We Walk the Same Line

On the recommendation of a high school friend, I’ve been reading Love is a Mixtape while I’m nursing/running/in the three seconds before I fall asleep at night. It’s a good book for me right now. In these exhausted days of newborn-parenthood as a reminder of how short life might be. In 2017 as a portal to the early 90s, from the Trump era to one in which the coolest girl I knew had a “Subvert the Dominant Paradigm” bumper sticker on her Honda Civic. In the square middle of adulthood to early-twenties nights in college towns to the soundtrack of Pavement.

One of the (many) songs the book has brought back into my life is Everything But the Girl’s “We Walk the Same Line.”

In high school, my best friend and I loved this song. I felt like we’d discovered Everything But the Girl, even though everyone knew “Missing,” because it was a B-Side. We drove around Connecticut’s poorly lit state highways, buying 89-cent gas to “We Walk the Same Line,” with near-obsession confessional talks of fears and hopes and secrets.

At the time, whether I thought this consciously or not, the song might have been about our friendship. Now, seventeen years later, on Valentine’s morning, I sent it to my old friend. I also sent it to my husband. And sang it to my son. Certainly nostalgia is playing a (heavy?) hand in my feeling of connection to this song, but right now I think this is the ultimate, versatile love song.

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