I heard this song for the first time about six years ago, almost to the very day.
In a record store where I was browsing, in a daze from a 5-hour journey and a boy who I'd seen all those miles ago just before setting off, coincidentally. A boy who was fast becoming a looked-for event, a sunlit presence, a favourite person. Who had consumed my thoughts the whole journey long, a new narrative unfurling itself, unawares. It wasn't until this song came on in the store that I realised, in what came as a surprise to me, that I was in the midst of falling for him. Falling into a feeling of a sudden blossoming sweetness, an instantaneous golden glow of liking, like nothing I'd felt before (it happened so fast, was so astonishing to me - I'd known him for ages, but now suddenly I was seeing him all anew.)
I didn't know it then, but now, looking back, that was my hook, line and sinker moment. This song captured it all. It was revelatory, it was rapture. That chorus. That riff with its sense of intoxicated falling, of complete immersion in a moment, the thrilling gold of a shared gaze, the giddy heart high of genuinely liking someone. That line 'you suddenly complete me...' sung in that low-slung note as an aside almost - well, it just amped up everything into instant clarification. There I was, among the shelves, stopped, stunned. Could this lovely softness, this overwhelming sweetness I was feeling really be the first inklings of... (gulp, gosh) - love? That very moment, the defining start point of a love story which was to flare up from there, was something more real, more surprising that I'd ever felt before. I can remember it so well; it was like filling up with honeyed happiness. Yep. That was it. Honey and gold and a hysteric heart.
Years later, now when that love is all over (so quick to begin, so long to get over...) and anger and sadness and regret (bigtime regret) have come and gone, I listen for the first time to an acoustic (sadder, slower) version of this same song and realise that that moment still exists in my memory like a goldmine, untarnished with time. And I need only go there for half a second to know that a love like that never entirely goes away or dissipates. Some residual feeling still lasts, no matter what time or events have passed. And always will, really. Because to feel something real like that, no matter its consequences or plot or ending, is always looked back on fondly, so very fondly.
Strange, isn't it.
You suddenly complete me
You suddenly complete me..."
"And these strange steps
Take us back, take us back..."