How to Embrace the Suck; Part 5
2015 is gone and we’re well into 2016, things have still been a little rough. All my old mind tricks and other comfort pacifiers weren’t working, I took up smoking a few cigarettes a day, Facebook was still boring yet I still combed the feed, trying to find funny videos of dogs smiling, and cats being assholes, it mildly helped. Things had taken a turn for the worse in my personal life and I spent my one-day a week off basically sleeping for 14 hours a day.
Then, I watched a bunch of videos of Freddy Mercury and Queen performances…
The fifth and final way to embrace the suck is, and has always been music.
When I was deployed to Iraq, I remember a night with a few other Soldiers after a day of work. For whatever reason, we were on a bus and had pulled up to our building we worked out of. Somehow, Bohemian Rhapsody came on the radio, I don’t know if someone had a tape, or it legitimately was on an Iraqi radio station. It was dark, so I think everyone was a little less self-conscious because they couldn’t be seen. As the song started out, people started singing along, just sitting there in the seats of the bus, crooning out the soft melody. Until the distinct, “MAMAAAAAA, OOO OOO OOO,” part. Others got up from their seats and swayed back in forth, in uniform, forgetting where they were at, hugging each other, “bew bewing,” the guitar solo part from their mouths. Then came the “I see a little…” and shit got real. Shouting Gallileo, he’s just a poor boy…easy come easy go…” cantering back and forth with each other…”For MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! So you think you can stop me and spit in my eye…..leave me to die…ohhh baby….can’t do this to me baby…” Grown men and myself gave way to every shred of shame and bad feelings we had. There was nothing but happiness. Then we piled off the bus and went our separate ways for the night.
On a particularly bad night a few weeks back, I thought back to that night, of many other memories of belting out songs with other people in super shitty situations, and somehow, through singing, they didn’t feel so bad. I brought up a bunch of videos of the legend, old Freddy and got to town feeling absolutely stoked about life once again.
I mean, there was no way I was going to feel bad about myself listening to Freddy, wearing pleather pants, gold chain, splayed chest hair, and suspenders, singing about big fat fannies in Fat Bottomed Girls.
In the song, Don’t Stop Me Now, he proclaims, “Tonight, I’m gonna’ have myself a real good time,” and I think that’s what it takes. You can’t wait for the day or night to be good. You have to decide on your own how your day is going to be, you can’t stop yourself really. I’m going to be that fucking rocket ship on my way to Mars by God. I may or may not have ran around my two foot room as well, just to drive home the point to myself, pumping my arms.
In the song, I Want to Break Free, dude is wearing a pleather skirt this time, a wig and full on mustache. I just couldn’t stop watching him, strutting around with a vacuum. If he can be that confident in drag, I sure as shit can do it in my normal clothes, like a BOSS, making decisions and shit (sorry, there’s a lot of profanity in this one). But I do it with conviction.
I eventually found my way to the song Under Pressure, the video mixed performance by Freddy and David Bowie (Fly on Starman).
“Pressure, pushing down on me
pressing down on you
no man ask for
That burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on the street…”
It crescendos to,
“Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night.”
So it’s love really, in the bad days, giving your love to others, even when you don’t think they’re there, songs remind you they are. Even if you can’t see them, you can listen to Somebody to Love and at least then, the wait’s a little more entertaining, more dancing ensues.
I wouldn’t say the key is to be more like Freddy, hip gyrating, fist swinging and strutting about in capes (though feel free, please!). I think it’s more letting yourself hear the things you need to through music, unabashedly. Put in your headphones, push play and get to dancing, costumes optional.
If that doesn’t get you out of a funk…I don’t know what will.