The Short Story Long - Tomatoes lyrics
People always ask me, "How do you memorize all that?" And the truth is, the first girl I ever kissed tasted like tomatoes. I know this because the second girl I ever kissed tasted like pepper. It wasn't unpleasant, it was just, I was expecting tomatoes. When I was a kid, I learned that time slows near a black hole. Inside a black hole time stops all together. Whether or not this theory will ever be proved, I am moved to believe, this would be the perfect place to love someone.
In grade four my gym teacher gave me the nickname half ton. It was a name that stuck. I remember it because it was the first time I ever told someone, "Go f** yourself," and meant it. He quit calling me the name after he called my house trying to get me in trouble for what I'd said, to which my grandmother replied, "Mr sh**head, I told him to say it!"
I remember my grandfather's blue toolkit, where he hid a secret stash of raisins. I recall thinking, "My granddad has the worst taste in candy." But he did teach me how to tie a tie.
My first opportunity to apply this knowledge was my first date. A seventh grade cla**mate who showed up wearing acid washed jeans and a d**h leopard t-shirt; I wore a suit and tie. When she asked why I was all dressed I had to think quickly and told her, "I thought it'd be funny." I don't wanna say it ended badly but she wound up leaving me for a boy who could make farting noises with his armpit. I'm forced to admit, it was pretty cool.
In fourth grade my teacher had a rule about speaking out of turn. Failure to learn and practice this lesson would result in having to sit outside. I know this because I tried it once. When she finally came out to check on me she asked, "What was so important that it couldn't wait?" Knowing that it's rude to point but needing to illustrate my position, I gestured to her chest and said, "Your boob is hanging out." She quickly covered up and corrected me, "Breast." She was a good teacher.
When I was twelve I was given an academic diagnostics test. The instructor later informed me I had an aptitude for history. He looked puzzled when I replied, "Yeah, but that was yesterday and today I'm more interested in tomorrow."
I remember it because the next day I asked a girl if I could borrow a pen. When I offered it back she said, "You should write me a letter with it first." So I did, I wrote her a note which the teacher then intercepted and read to the cla**. It was something we'd learned in science that day. About how the way gravity affects ma** and weight in relation to how quickly something will fall.
Example: A crumpled ball of paper will fall at the same speed as a chunk of granite. It doesn't matter how much something weighs, it stays the same until you consider surface area and resistance, at which point the persistence of gravity loses force.
Example: Crumple a piece of paper into a ball, it'll fall more quickly than a loose sheet. They're both composed of the same ma** and weight so you'd think that the rate of velocity measured by the force of gravity would fall each to fall at the same speed. But that's when you need to consider the greater surface area of the loose sheet adds resistance, so the crumpled ball will fall quickly and the loose sheet will slowly float.
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I wrote a note, saying that "When two people fall in love, they do so at the same speed." There's no need to factor in the physics. Explanations are something we can make no use of. Einstein once wrote, "Gravity will not be held responsible for people falling in love." I wrote a note saying, "If I fall in love with you, no one will ever be able to explain it," and I think that's beautiful.
Despite the cla** laughing, and she did as well. Which is how I can tell you that I then knew and now still know, she tasted like tomatoes.
I don't remember the way every song goes, I can't recall every person I've ever met, I get names mixed up all the time, I'm terrible with birthdays. But I remember all the ways people have affected me; how our stories became memories; and if you're brazen enough to make one with me, you're in there somewhere. Maybe it was a truth or dare kiss, or a simple act of kindness, one that reminded me to remember the moment and mark it as a memory so I could have it to look back on.
From this life, I've drawn conclusions so big that you can't fit into the tiny comic book boxes. Because I don't wanna risk losing the details just so I can make the story fit.
It's not a trick. I remember how things felt, which in turn makes me remember how things happened. Like my first attempt at skateboarding, when I received a down to the bone skinned knee.
I remember a tree that looked like a man with huge arms trying to hold up the sky. I used to try and climb to the top until one day I did and couldn't get down.
I remember the man with the brown car who tried to convince me he was sent to pick me up by my mom. Number one: I lived with my grandparents. Number two: You didn't know the safety word. I recall when it finally occurred to me, I'm pretty fantastic.
It's not magic. I remember because I make comparisons, and not in terms of better or worse, just different. And not all of these memories are great, but they're mine. Which lends weight to the belief that none are our lives are put together on an a**embly line. We're not prepackaged with emotions or programmed with stories, we have to make our own. And they all come batteries not included. Amid the endless opportunities we have daily, seldom do we take the time necessary to pause; to stop; to record, rewind, and press play. In our own way we are all ghetto blasters at top volume. We consume silence with noise. Speakers pounding at our heartbeats as we write refund receipts for the broken eardrums of people that could hear us live. We give of ourselves time, precious because it's quality is limited only by your ability to live within it. Put yourself into every second of every minute and you will have a life worth remembering. Just because we don't have forever, doesn't mean we have to move towards the end as if we're on a conveyor belt. I feel nothing short of astonished when people ask me, "How do you memorize all that?"
The fact is, it's not a trick. There's no fake curtain you need to pull away. No little old man making it all work from behind a locked door. You yourself probably remember when I told you before that near a black hole, time slows. Inside a black hole, is where I wanted to grow tomatoes.