That's aggressively romantic, she said.
Well, yes. And no, I said. You know what I mean. You can hear a song that you used to love in a completely random setting and it's like you're catapulted back in time. You remember a specific moment. You know the words. There you are.
Love is like a Peter Gabriel song, she said.
I smiled and said, it is.
But you look sad, she said. Why?
Because sometimes I think we're so busy singing a new song that we forget the old ones. I'm afraid, I said. Afraid that I let someone down because I couldn't hear what he was trying to say to me because I was too caught up in other stuff.
Don't beat yourself up, she said. You torment yourself and you shouldn't.
Maybe you're right, I said. But also? Maybe I need to make sure to listen. I need to make sure to remember that the song is still beautiful, though its moment may have passed, and that I still know how to sing that tune.
You're a romantic, she said.
Have you ever LISTENED to Peter Gabriel? Who wouldn't be?! I said.
As we laughed, I also said a prayer. That I would remember to listen. That I would remember to sing. Thst I would try not to let anyone I loved struggle because I was too busy or too careless to hear what they were trying to tell me. That the new songs would not drown out the old ones.
And then we parted. She was on her cell phone. As for me?
I sang along with Peter Gabriel, and smiled.