I'm convinced, or at least I've convinced myself, that 'Clarity' by Jimmy Eat World is telling a story.
I don't know whether it's better to listen to each song, before reading the narrative for each track - or to listen while you read the narrative. Whatever you choose, it's best to listen to each song in their entirety.
Some of this may be a stretch, which I am OK to admit, but here goes.
1. Table For Glasses
Our story begins with a Boy. He sits alone.
He's lost deep in thought, when something grabs his attention.
Or, rather, someone.
Not just any girl, but the most beautiful girl he has ever seen.
There's something a little mysterious about this girl though.
She's dressed in a beautiful white dress, but it's visibly dirty.
He has questions, but one thing he knows for sure is that he is in love.
It happened fast.
Maybe too fast, but he doesn't care.
He needs to know more about this girl.
He is pretty clean cut, and maybe a little boring, but he's up for an adventure.
She is that adventure.
2. Lucky Denver Mint
The Girl is setting out on her own. Perhaps for the first time, or perhaps she's been here before. Either way, she feels free.
She has dreams, and she's not letting anything, or anyone, take that away from her.
In fact, there's only one thing that could take that away from her...herself.
She has been here before, setting out on her own.
In the past, however, her reckless tendencies were her downfall.
She's heard it all before, she needs to get herself straight.
She's tired of being held back by people telling her she can't, or that she won't. Who are they to think that they are bigger than her, and her problems?
This time she's on her own. No one to hold her down. No one to judge her.
3. Your New Aesthetic
Boy has worked up the nerve. He has talked to the Girl. He's even managed to convince her to let him join in on the adventure.
What Boy doesn't yet know is the recklessness that Girl lives with.
She let him in, and let him have a peak at how she lives her life. Chaotic. Loud.
She may have opened up, but her walls and defenses are still very much in place.
He will leave, just like everyone else.
But he promises he won't leave.
He's in love, and just trying to keep up.
But he will save her.
4. Believe In What You Want
Seasons change. People change too.
For now though, Boy thinks everything is perfect.
The adventure he was seeking, couldn't be more perfect. He is saving the girl he loves, whether she can see it or not.
In fact, she can't see it. She hears him, but she doesn't believe she can change. She's lived recklessly most of her life. This is who she is.
He isn't phased. He's got his girl, and he's sure and certain that he is just what she needs.
He views their relationship like a scene from a movie, or better yet a picturesque moment captured, and preserved in the beauty of a snow globe. A couple dancing, while snow slowly falls around them.
5. A Sunday
The scene opens inside a car.
Boy is driving, while Girl stares out the passenger window.
The reality of her lifestyle is setting in, but Boy isn't giving up.
He continues to fight for her, while she continues to push him away.
She's heard it all before. History repeats.
He tells her that her dreams aren't so far out of reach, if she'd just bring herself back from the cliff.
If she could straighten out, she'd see that he's just trying to help her. Her dreams are slipping out of her hands, but he can fix that. He can save her.
Winter is cold. Where it once was beautiful, it's now just cold and harsh.
He's feeling tired. Exhausted.
But he's also still feeling proud. He can't let her down, and admit that he can't save her.
He says nothing.
He feels cold. She can feel it.
He's frustrated, but also coming to a realization. If she'd just listen to him, she'd break clean. But, if she keeps listening to him, it may also break her clean in half.
He feels regret. He hates what he feels.
It's almost Christmas.
The roof is caving in.
There's nothing left to say.
They both know this.
All they can offer up, is an insincere 'Merry Christmas'.
She's been here before, but this time it's a little different.
She's tried to clean up, but can never follow through.
When it comes to accepting blame for her choices, her actions, she can't.
But neither can he.
They both have their poisons, and they're both addicted to them.
For her, it's recklessness.
For him, it's saving those who don't want to be saved.
Staying together allows them to feed those addictions.
So drink up.
9. Just Watch The Fireworks
Maybe a new start will pull them out.
Maybe a New Year will mark a new beginning.
He had said he would be there. He would save her. He will save her.
It doesn't matter what it takes. He's going to fight for her.
He's too proud not to.
She's also, maybe for the first time, filled with hope and optimism. But she's also afraid.
She's stepping into an unknown.
Still he stays. He will save her.
10. For Me This Is Heaven
This renewed hope leads to renewed passion.
He's in love, and this time she feels it too.
Laying out under the stars.
It's pure romance.
Not only is he feeling lost in this perfection, but he's also convinced he's saved her.
His 'great' plan has worked.
For the first time, she admits she is happy.
Time keeps ticking though...
Here we are again.
It was a short lived bliss.
She doesn't feel like she can do this. The pressure is too great.
She's breaking it off. She can't get far enough away.
She's convinced her shortcomings will end up with him leaving her, so she leaves him first.
He's left hurt. Yet he still loves.
For the first time he is seeing clear.
Maybe he can't save her.
If she doesn't want his love, and his fight, then she's better off walking away.
But he still can't quite let go. He'll wait for something better, but he's still hoping it's her.
Or is he?
Their relationship has been built on excuses.
She makes excuses for her choices, and he makes excuses as to why he has to stay, even if she's telling him it's not worth it.
It's time to go.
13. Goodbye Sky Harbor
She can breathe.
He can breathe.
Their anger and frustration is a thing of the past.
Looking back, it wasn't healthy, but it wasn't all bad.
She has used this to move forward. She's leaving, but she's taking a part of him with her.
He has given her hope, but they're just not good together.
Our story ends with optimism. Or does it?
Have they both come out on the other side, as better versions of themselves, or does this story loop over, and repeat again?