By Eda Gunaydin
By Eda Gunaydin, Out Of School
I listen to The Violent Femmes’ eponymous album a lot, especially when I walk Rozelle Bay, my favourite place in Sydney. I’m twenty-eight now, but I remember listening to it constantly when I was about eighteen. I’d finished my HSC exams and was waiting for my results, waiting to enrol in university and travel and move out of home and kiss other people at the Blacktown Drive-In and go on long car trips. Something about that album captures the yearning and frustration of being that age. I found myself returning to it during the pandemic lockdowns, my mind drawn back to this summer. The only reason I can think of is that I found myself feeling the same way I did then: like I was in a holding pattern, waiting for my real life to begin.
I adore Mitski. I listened to her song, Working for the Knife, for seven hours straight one day, the day after I turned in the first draft of my book, while lying on my back in the sun in Petersham Park. I especially appreciate her lyrics. They usually point to the fact that time always keeps going – there’s always a day after this one, and we keep getting older, even if we think that we’re done growing up. Life, in other words, keeps going, and going, past even the moments we think will never come – those we wouldn’t even allow ourselves to contemplate, like divorce or the death of a loved one. Time demands that we keep going, requiring us to constantly reinvent and rebuild ourselves to meet its passing. Mitski taught me that the thing about time is this: either you move through it or it moves through you.