Sunday, April 26, 2009

Actually GOING to Baltimore

The name of this blog is inspired by my favorite song (one of them, anyway), which is my favorite for many reasons. It's a song called well, Raining in Baltimore, and it's by the Counting Crows, which were a major hit during my middle and high school days. This particular song is on their "August and Everything After" album, which was the first one they released that went mainstream. I always liked them, but on the peripheral. That is, other bands dominated my main love and attention during my prime time of angst, and this one with its melodius harmonies and soothing voices served as somewhat of background noise instead of occupying my full attention.

Enter my junior year of college and studying abroad in Denmark. On one of the last nights there, a group of us went to one of the beaches where we went during one of our first days there...we were all a little depressed, excited to go home and ready, but sad that the experience --which would likely never be repeated in exactly the same way, as carefree college students-- was ending. We had CD's playing and drank beer while the sun sat sinking into the water and we were playing some sort of game that I can't remember the name of now, but it's something like bocce ball.

I sat on the beach and "Raining in Baltimore" came on the CD player.

"This circus is falling down on its knees
The big top is crumbling down
Its raining in baltimore fifty miles east
Where you should be, no ones around

I need a phone call
I need a raincoat
I need a big love
I need a phone call

These train conversations are passing me by
And I dont have nothing to say
You get what you pay for
But I just had no intention of living this way

I need a phone call
I need a plane ride
I need a sunburn
I need a raincoat

And I get no answers
And I dont get no change
Its raining in baltimore, baby
But everything else is the same

There's things I remember and things I forget
I miss you, I guess that I should
Three thousand five hundred miles away
But what would you change if you could?

I need a phone call
Maybe I should buy a new car
I can always hear a freight train if I listen real hard
And I wish it was a small world
Because I'm lonely for the big towns

I'd like to hear a little guitar
I think its time to put the top down"

This struck me for several reasons--the need for a raincoat, which I frequented in Scandanavia, the fact that I hadn't talked on the phone in several weeks (I was way too cheap for phone cards), riding trains through Germany, and well -leaving. Already regretting and already feeling that acute sense of loss when it comes to the show ending--even before it has yet. I listened to it on a loop during the plane ride home the next day.

And now, almost 7 years later, I am going to Baltimore tomorrow for the first time, for work. I certainly doubt I will have quite as magical a time as I did in Denmark =) It's going to be a chaotic week, and I've prepared by relaxing fully this weekend.

And tomorrow morning, I'll see the skyline that I spent years picturing every time I heard a song about absence, regret, cloudy skies and dreaming.

I wonder if it will feel like coming home.


Ms. Moon said...

I doubt it will feel like coming home but it might be an adventure. Have a wonderful time!

Lady Lemon said...

Aww, wow. I can relate on a couple different levels to this post. First, I loved the Counting Crows. They were a staple for me during those years, a way to express my softer side not embodied by Nirvana. Haha.

Also, I veyr much understand your feeling of loss when you left Europe to come home. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester and when the time came to come home my heart ached. It still aches when I think about it.

Thanks for sharing.

SJ said...

That heartache just doesn't seem to leave, does it? It lessens of course, but doesn't leave. I guess it's like any love that you have - when it hits you, it leaves a mark.