Uninvited

from by Ian McFeron

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Uninvited - Story

When I was in college I was chosen to take part in a conflict and reconciliation study over seas. We would spend three months studying in Belfast, three months in Cape Town, and three months in Cyprus. The program was called “Memory, Identity, Conflict and Dialogue.” It aimed to give us an appreciation for the complex social struggles and the violent history that drives political unrest. We thought we were gonna save the world. Turns out the world is a complicated place.

I was twenty years old, and I was going with a girl that I had been seeing since high-school. The summer before I left was hard. It was like the approach of all those thousands of miles and all those months of separation squeezed some things out of us. She told me she had done something bad early in our relationship, something that she had kept from me all these years. I felt angry and betrayed. I said I didn’t want to do the long distance thing. I wanted to break it off before I left. Turns out our relationship wasn’t going so hot.

So I went all those thousands of miles away and I spent those months in those foreign places. The only foreign country I had ever been to before that was Canada, and that was just BC a hundred miles north of my home. I left with my heart feeling raw and damaged and I let some poison in. The bitter black stuff that slithers through places where violence and bloodshed has occurred. I’d never been much of a drinker, but I started drinking. More black stuff slithered in.

The people I was with on the program had become like family to me. They were there for me right through to the end, and they are like family to me still. It made it hard to tell them that I couldn’t go on to Cyprus. I had to go back home and figure out how I had gotten myself so tangled up. I remember seeing a photograph of myself from that time of my life and it was like looking at someone who had been all hollowed out. I had to go back to the people I had known before. I had to collect those bright little bits of myself I had left with them and sow those pieces back into myself. I had to grow that person back again.

So I landed in Seattle after 50 hours of traveling from Johannesburg through Amsterdam. I was glad to see my family, and I thought about the girl I had left at home. There had been some hurtful phone conversations and she wasn’t returning my calls. So one night I walked over to her house. It was a good three mile walk, and I don’t remember if I had meant to end up there or not. I showed up at her place and it was late but the light in her room was on so I figured she must be up studying. She answered the door wearing one of my old college sweatshirts. The talk didn’t go like it had in my mind on the way there. I remember feeling the weight of all that hurt in the pit of my stomach. I just wanted to be inside there; to lie down in her bed in the familiar smell of her sheets. I wanted to let it all out. She was someone that really knew me. I thought, “maybe she can help me put this back together again.” She didn’t invite me in.

It was early April and I remember I could smell the Lily of the Valley in bloom. The cherry blossoms were about ready to burst. I looked at the porch light above my head and saw a million tiny gnats circling like planets around a sun. “Well can I have my sweatshirt back?” She shook her head no.

She didn’t invite me in.

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lyrics

Uninvited - Lyrics

I didn’t mean to come here uninvited
But I saw the light up in your room
Sometimes when you come back
When you’ve been far from home
It’s nice to see someone you know

So can I stay with you
While the sun goes down?
Can I lay here with you
While the stars circle round?
That’s all I want
To do

I didn’t mean to leave you stranded
I didn’t mean to be careless with your trust
Sometimes you get sick
Sometimes the pain is so thick
You just can’t do the things you must

You say people don’t change
But honey I’ve changed a lot
Sometimes it just takes longer than you thought

credits

from Radio, released February 27, 2015

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Ian McFeron Seattle, Washington

Ian McFeron’s writing has been compared to Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Ryan Adams. Over the course of a decade-long independent music career, he has attracted media attention stretching across the Atlantic. He currently tours in support of his 7th album Time Will Take You, recorded in Nashville with members of Ryan Adams band The Cardinals as well as Patty Griffin and John Hiatt’s touring bands. ... more

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