“Another Lonely Day” by Ben Harper
A friend made a mixed tape for me the first summer I lived alone in Providence. It was the last mixed tape I ever received, and I’ve forgotten all the songs on it except for Ben Harper’s “Another Lonely Day,” which my friend included as a prescription for my losvesick soul. Because those were the years when only melancholy could console melancholy.
Listening to the song now reminds me of a whole other way of hearing music: the full-body, sad-listening of youth, and the almost religious belief that a song belonged to you, spoke to your internal struggle, and pointed to a slightly better future—but only after some self-pitying days ahead.
That prognosis suited me. I didn’t want to be lonely but reveled in being lonely. When the song ended, I would press rewind, the scratch of tape a satisfying kind of waiting.
Sara Schaff is the author of the short story collection Say Something Nice About Me (Augury Books). Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, LitHub, Southern Humanities Review, Hobart, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She has taught creative writing at Oberlin College and the University of Michigan and currently teaches fiction, creative nonfiction, and playwriting at St. Lawrence University.
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