Today's song comes to you from Frank Turner. Someone who was once the frontman of a hardcore post-punk band started making music as a singer/songwriter (the genre I'd put him in now is a weird mix of folk, punk, and pop rock). But anyway, there's a Million Dead (his former band) song he covered called Smiling at Strangers on Trains that accurately and intelligently describes what it feels like to live in the world of missed connections.
Maybe you were at a party one night, it's a Halloween party, and someone comes up to you and says they like your face. You have a chat for a bit until they disappear from your life for what feels like forever. Eventually, you meet them again, and again, and again. But you don't become friends. You kind of just live on the periphery of their lives. You find yourself on public transit, wondering what things could have been like for you and your stranger.
Then this song comes on and gives you what you need to hear. The chorus emphasizes the oxymoron of someone being so close yet so far away and Turner's lyrics really make you feel that. You live in the world of his song for a couple minutes and it helps you validate your feelings. And I'll smile to myself and feel alright that I'm not the only person in the world that feels this way.
Your shadow is with me wherever I go. It's on the tip of my tongue but still I never quite know, or can't quite remember. I don't quite remember. The forced proximity of a million different Mike Leigh movies makes me long for the fresh air of a familiar face and not the violence of loneliness nor the unease of surrounded seclusion. I keep nearly missing you around corners and in passing trains.
And if I'd known that you weren't so far away, that you were never that far away I could've rode this train smiling.