ASARAR 1: Wandering, Antonyms, Lyrics

from Nick Suss

May 25, 2015, 10:41 a.m.

Welcome to #ASARAR, the new weekly column on StoriesHouse. In this column, Nick will try to not waste your time by getting right to it. This column will tell you a story, a rant and a reference, the only three things Nick ever talks about on this site. Sometimes the story will be the longest, sometimes it'll be the rant and sometimes it'll be the reference. A new #ASARAR will be posted every Monday around noon. Be on the lookout here on StoriesHouse.

Here’s a story:

So initially, I wanted my first #ASARAR story to be lighter. I was gonna tell you guys about some people I saw throw trash at each other from outside their car windows at a stoplight. It was hilarious. Maybe I’ll save that one for later. But I want my introduction to #ASARAR to be a little more personal because that’s what this is all about. It’s me getting my stories to you in a quick manner weekly instead of storing them all inside like I normally do. Because that’s unhealthy for me and makes you wait longer for articles and hurts our web traffic. Mostly the first two. But anyway, I want to tell you a story about last night. I’ll try to make it quick.

Last night was my first night living on my own in a completely new place. I spent the last two weeks in someone else’s house. And it was a nice reprieve. But it didn’t feel like the real world to me. It felt like a regression from maturity. But last night I was back to being on my own. I didn’t know what to do. I had Internet but I hadn’t set up my television yet. So I could’ve gone on YouTube or Netflix, but I do that enough as is. So I started listening to music. (I upgraded to Spotify Premium before my trip. It was worth it.) But I was kinda nervous that my music was too loud for the one other person who had moved in who when I was talking to him the only thing he asked me was if this place was quiet. So I decided to put my headphones in and go for a walk.

It was really pretty outside. It was just about dusk. I wandered a little bit around the part of campus I’m staying on. The campus is really beautiful. The part I’m on looks like a perfect 1950s suburb, except if you replaced the white picket fences with gothic castles. I’ve never seen this much gray and black stone before. It’s beautiful but somewhat daunting. As I wandered I noticed a few things. I noticed that I could walk onto the school’s soccer field because the gate was wide open. I noticed a pond. Like a small, dirty pond covered in algae and rotting leaves that seemed like it was straight out of a Jane Austen novel. Mostly because it was in the front yard of the biggest castle-like building I saw. I noticed the approximately 67 brand new, unused Lexus SUVs all with tags that read “LPGA” on the rearview mirror. But more than anything else, I noticed the clouds.

Eventually, I just found a slab of stone that was fashioned into a bench and laid on it. Some Nights by Fun. had come on my shuffle and I needed to test out if it made me feel happy or sad. (I’m hoping you remember my Some Nights Test. If not, let me know. I’ll tell you. You probably know me if you’re reading this. If not, just go to the comments I guess.) I really kinda felt indifferent. But mostly happy. I took it as a good sign, so I just started staring at the clouds. The song ended. The next song that came on was Night Moves by Bob Seger. (Night Moves is my third favorite song of all-time if you want some Nick Trivia.) It was at that point that I started to try to find images in the clouds. I’d never done that before and I figured that people seem to enjoy it so why not try. I started looking around and just saw clouds. But then I found something. It looked like a big hand. It was a right hand based on where the thumb was. You could see the creases in the palm and everything. Then I looked closer at the creases. I saw the silhouette of a man from the chest up. His arms were at a 90-degree angle reaching out from the palm. In front of him there appeared to be a ledge or a desk of some sorts. And on that desk it appeared as if there was something he was reaching for something and was staring at it. I shook my head a little bit and then realized I was seeing myself typing on a laptop. And that image was being cradled in a big palm in the sky.

So often I wonder if I’m where I belong. That’s normally the cause of the Some Nights Test. But after that I felt like I didn’t need a test. I’ll let you interpret that any way you want to. I don’t want to tell you my interpretation. It’s personal. But that’s where I’m at. That was a story.

Here’s a rant:

So it’s no secret that I have a lot of neurotic complaints about song lyrics. I listen entirely too closely to the way songs are written because what the hell else am I gonna do? Enjoy them? That’d be weird. My most recent complain is a lyric in Taylor Swift’s “Style.” But I’ll spare you that one, because it’s more of a complaint with the English language and how negating phrases can actually mean the same thing. Which is infuriating. How is it possible that “He can’t keep his wild eyes off the road” and “He can’t keep his wild eyes on the road” could mean the exact same thing? It’s just insanity. They both lead you to the conclusion that he’s cheating. They are synonymous. One means that he’s always looking elsewhere, the other means that he’s constantly stepping out. Which means he’s looking elsewhere. THAT MEANS THE SAME THING! Dang you English language. Whoops. I didn’t spare you. I guess that was a rant.

Here’s a reference:

So since I upgraded to Spotify Premium, I’ve been listening to my biggest playlist, Trip Albums, a lot. One of the albums on there is the classic Beach Boys album Pet Sounds. Much like Some Nights, it sounds really happy but it is actually very dark and introspective. “Sloop John B” (My sixth favorite song for some more trivia) is very jolly but is about homesickness. Even “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is a plea for another life. Wouldn’t it be nice? It’s a question as simple as time. It’s about longing. And there are some songs on the album that are blatantly sad. Like “I Guess I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times.” That’s pretty self-explanatory. But I want to focus on one song here. It’s called “That’s Not Me.”

I’ve read the lyrics like 100 times. And I’m fairly certain the alternate title for this song should’ve been “StoriesHouse circa 2013.” Give it a listen. It’s about a guy who is unsure about the decisions he’s made in his life and feels bad about having left his home and feels isolated. Every single story I’ve written on here that is personal boils down to those three themes. Don’t believe me? Scroll up. And as I was listening and relistening to smiley-smile (That’s a reference to Barenaked Ladies referencing the Beach Boys inside of a reference to the Beach Boys. I’m proud.) I couldn’t help but find myself wishing that I had found this song a few years ago. Because now I feel like I’m kind of over that stuff. But then I get to the end of the song.

The song ends with a repetition of this line: “I once had a dream so I packed up and split for the city. I soon found out that my lonely life wasn’t so pretty.” Based on where I am in my life right now, I don’t feel like analyzing this lyric too much. Because if the beginning of my college experience was the beginning of this song, I don’t want this to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because prophecies scare me most of the time. So I’m going to stop talking about it. That was a reference.


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