Seven hundred and thirty one days, exactly.
Nearly right down to the minute.
It’s hard to say something important or unique about a song that comes up in nearly every conversational context possible. I’ve already described writing the lyrics, talked about the recording process, uploaded take after take of developmental recordings… and here i am two years later at a loss for what i’m supposed to be saying.
All i can say is that i’ve spent one tenth of my life living with “Under My Skin” … not only living with it as a song, but living with having written it and with why i wrote it. Living with the song is sometimes the hardest part; “Under My Skin” is easy to like, even for me, and i feel like it eclipses other songs that i’ve worked much harder on. Living with having written it isn’t so bad: at first it felt like a wall i had built to avoid having to express myself in any other way, but now it stands as an emotional landmark rather than a roadblock.
Living with the reason i wrote it is still strange. In the past I would agonize over it, asking myself “how do you kiss someone and then just let it go?” Now i know exactly how, because i’ve done it. It happens. I guess the real question i have is “After life crystallizes for one perfect moment, how do you go on living imperfectly?” I don’t really know the answer to that one, and i don’t expect to find it out any time soon. Sometimes that one moment i lived is almost like a fantasy in my head that never really happened, and sometimes it’s the only thing i can see. It is still both, and all the shades found in-between
“Under My Skin” became more than what i originally intended it to be when Laurel came into the studio to sing it with me last year. Ever since she willingly added her voice to mine i feel as though i don’t wholly own my words… they aren’t only mine anymore. Laurel’s voice singing them on Relief, and any other time i’ve caught her humming along, suddenly transforms “Under My Skin” from a song in the first person to a shared narrative — with its words and all that they are saying awkwardly shared between us both.
It doesn’t bring the moment back. Life doesn’t suddenly make sense the way television does. But, one moment that seemed so selfish and impossible when it first happened is now just a tiny seed that has sprouted into a flourishing garden of songs, friendships, and memories that will last me a lifetime.
And one very good song.