Get In Loser, We’re Listening To “Ribs” By Lorde
On needing to feel pure nostalgia because we’re not making new memories right now
There’s a memory imprinted onto my brain from the Before Times. Sometimes it’s so vivid and pure I think there’s no way I experienced it in real life, I must have dreamed it.
It’s late summer 2018 and I’m on the first actual vacation I’ve taken in years. We’re zipping down a highway on the Sicilian coast in a rental Audi we picked up at the airport. My friend Corey is driving, I’m in the passenger seat, and my friend Amanda is in the backseat. We’d just spent the day in the coastal town of Cefalù. We ate cannoli and drank cappuccinos for breakfast, walked along the town’s winding cobblestone streets, and went to a beach club in the afternoon, eating sandwiches with ‘nduja and prosciutto and mozzarella for lunch while sitting on our lounge chairs. Amanda and I went swimming, bobbing in the Tyrrhenian Sea while the sun shone down and reflected off the water for what felt like hours. The sea felt like bathwater. The whole time we were in Italy we kept murmuring “I can’t believe this is real” to ourselves and to one another, because none of it felt real. It was so picturesque, the mountains and the water and the villas.
The day was over, the sun was just starting to set, and we were driving back to our Airbnb in Mondello. We had been listening to Corey’s Spotify because he either had the most music saved to his phone or had purchased a better international data plan than either me or Amanda had for our phones (You may recall that I live and die by Corey’s recommendations because he’s famously good at treating himself).
“Ribs” by Lorde came on shuffle. I’d never really considered it before, but the crescendo of the percussive elements, the ethereal choir-like backing vocals, and the heartbeat felt like a drug. As the song simmered into its cathartic outro I rolled down my window and watched as the world flew by outside, the shore and trees and mountains and houses and the setting sun blending together.
Maybe I can’t stop thinking about this moment on a vacation two and a half years ago because I’m not exactly making new memories right now. My sense of nostalgia has never been stronger than it has been over the past year. I find myself longing for the most mundane things: driving the stretch of winding forest-clad road connecting my mom’s house to my dad’s in central…