Frank and Nostalgia
The first time I listened to Frank Ocean was when I was a bright eyed Freshman who mistakenly fell in love with a boy named Mike. Well, I don’t think I was in love with him at the time when i first heard Frank, but Frank had a lot do with it all. You see, Frank sang the song of the “ringtone” Mike had given me, which had never been done for me before. Heck, I didn’t really talk to anyone on the phone, period. That song “Thinkin Bout You” became my first love song for a boy and fell to dwindle to my 1st heartbreak experience song. Mike was the second boy I ever fell in love with, told me he wanted to remain as “friends”, and could move on in life like nothing had ever happened.
It took me maybe 2 years to finally move on. I was embarrassed, sickened and ashamed that I’d been left so wide open and vulnerable for being so human. I was angry, hurt, and raw that he could move on without anyone knowing how rotten he could be; it seemed as though everyone still loves him.
I deleted Frank’s song and vowed to never listen to it again. Maybe a year later, I listened to Channel Orange for the first time and fell in love. I still skipped over that one song, but everything else felt so warm and carefree. I felt as though I could be having brunch at Martha’s Vineyard or tasting the salty breeze on top of a house by the bay while watching the sunset. Frank gave me feelings of being an open carefree black kid from the suburbs finding myself in life. He gave me a sense of futuristic nostalgia and deja vu. I listened to more tracks by Frank and I felt like we could get along despite the doings of the past.
At 12:07am, I gave Frank’s new project a listen (you know, the one called ‘Endless’). Somewhere along 17:17 into the album, I came across an old blog I used to run my freshman year and I began to look through all my old posts. I used to write “back in the day.” I even wrote a few things along with Mike. Just like Frank’s song, I, too, never looked back on those lines of poetry…until that night. I read it with no attachment. I had no connection with what I was reading but I also felt like I could remember how it did feel. I was in love. I was happy and had found a sense of joy. Not necessarily in a man, but with a man that helped me become the woman I am today. I thought a lot that night on how much I’ve grown and changed since then. My ambitions are still the same, just more profound and mature like wine. The daydreams I once had, still remain true. Frank and Mike did a lot for me in some sense, so I feel the need to say thanks.