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Music That Makes Me Sick

I believe I made an important discovery today.

For the longest time I’ve had this odd thing where I’ve gotten actually sick to my stomach when I hear music by a certain band. It’s a rock band from the 70s, to be specific mostly famous in the mid-70s. I don’t dislike their music at all so I can only conclude that my sickness when I hear it is a result of something deeply psychological.

I’ve thought about this for years. What could be the cause? Well, today I think I got a clue. For whatever reason my feelings about the band and the nausea it gives me seem to revolve around another thing I did at the time, that was to drive (I was 16) from my house downtown to buy comic books at a particular store. To get there I’d park my car in a lot not too far away. I’d put the quarters in the meter and go and get my books. I’d buy the comics, come back to the car, get in it as I read. And these are important moments for me. Sitting there I absorbed stories about superheroes but I also read about male-female relationships. I was, in my way, growing up.

Now certainly I was still being childlike in wanting to remain safe, apart and enveloped in a world of comic books. I believe that my need for safety came from a large amount of insecurity deriving from my mother. Money was always tight and unhappiness and tension always prevalent. My flight into my own world had a lot to do with my wanting to separate from that world and from my mother. In essence I wanted to define her as the cause of it. It was easier that way. It made me clean and made me have a vision of my future as safer and more secure.

But with that came guilt. I think my nausea at the music of this band has somehow to do with that guilt which magnified what is I suppose the more typical guilt of growing up and away from your parents. I was not only leaving my mother, I was jettisoning her. I feel guilty not only for my bad attitude towards her but the fact that I think I adopted my own version of her craziness, really I think her depression.

I think my nausea is a reminder of kind of a step into madness that I am still living with, a depressed state of terror, fear and fantasy that I want still to leave.


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