Apple’, those first few measures, can take me anywhere.
I see My X in the Red Mustang. He is in his yellow coat and I am in my silver shoes and we are so very young. He tilts his head to the side a little to move the hair out of his eyes. He is smiling at me.
I see me and My Sweetness. We are sharing a headset at Gate 81, looking at our reflection in the windows. There is nothing and no one in the world but us. I see the salute before he disappears around the corner.
I see Tiffany and Lisa at the finish line.
I feel Lucy sleeping at my feet.
I see my family at Sunday dinner.
I hear Georgiana’s first cries through the surgery doors.
I see Alek, waiting for me outside the restaurant.
I see Alek, waiting for me at the end of the aisle.
I am home.
Hey, I’ll just wander my own road
Hey, I can’t meet you here tomorrow, no
Say goodbye, don’t follow; misery so hollow
Hey you, you’re livin’ life full throttle
Hey you, pass me down that bottle, yeah
Hey you, you can’t shake me round now
I get so lost and don’t know how
And it hurts to care, I’m going down
Forgot my woman, lost my friends
Things I’d done and where I’ve been
Sleep in sweat the mirror’s cold
See my face it’s growin’ old
Scared to death no reason why
Do whatever to get me by
Think about the things I’ve said
Read the page it’s cold and dead
And take me home
Yeah, take me home
Oh, oh, take me home
Take me home, yeah
Take me home
Say goodbye don’t follow