The infinite playlist

I had my second securities exam today, and had a few moments while walking around, listening to my iPod and generally relaxing beforehand. While I recall them, here they are.

I’m aware I have aggressively mediocre taste in music, you don’t need to remind me. All these song lyrics came up at some point before or after the exam, though I’ve shuffled the order for my own uses.


I never ever can remember
All the things that go bump in the night
Quietness uncovers
Betrayal now hovers
And my comfort levels not quite right
I’d love to stay and evaluate
But my torture can’t wait


Every time I take transit somewhere, I think to myself, “Colette does this walk every day.” I could see how you’d get tired of the walk from our place- for a seemingly short distance, it does wind a bit. The sun beat down on me on a warm summer afternoon- I’d already wondered if the backpack was necessary, but I knew I wanted to do a last review as I rode up on a couple chapters I’d gotten throttled on in the practice exam.

The exam loomed in my head, as my mind darted from place to place- trying to remember terms and definitions crammed into it from a week’s intensive study, hoping I wouldn’t need TOO many of the different ratio formulas, if I’d have to analyze an entire corporate statement, or whether the different kinds of market analysis would keep confusing me. No, I had that straight- technical was studying patterns, fundamental was looking at the prospects… wasn’t it?

Nickels and dimes into the ticket machine… I’m alone at the station, so I don’t feel self conscious. Hey, gotta find SOME use for ’em.


And I will walk on water
And you will catch me if I fall
And I will get lost into your eyes
And everything will be alright


Skimmed a few chapters of somewhat indecipherable notes on the train before the first throbs of a headache hit, so I put it away. The inane conversation of seatmates added to it- a couple more taps on the volume fixed that irritating distraction.

Inane guy comments to his friend that “he misses going to SAIT” as I excuse myself and push past them politely, stepping off. A look at the watch- I’m well ahead of schedule (as I had foreseen).

I walk through to the campus through a building, the faint smell of chlorine reminding me of a pool- must be the athletic centre. I feel like an impostor here, on this campus I don’t really know, even as it mixes with feelings of nostalgia for things I’d had before, wondering if I’d missed some crucial part of the university experience in the way that I did it.

I debated dinner briefly- I wasn’t quite hungry, but knew I would be at an inopportune time if I didn’t eat. I’d come up early enough to grab a bite… even if it meant more walking to the other side of campus.

Feeling the sun, relishing the near solitude with my music, that was fine with me.


And why should everything change, ’cause you decide to remain
We’re too late, took too long
Yeah I thought that we could have had it all


Admittedly, I wasn’t thinking Arbys, but it was the best of a short list in the area. When in Rome…

I thought I saw someone I recognized as I went there, but he was too far away and the situation was too absurd for me to pursue it. I’d never met him in person before, and it was as if doing that, here and now, would disrupt my rhythm in some unrecoverable way. I would have to explain what I was here for, why I was doing it, and give context to him and others that I wasn’t ready or willing to provide.

He and his family drove off, taking away the debate.

Is it bad that I thought of all that? I let that marinate in my mind as I ordered, almost turning down curly fries in my distraction. That WOULD have been cause for some concern.

The earbuds came back in quickly, needing to find that separation, some peace before writing the test. I’d probably take another look at my notes in the building, just to make sure. But Chicken, bacon, and swiss (and curly fries) were more pressing concerns at the moment.


I have this secret that I let nobody see
It’s like a split personality
And the one I feed is the one who lives
The one I starve will be the one who gives


I ran into a co-worker studying, someone who’d subbed at our branch a while back, and helped train me (kind of). Well, he spotted me- I’d probably have ducked him, given my singular, loner focus at the moment.

He was writing at the same time as me, though a different exam. There was someone else I knew writing as well, though I didn’t notice her until they called her name in the room. It didn’t matter then.

After the appropriate amount of small talk- he seemed to want to get back to studying as well- I bid farewell, feeling slightly better even as I found another place to sit, cracking open the notes and a textbook for a final push before heading up to the exam room. The quiet in the atrium was unnerving, in a way, even without the music.


Listening for voices, but it’s the choices that make us who we are
Go your own way, even seasons have changed just burn those new leaves over
So self-absorbed you’ve seemed to ignore the prayers that have already come about
This is the correlation of salvation and love


I felt like I’d been in that room before, in May when I wrote the first one. But I think that one was on the third floor. Though one of the invigilators was the same.

(I’d looked up ‘invigilator’ after the last exam, certain they’d made the term up. Unfortunately, it does exist.)

(I’m not sure why that’s unfortunate, actually. I think I just didn’t like the word.)

I kept at my music as the room filled up, some people still getting in last minute cramming. Me, I was letting the music prep me, even as I felt the first onset of nerves as the clock got closer to the proverbial midnight, silently pep-talking myself, my notes and textbook remaining in the bag, unopened in here, even as others had theirs.

I didn’t need them. I hoped.


And if you wanna find me I’ll be out in the sandbox
Wondering where the hell all the love has gone
Just playing my guitar and building castles in the sun, whoa-oo-oh-oo-oh
And singin’ fun fun fun


Felt good coming out- not perfect by any stretch- ten questions and twenty minutes in, I had more than a little doubt. My near-perfect bubble was punctured when I had to go back in to retrieve my nearly forgotten ID, but the invigilator didn’t seem to make too much of it. Yeah, I was probably the first person ever to do THAT, given that we had to have them on our desk when we received our exams.

The headaches, the stress, the weariness that had dogged me the past week was gone, all gone. I was feeling absurdly light as I walked out of the building. I was going to go home and box for an hour. Or run for a while. Maybe play a game of Madden with Dennis, and high five every time he gets that lead block to spring Parker for a long run, something he relishes doing during our co-op sessions.

The lonely walk back across the campus, which I was already going to privately enjoy, was better than I thought. A soccer game at the field by the athletic building was the singular bit of activity, and I was otherwise unopposed back to the station.


You and I, we’re not tied to the ground
Not falling but rising like rolling around
Eyes closed above the rooftops
Eyes closed were gonna spin through the stars
Our arms wide as the sky we gonna ride the blue
All the way to the end of the world


The late evening was a welcome chill as I walked back from the station, darkness only starting to make itself known. One of the best parts of summer, the light going well into the evening- I know I’m going to miss it, sooner than I think. The lightness in my step had faded somewhat, already looking forward to what else I’d need to accomplish this week, of responsibilities and inner musings that had been stewing, other courses I’d want to/ have to take for work, as suggested by others around me or my own research into the subject.

Those thoughts and others that had been playing on my mind were with me as I got home, ambushed by the heat of our doorway and living room as I walked inside, immediately going for the windows and doors to get some air going, barely saying “hi” to Dennis or dropping my backpack in my room before setting about this thing that needed to be done RIGHT NOW.

Because the house won’t cool itself, you know.


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