"And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears."
--Mumford & Sons, "After the Storm"
The first time I recognized Mumford & Sons, I was sitting in the passenger seat in Memphis' pickup truck. It was raining and he was lazily driving back to his apartment Uptown.
"Wait. Who is this?" I asked, staring at his radio.
"Mumford & Sons. I think this song is called 'Little Lion Man.'"
"Turn it up. I like it."
The second time I heard the band, I was lying naked atop The Hungarian's bed. As soon as I realized things would never go anywhere with him, I accepted his advances and slept with him. I had yet to meet Valdosta and I still wanted to get my jollies while the opportunity was there.
For awhile I would show up at The Hungarian's doorstep, strip off of my clothes and walk naked up the stairs to his bedroom. I never felt so empowered as I did while he followed me up the stairs.
We'd have sex and listen to music. If either of us smoked, we'd be doing that too because it so perfectly fit the scene. So we were lying naked on his bed and The Hungarian would play me music from his iPad on his Apple TV.
He turned on Mumford & Sons. This time it was "The Cave."
I inhaled sharply. "I love this band."
"I know. It's good."
On my second date with Valdosta, he had the Mumford & Son's album playing while we were driving through town in his car. I had switched it to "The Cave" when I first kissed him in his car.
Because that ended up being the epic 10-hour date as we drive to dinner, heavy metal karaoke, my apartment, pancakes and his apartment, we heard the entire album. Val turned up the volume to "Timshel." "This is my favorite song," he told me.
For Thanksgiving, Government Mule gave me his old 20 GB iPod and filled it with music for me. I had used it for my drive up and down the East Coast. As I travelled North again for my Grandmother's funeral, I was listening to the iPod.
He filled it with the music I love. Really terrible music from the 80's and 90's. I was singing along with Jon Secada, Milli Vanilli, Erasure, you name it. I would just put the iPod on shuffle and squeal with every new song. I don't think Government Mule realizes that his gift made my entire Thanksgiving and weeks after.
I had just finished rocking out to Skid Row when it shuffled again. Mumford & Sons' "The Cave" began to play.
"What? No way!" I said to myself.
I about swerved off of I-95 as I scrolled through the iPod containing 2,500 songs and discovered that Government Mule had put the entire Mumford & Sons album on there weeks ago. I called him.
"I can't believe the album is on here. I just discovered it this week. I looooooooove it!" I cooed at him.
"You are the only person I can share my taste of music with," he answered. "Listen to 'White Blank Page;' that's my favorite."
On the car ride, I could not grasp the role this band has so unexpectedly and so significantly played in my life. Every man had brought it to me within days of each other. I turned up the volume.
Valdosta was sitting in front of his lap top as I came out of his bathroom. He turned on the Mumford & Sons album again.
"So I discovered that I already had this album in my iPod. I listened to it for 5 hours straight as I drove through South Carolina and North Carolina."
"Did you think of me?" he asked innocently.
"I did. I couldn't remember which song was your favorite."
"The one with his buddies' last name: 'Timshel,'" he said.
He stood up and grabbed me by the waist and began kissing me. Long, good kisses. The music continued to play. I pulled away.
"I know this song," I said. "It's called 'After the Storm.' It's one of my favorites on the album."
He smiled at me. "It is." He began kissing me again. I began to feel unbalanced so I moved my foot. And that's when I realized it.
We were dancing.