Around the time my prepubescent self was falling in love with Bob Marley and buying the K's Choice album at Karma, I was also really, really into R.E.M.
Specifically, I loved Michael Stipe. I thought he was fascinating and beautiful in this strange, sad way that I couldn't quite understand or pinpoint why. (Now, keep in mind, I was about 11 or 12.) I mean, do you remember the "Losing My Religion" music video? I didn't know what the hell was going on, but boy, did I love it. Observe Michael Stipe's button down! The rolled up sleeves! His strange little dance!
And then this song came on MTV. It made me feel better about things I didn't even really know I was upset about yet, if that makes any sense at all. So, obviously I added the album, "Automatic for the People" to my small R.E.M. collection, which included Life's Rich Pageant (cause I was the coolest dork in K-hizzy, and so "goddamn young!").
I listened to it over and over again.
During all this listening to that neon yellow cd, I fell head over heels in love with the track, "Nightswimming." I thought—and still think—the piano in this song was painfully beautiful. It made me regret quitting my piano lessons (which I had recently done). It still makes me regret quitting piano. But then again, I really wasn't any good at playing anything other than songs from the "Easy Piano" Little Mermaid soundtrack, so it's probably time to quit being nostalgic about Alison, the pianist who might have been.
But back to R.E.M., and my love.
"I want to turn you on, turn you up, figure you out, I want to take you on":
"I could be your Frankenstein":
I tell you what, I was a real woman-child, a sad tomato.
And even though my enthusiasm for R.E.M. has obviously waned over the years—I didn't even realize they were releasing a new album until I started writing this post—any time I hear some of those old songs, "I am smitten." Still, Michael Stipe. Even still.
Now I've said too much.