Were it so easy.

Lately, I’ve found myself fixating on specific moments of the media that I’ve consumed. Whether it be my favourite line of a recent book, or moments of a movie, it’s never been anything other than a wave of this minimal moment which causes overwhelming emotion.

Most recently, since seeing The Wonder Years live in Leeds (31/01), it’s been a moment of gigness. In Cardinals, part of the opening duo from No Closer to Heaven, Soupy laments his inability to save his brother – his nightmare dictates that he beats him and laughs off his anger. And he sings, desperately, that he wants those years back, to make amends and to take notice of what was going on. As the crowd sings back, (‘I want those years back’) a second passes and he stands at the front of the stage, quietly and desperately telling us back: ‘me too‘.

Why it affects me so isn’t really clear. Well, the lyric is pretty obvious: it’s a desperate plea for lost time, sung with the melancholy of a man who knows it isn’t that easy. The nightmare, descriptive and almost-tangible, gives rise to that need; how can he fix this, how can he save his brother? But the extra line is almost like sharing something extra with the audience. He knows that we feel the same, and oh how I could take those years and really make something of them. To take back even two years and to wear the bootstraps of a 19 year-old with unprecedented confidence and arrogance. And in return, he knows that we want to hear it from him, and he obliges with a singular sadness. The lyrics have become the community’s, and he needs to tell us that he is still the same: we are together in this desperate, painful and ultimately irrelevant wish to go back. The years become a currency even more valuable than time, so desired due to its impossibility.

When he spoke, I teared up. The lyrics are ours, and our screams are his – but to have something extra, an almost overt acceptance of how things stay the same, is something to behold. I’d like to think that if I ever had something so resonant with so many, I could face to stand in his spot. And if I had a chance to speak with him, I think I could say it to him, as well – me too.


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