Song of the Week #5 – Something’s Going Down

Something’s Going Down by smallsins

Sometimes I have to consider myself fragile, and sometimes I have to consider myself paranoid. I feel like I can have such confidence in a personal relationship, but in an instant the house of cards could come crumbling down. Friends I’ve had for years can make one loaded remark, and I will wonder if they were ever my friends at all; my girlfriend can shoot me one stare and I’ll assume for a moment that she’s never loved me. So: fragile and paranoid, and I think sometimes I should add illogical to that list.

This is not a problem I talk about much. It’s nobody’s fault but my own; at least my fault in so far as it’s related to the way that I tend to perceive things. I think it stems from the underlying feeling that everything in life is destined for destruction. I love apocalypse movies. Zombie movies are amazing. Give me a quarantine scenario, or a shitty movie like 2012, and I will be glued to the screen for hours. This is probably because some part of me thinks that these scenarios could become reality at the tip of a hat. I’m not saying I believe that I will wake up tomorrow to a city full of Zombies, but there is a deep dark feeling that at least my comfortable world is always in danger of a collapse.

I am a lucky person with a good life: Supportive parents. Very little death around me. Comfortable financially. Loving girlfriend. An education. Never hungry. But do I deserve these things? No. I am lucky to have been born into them. I did not earn this, thus part of me thinks I do not deserve it. So, if you have something that you know you did not earn, should there not always be a fear of having it taken away? Say the ATM tells you there is more money in your account than you know you have. You’re happy because the error worked in your favour, but you can’t start spending that money because you know that when the bank figures out the mistake, the money – not rightfully yours to begin with – will eventually be taken back.

So, is this paranoia unfounded? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Perhaps the thought needs to be cross-referenced with a certain brand of insecurity that I also possess. ‘Where There’s Gold’ (Pot Calls Kettle Black track seven) touches on the subject as well. It’s about living a life you don’t feel you deserve, that someone else earned: ‘We live on the broken backs of our fathers’ enemies.’ And it’s true. Our ancestors died so that we could live the lives that we do now. ‘Something’s Going Down’ is more about the fragility of relationships, but it begs the same question: Is my paranoia legitimate? When I was a teenager I always loved the Cobain line, ‘Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not watching you.’ Are my friends really my friends? Probably, but there is always a sliver of doubt deep inside that I don’t know if I’ll ever shake. The love is there, and it’s my problem if I don’t know how to accept it.

Life is not perfect by any stretch, but overall if you take a step back, things are pretty good. It’s easy to feel like a brat complaining about the little things that don’t really matter. But how can we not all feel a sense of uncertainty? It always feels like the quiet before the storm, like something is about to ‘go down.’ We will probably wake up tomorrow and it will just be another day, but this uneasy feeling that something bad is about to happen will always be present inside of me. But if bad things do happen, will they just be the product of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Will I unconsciously be seeking the worst in everything? If I convince myself everything will be OK, then will that actually make everything OK?

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