I was never cool in school.
When I was 14, I bought the single ‘Brick’, I’m not sure what resonance it had with me past it being a sad song but I played it repeatedly at the behest of my boarding school roommate, Jeni and cried.
When I was 16, I developed an infatuation on a boy called Simon, who covered the song ‘Magic’ during a lunchtime concert at school. I tried to talk to him about Ben Folds at a party and he walked away mid sentence. 8 years later, he added me on Facebook. I declined and listened to ‘The Unauthorised Biography of Reinhold Messner’ instead.
When I was 24, I bought the rest of the Ben Folds Five albums. Then, for unrelated reasons, my marriage ended. I acquired all of his solo work (Except for ‘Fear of Pop’, which I don’t get, but that’s ok).
When I was 25, I listened to ‘Songs For Silverman’ every day for 6 months. I went to see him live. I cried through ‘Landed’. I waited after the show, I shouted his name, he signed my piano book. I’d started lessons to learn to play his songs. He recommended I try some Bela Bartok. I did.
When I was 26, I lost that book in a move back to the UK, I let the person whose fault it was off but was devastated.
When I was 29 (tonight), I went to see the reunion show. My boyfriend held my hand throughout. I didn’t wait after, or buy a shirt because after all this history, it doesn’t seem important. The memory is enough.