More than physical.

by Nic Olson

Last night a friend and I went to see This Will Destroy You. They are an instrumental, ambient, rock, thrash, Texan band, or something like that. It is music anyone can appreciate, for several reasons, or just because of its power and universality. I had a hard time standing still. At the show, I couldn’t stand still. My friend to my right, stood unwaveringly, feet planted, eyes forward, even during the 30 minute soundcheck after TWDY played. My posture has always been poor, even since I was a child. My posture is bad, and I can’t stand still. Sounds like more than just physical ailments. Sounds like my brain.

I couldn’t focus either. Some overnight flu hit me, and I felt the after effects later on in the day. I tried my best to stare directly at the red lit curtains behind the band, letting the motions of the drummers arms and the guitarists beard hypnotize me into a real instrumental experience, but all I could do was regurgitate French phrases I have been preparing for my exams this week, or get distracted by the pain in my lower back, or the obnoxious shouts of the obscure masked individuals standing next to me. I just wanted to listen to the music, but my semi-conscious brain only poured out asinine anecdotes or quotes from the past week. My posture is bad, I can’t stand still, I can’t focus on something good right in front of me. More than just physical.

I am still in French classes. Exams this week. I haven’t written an exam for almost 4 years and the whole process frightens me. I can semi-focus on the paper in front of me, or the words being spoken to me, or the dialogue I am a part of, but I can’t get ahold of the feeling of needed commitment to the cause. Thirty two plus weeks is a long time to sit in a classroom to get a slight handle on a language that I will in all likelihood rarely use. Commitment issues. More than just physical.

Things are well, however. The weather is well. I can purchase something and get an exchange in a different language. I am not poor, nor rich. My few friends in the city are leaving for different places. Fall invites freer thinking, a winter full of hockey and a year that went by fast.

This will destroy you.