Long December

Another year is about to depart, and as always I end up listening to this song over and over again, hoping that this year, it will actually prove true.

For a manic-depressive who’s racking up health problems like they’re going out of style, it’s important to cling to something, even if it’s just false hope.

I know the Counting Crows are out of date; I’m not even entirely certain if it was “cool” to like them when they were a big thing, let alone if they’re in any way cool at this late date, but I always enjoyed them. They might be a little whiny, they might have every hallmark of a generic 90s band, but sometimes they talked to me in ways their assumed contemporaries didn’t. The first time I heard this song, I was locked in a little closet with a pile of electronics that carried my music and my voice to the listening public of KZZF 102.9 at the lovely hour of 2AM, just after Modern Rock… Live had finished another broadcast. It had been snowing, and the windows were lit with that eldritch fairy-light that seems unique to still, dark nights where snow has been in the air. It was freezing, but not in a bad way; I’ve always preferred the cold, the way it bites at your lungs and snaps them awake, and the smell of the wind when ice crystals are forming in it. Something in the song touched me, made me feel something other than “Jeez, only one more hour and I can get out of here and have a cigarette and an industrial size-coffee,” made me think about something other than remembering to shut off the DAT, power down the AM side, and make sure the satellite was re-tuned for the 49ers game in the morning.

And now, having depressed everyone (potentially. Despite some of the hopeful lyrics, I’m well aware that Long December is very much a funeral dirge), I’ll inflict you with my other favorite Counting Crows song, that’s a little more upbeat.

Do we feel better now? Okay. I go away now.

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