This Is Gospel

This is gospel for the fallen ones, locked away in permanent slumber. –Panic! at the Disco

The lead into these lyrics is a heartbeat, abrupt and filling the ears, perhaps making the listener feel uneasy. Where is the music? Songs don’t start out like this. Songs also don’t really end the way this one does: the sound of the heartbeat slowing down, down, down to nothing. And a monitor flat lining.

I never make it to the end of the track. I skip over that final heartbeat to race to the next song. All that comes to mind is how your monitor flat lined as your family (hopefully) surrounded you.

If you love me let me go./’Cause these words are knives that often leave scars/The fear of falling apart./Truth be told I never was yours.

When I first heard “This is Gospel” I clung to it. I blasted it every time I got in the car, each time my roommate stepped out of the apartment. It was three minutes and eleven seconds for me to realize you were never meant to stay on this earth and everything would be okay, even if your time was cut cruelly short. And then something happened. It was no longer a happy ballad for me. I got lost along the way and that heartbeat, that thumping that is honestly a beautiful sound, became nails on a chalkboard.

Did your heart haltingly sputter out? Or shut itself down slowly and gently like in this song?

Music is odd. It’s something to clean house to, dance to, or make out with a boy to. But going deeper, it creates a response in the mind when you associate it with something else. For example, I will never, ever be able to fully enjoy the soundtrack to “The Great Gatsby” anymore. It’s what I pounded through my car speakers as I made the four hour trip back home when I got the news about you, desperately trying to stay at the speed limit and not think about anything.

I focused on that music so I wouldn’t swerve off the road in hysterics. It brings back that feeling in my stomach like I’m falling awake from a dream.

There was also a time I adored “The Scientist” by Coldplay. I found a cover of it by Tyler Ward, Kina Grannis and Lindsey Sterling that was hauntingly beautiful. That was before you went away, though. Now I can’t let more than the first three notes play before I’m scrambling to shut it off so I don’t throw up.

Music was always a safe place for me. I have to hide from it now.

This is the beat of my heart./This is the beat of my heart.


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