I remember where I was when I first heard the song Somebody That I Used to Know by Goyte. I was lying in a gorgeous bed in a cosy house in a really rough part of Dublin. This area was so dangerous that Google maps were afraid to zoom into the neighbourhood. This place was grim, full of abandoned warehouses and burnt out hopes and dreams, where people crapped on their own doorsteps and the sounds of fighting families filled the thick weed infused air.
The view from my bedroom was of a lane that ran down the back of some dodgy decrepit houses where cats would fight with magpies over the contents of black bins. As I sat at my desk looking out at this daily dispute, wondering which animal would win the child's nappy, I would usually think to myself that this has to be my rock bottom. But as I sit here now in a cold bedsit writing on a desk that is being held together with masking tape, trying to drown out the sounds of three fan heaters with some Electric Light Orchestra, I realise that I must try harder in life.
So I heard Somebody That I Used to Know and it moved me from the lying down position to the sitting position. This tune in all its basic glory awakened something inside me, some distorted mix of horniness and sadness and I found myself enjoying it more than I should have. I played it to death and on the day it died it came to life a few moments later in the neighbour's house.
The neighbours were a mother and son drug dealing duo. I called them Sylvester and Jackie Stallone because I couldn't think of any other famous mother and son pairings even though they looked nothing like those Hollywood beasts. The mother looked younger than her son and maybe she was younger than him but he called her his mother so I assumed she was older. She looked healthier than she should have, she had that blow glow and her big teeth clung happily to her gums. But if you were brave enough to look behind those teeth you could see she was rotting from the inside out. I hoped I would be there when the rot finally met her face but she didn't like me because she thought I walked like an undercover cop, so I knew that dream would never be realised. Her son was wretched; he looked like he wanted more sex than he was having, his eyes leaked and paranoia kept him emaciated.
So they fell in love with this song as soon as I fell out of love with it. They played it up full blast and on repeat from Saturday night until Sunday evening for a few months. They sang along when they could and I imagined them nakedly re-enacting the video. This was also the only plausible explanation for their dog barking when they sang along because they could both hold a note.
People on the street were afraid to complain so they didn't and every time I was subjected to it I chewed my nails and rocked back and forth. I prayed that when the cops raided their house on a daily basis, that they would take apart the speakers searching for drugs. But it wasn't to be and a few times I heard the cops whistling the song as they jumped excitedly into their car.
Then early one Sunday morning Goyte stopped suddenly. It was a beautiful moment, the sun came out and cute little kittens basked in its warmth, doves started cooing, a butterfly landed on my arm, all seemed right with the world again, until they started playing Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons and I packed my bags knowing that what remained of my sanity depended on my departure. If hear that Goyte tune I have to consciously stop myself rocking back and forth, now it's just a song that I used to love.
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