I love when music can take you back to a time and place so vividly. All the talk about Taylor Swift's new album on the front page inspired me to listen to Red again and it was like traveling back in time. It came out at a pretty transitional point in my life. When "We Are Never Getting Back Together" came out, I was about to go on a road trip from Minnesota to California to start my senior year of college. I'd just broken up with my serious college boyfriend because he moved away to go to law school. We'd broken up and gotten back together and just generally dragged out our relationship several months longer than we should have, but now it was for sure done and it felt amazing. Like heartbreaking, but also so freeing. I blasted "We Are Never Getting Back Together" over and over in the car and sang/screamed along with it.
By the time the rest of the album came out, I'd started dating the Constable. During my finals, I listened to Red on repeat while studying. I remember sitting in the library reading articles about international trade from 8 pm to 8 am, restarting the YouTube video I'd found of the whole album every time it ended. When I finished that final, the Constable surprised me by showing up on my campus. We'd gotten each other Christmas presents. I got him a Game of Thrones book because my friend had nixed the idea of getting him a t-shirt from my college (we go to rival colleges). He got me a t-shirt from his college. He was going to get me a Game of Thrones book if he didn't go with the college t-shirt. The night before my math final, he stayed up all night with me studying. Around 3 am, I started getting super nauseous. We sat on the floor of his bathroom while he told me the grossest stories he knew because I just wanted to throw up.
During the break, I flew out to meet my family at a beach house they'd rented. I downloaded Red before I got on the plane. We didn't have any internet so I just read (Game of Thrones) and went running on the beach every day. I kept listening to Red. I listened to "Begin Again" and thought about how asshole ex used to say "aw, you're trying to be funny" when I made jokes (which is bullshit, because he's not even nearly as funny as he thinks he is) but the Constable always genuinely laughed at my jokes.
It was kind of a weird point in my life. I'd just applied to grad school and I had no idea where I would be in 6 months, and it was totally the honeymoon stage of our relationship. It was all just kind of, I don't know, not real life. But at the same time, even though things have changed, a lot of things are weirdly similar. Today I was sitting in the same cafe where I applied to grad schools two years ago, listening to Red. This morning the Constable and I stayed in bed for three hours, snuggling and making up silly poems about each other.