I don’t have much for opening commentary today. It’s been a long one and tomorrow is going to be even more so and there is no point in really whining or pretending anyone cares but…yeah that’s how it goes. I will confess I’ve been on this weird kick where I listen to one artist for days at a time and it is proving to give little ideas here and there from the lyrics and tone. This weeks artist is Taylor Swift and while once upon a time I might have pretended to be ashamed of that I am really digging her lately and just accepting how much I’ve always enjoyed her music, it makes me all a little giddy and dorky if I am totally honest. And while you might think that has influenced today’s writing it hasn’t, it was actually a different song/artist I heard at work the other day.
“Country music aggressively makes me want to fall in love.”
Ben looks over at Camden with his mouth actually open. “Country music.” He utters in a flat tone, “the same genre that sings at length about drinking beer, hunting, and being a redneck? That makes you want to fall in love?”
A pencil comes flying across the room at Ben’s head but he ducks just in time as it clashes with the cement wall of their dorm. Camden’s eyes feature a heavy level of annoyed while he speaks over his spread out notes and textbook, “No. There is more to country than that representation.” Camden sighs and shifts a little as the anger fades away and he attempts to explain himself, “I mean have you ever listened to the love songs those people put out?”
This sounds much more like the beginnings of a drunk Camden conversation but considering he has a midterm at nine in the morning Ben knows his roommate is nothing but sober, and stressed. Which when factor in that it makes much more sense how this all came about. Looking back over Ben can see the worry lines etched into Camden’s face and the heaviness in his shoulders from here so instead of mocking him more Ben decided to just indulge. “Yeah actually my parents danced to that Tim McGraw and Faith Hill song at their wedding so every anniversary growing up they played it and danced around the living room. It’s disgustingly sweet and adorable.”
“See! Exactly.” Camden shouted and threw his hands up like it was the most obvious knowledge in the history of life. “I just…I don’t need a story book romance where out eyes meet across the room and we are drawn to each other and the chemistry is off the charts and we just fall head over heels and are the perfect couple.” He pauses to breathe and he looks down at his hands that he has finally rested in his lap instead of flying every which way to emphasize his point. “I just want to find someone that will cook for me for no reason and I’ll give them back rubs or vice-versa and when we dance we hold each other close and it the rest of the world fades out. Ya know?”
His eyes traveled off to another world while he talked and Ben could almost feel the want radiating off him, it wasn’t pathetic like he’d expect but just genuine. Ben had been happily with his girlfriend Tasha for so long he almost forgot what it was like to pine for that feeling, but Camden was reminding him effortlessly. Taking a deep breath Ben sighed before he focused his eyes back on Camden and spoke, “Yeah I know buddy. Look, how about when this hellish week is over we call up Sean and Neal and we can go out and see if we can find you a lucky girl or guy to at least start your own country song with?”
Each let the words hang in the air and shared a look before Ben winced and asked through closed eyes, “Did that sound as stupid and cheesy as it sounded?”
Camden’s glee at his embarrassment was easily heard as he laughed and responded, “Yep. Like it was straight out of a romantic comedy.”
“Ugh, god how did we go from romantic country songs to romantic comedies?” Laughter is erasing any of the sadness that had lingered in the air of their small room just moments before and if Ben sounding like a cliche was the thing to make Camden feel better he’d take it. “I blame you obviously.”
“Okay well I blame midterms for bringing out the dramatic side of me.” Camden throws back as he rights himself on his bed and shuffles his papers back into an organization only he understands. When the silence stretches for a little Ben thinks they’ve passed the moment but before he goes back to his own studying he sees Camden’s head of dark hair lift back up and he asks, “But can we really?” His face is open and vulnerable almost, eyes asking Ben not to have him clarify what he means and that’s fine because Ben gets it.
Waving his hand in the air to brush away the fake awkwardness Camden thinks he has created, Ben nods his head and answers, “Of course, I’ll call the guys tomorrow and organize something.” There is a thank you in the amber of Camden’s eyes and Ben appreciates that they are close enough they don’t need to say everything. Once it’s agreed they both go back to their respective class work and only the soft hum of music from a few doors down fills the space, it’s a country ballad of all things.