Mixed Tape Series: Anberlin – Retrace

Retrace, New Surrender

Retrace the steps we took on that long summer night

I came so close to cancelling for dinner but I didn’t want to bail on you again so halfheartedly, I hauled my stressed out ass to Regent Street. I was there on the dot and it dawned on me that a) you’re running on Filo time, b) we’ve never had a proper ‘sit-down talk over food’ EVER and c) despite knowing bits and bobs about each other, we weren’t really that close yet. Fifteen minutes later, I’ve smoked three cigarettes, OD-ed on mints and doubled on nerves. I didn’t know what to expect from this dinner – what would we possibly catch up on? Why was I even fucking nervous? We’re just friends anyway and this wasn’t a date date. It’s 6.45pm. What kind of date would make a girl wait?

Dude! I’m sorry I’m late.

I turned around and as the nerves disappeared, I realised how comfortable you made me feel. I smiled in relief. It definitely wasn’t a date.

Photographs they haunt me lately
Chasing shadows as the evening takes me

It turned out to be an awesome night. I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed THAT hard in public nor if I ever have since. I can’t blame it on the sangria because a) you don’t drink much and b) it was too weak. Funny thing is, I actually don’t remember everything we talked about but I remember getting very much into the conversation because it was just… easy. I really enjoyed myself and even when the restaurant closed down I actually didn’t want to stop talking.

You made everything about you easy. Talking to you was easy. Confiding in you was easy. And that…. yeah, that was easy too. It was slightly inevitable, with the way you are. But then summer dragged on and then the winds changed. Clearly, leaving me was easy too.

I should’ve seen it coming, though. We discussed this issue during dinner didn’t we? That you were afraid to get close. That I was afraid to get close. But hey, nobody gave me a warning. Or maybe you did.

I’m still searching but the picture’s fading

A year later I was meeting a blind date at the same restaurant. He was waiting for me outside and because I was late, they’ve booked us the same corner table we had. I’ve realised Mr Pompous City Boy was not my type at first sight but I tried to concentrate on him. Except I couldn’t. he droned about his new countryhouse and how I should come see it (clingy! stalker! too much!) and I kept reverting to that dinner. I remembered us making fun of someone, the way you looked and the way you smeared goo on your shirt like a 5-year-old because we were so boisterous. I couldn’t stifle the memory so I laughed out loud. Which I think gave MPCB the idea of me wanting date #2.

Believe you me, I would rather have your silence than sit and listen to this pompous chap I’ve agreed to see.

I still can’t remember everything we’ve talked about. But I clearly still remember you.


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