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I’m back at the French cafe where I used to sit every day two autumn’s ago. The waitress with the sad eyes cheers up when she sees me, and I’m happy she’s working today because it’s like meeting an old friend- even though I don't even know her name.
But I know her dad died that autumn. She told a customer once when she had been off work for a while. Her voice wobbled as she struggled not to cry.
It’s strange the things we learn about strangers.

I think about that sometimes. How everything we do affects people, without us even knowing it. A random comment online, a friendly smile on the bus, an overheard conversation between strangers, a song, a laughter, can be remembered for years and years, and change us a little.
Or a lot.
I wonder why we pretend that things don't stick. Why we tell ourselves that what we do doesn't matter to anyone else. Everything matters and people are puzzles with no edges, spreading further and further, adding pieces in no particular order.
The day we die we will be an intricate web of strangers we looked into the eye.

And I’m not saying we should go around and look every stranger in the eye because, ugh, that would be exhausting.
Just that I have a follower on instagram who doesn't like oatmeal and now I think about that every morning when I make my oatmeal.

/Lotta
One day I’m wearing knitted over the knee socks in fall shoes, and the next it’s back to bare feet and sandals again. I have a new playlist that I’m premiering when I walk to the coffee shop to write. It’s mostly bouncy, happy and mysterious songs, because that’s what fit my step.
One song ends and Tous les mêmes by Stromae begins. I had forgotten I had added that one.
I wait for the light to turn green and the refrain comes on and my knees give out. They pulse to the rhythm, back and forth, and the beat carries me up on my tippy toes before taking off on a journey up through my legs, around my torso, my neck and into a huge smile on my lips. I bob my head and the light switches to green and I kinda skip across the street and who fucking cares because “Rendez-vous, rendez vous, rendez-vous….” and I don't even know French but you better believe I’m singing along.
I wish I could put this on speaker for the entire world because I want everybody to bounce their way forward with smiles that won't accept to stay hidden inside.

I order my iced coffee and with it in hand I go in search for a seat on the full patio. A new song comes on and it’s Tomboy by Princess Nokia, and two girls get up from their table and I snatch a chair in semi shadow while I lip sync the words “with my little titties and my phat belly” and I laugh because I wish I had sung them aloud.
The skies are finally grey and an open window makes difference again.
I’m ready for new music to accompany my steps.
My nails are chipped, and the black polish is more not than there. I think about people who always have nice nails and I envy them, but at the same time; they must be robots.
I walk tall for the first time in years and feel the power that comes from a good posture.
I contemplate washing the grimy windows, but know that it isn't going to happen. Not now. Not soon.
My thoughts travel the same journey lately. Maybe they need to do that before they're complete. Finding my place, my dreams, my purpose in the day to day.
A new playlist starts with one song, and builds to a full soundtrack for this fall that is going to be like nothing I can plan for.
I’m ready to not be ready.

/Lotta
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I'm in the middle of in between.
Life’s been busy, exciting and overwhelming lately, and it feels safe to say that it’s about to be all those things soon again, but now is in between-time.
It reminds me of when we first came here. While it’s not the same, it has some connecting points, and that's what we do - find the similarities to create a sense of understanding.
Music resonates with me even more than usual, in a way that I can’t remember it having done before. I go way back in my playlists to find the most nostalgic ones, and every song throws me back in time to another place in time, shuffling out jumbled memories from my life.

The Coral- Dreaming of you
I’m walking the streets of Lund, finding my place in my very first apartment, living by myself, studying theatre history, and making new friends. I go out on the weekends and I dance until I’m a sweaty mess. It's wonderful and a little bit scary.
Regina Spektor- Some days
It's summer, I’m working at a group home in my old home town, singing loudly to the empty corridors in the evening, finding that I love this work but knowing clear as day “I should be acting, this is just temporary.”
Nick Drake- Northern Sky
Back in Lund but now it’s winter. Writing my first paper and studying for tests with a new friend, sitting in my mint green kitchen drinking tea and laughing at jokes from the tv show Friends that we both love and know every episode of by heart.
Bright eyes- Lover I don't have to love
A friend from class kills herself right around Halloween and I’m in shock. There’s so much sorrow and confusion mixed in with living life. Listening to music with sadness and power, and crying loudly with the melodies. So many wonderful, exciting things are happening but how can I be both sad and happy at the same time and I never expected to lose a friend like that. My view on life changes this fall.
Laura Marling- Cross your fingers
Living in Gothenburg now, walking home from a job that makes me miserable, but knowing that David is waiting in my apartment and we’ll take the tram over the bridge to the best Indian restaurant in town. Some days he leaves a funny, yet romantic, note on my coat room floor before taking the train back to his (and my old) hometown. I’m so very much in love.
Atomic Swing- Too late to exit
Going way back to the early 2000s, at the acting school in the middle of nowhere. I wake up early even though it's the weekend and none of my house mates are awake yet. I walk across the lawn outside the student houses, on my way to the gym, to dance alone on the large floor, feeling free and hopeful and rich with friends and creativity.
Florence The Machine- Rabbit Heart (Raise it up)
We have an apartment together now, with a large room for work. David is sitting by his computer on the other side of the room, and I’m editing photos of the jewelry I make and sell. We go for evening walks over the cemetery, and I long for a day when I can work creatively all hours of the day. Projects together, by myself, and no limits.

And now, here I am, standing in our LA kitchen crying because of all emotions possible. It's not sad, it’s powerful. And although music have always done this to me it’s almost too much now. Every song in this playlist have a memory attached to it and remembering everything at once is close to unbearable, but I crave it. It makes the in between-time less of an in between and more of a Right Now.
What songs will remind me of now if I only listen to songs connected to a different time?
Am I reshaping the memories connected to each song into something new?
Something now.


/Lotta
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