Today Natalie and I drove to the mall and upon arrival Natalie looked across the eisle and noticed a man, remarking “Look at that funny guy!” We were playing Light in the Dark from Next to Normal, which always conjures up sad feelings and when I looked up at the man the light piano cords that make you feel teary were playing and I suddenly became absolutely overwhelmed with unexpected emotion and I felt so much unexpected empathy for this man.
“Natalie…” I said, “he came to the mall all by himself, he bought himself ice cream all alone…” Then OUT OF NOWHERE I started crying! Yes, crying! I felt so horribly that no one in this mans family would go to the mall with him, especially right after father’s day. Maybe he was spending the gift cards he’d gotten as gifts from his children alone, or maybe his wife died and he had to do all the shopping on his own now, or maybe he was recently divorced and trying to cope with a night out. No matter what the reason I felt really bad for him and eventually started laughing at myself for crying in the first place…that was probably the strangest thing that has ever happened to me. I honestly think that chord progressions coupled with the right imagry can do that to you.