Happy Valentine’s Day, Zack.

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day often makes people groan more than flutter these days. It’s seen by many through a cynical lens, as a Hallmark-created holiday that puts too much pressure on people to force emotions. While I can understand that logic, I am a goober-filled softie, a romantic to the core, and I am happily with someone equally sentimental. So Zack and I take Valentine’s Day seriously.

Last year, for our first V-day together, it was also my first day of work at Apple. I was nervous and excited, and doubting myself a little as I got dressed and prepared to head off to my first-ever corporate gig. As I walked out my front door, a message scrawled out in sidewalk chalk greeted me. Zack had stopped by late the night before to write “I love you” in about eight different variations in front of my door and even on the fence around my porch. In the middle of a heart that also had “ZT + CW” in it, he had left me a huge bag of peanut butter M&M’s (our favorite), and a single rose. I totally melted at this gesture, and headed off to work with love in my heart and my head held high. We spent the night at our favorite Brazilian restaurant and shared smiles and gifts.

This year, I wanted to go above and beyond in a grand gesture, like he’d done for me, in hopes that his heart would be filled with love and he’d have months’ worth of happiness. So I decided to make a mix. Music brought Zack & I together, as we met on the last day of our beloved Austin City Limits music festival, chattering about all of the amazing bands we’d seen that weekend. When I drove Zack home from the shuttle stop, by chance I’d left LCD Soundsystem’s This Is Happening in my car’s CD player. As we were heading to first drop off my friends Pooneh and Melissa, we rambled on almost oblivious to anyone else being in the car with us, and when “I Can Change” came on, Zack stopped mid-sentence and said, “Oh my gosh, I love this song! It’s my absolute favorite on the record.” I said, “Oh man, I know, me too!” and we repeated it before letting the record continue on. Ever since, it’s been our song — the one we hold each other to, the one we include on each and every mix tape we make for one another, the one that will follow us into our future together.

Zack’s friend and beloved musician Ezra Furman recently covered the song for us in connection with a Kickstarter program to fund his new record. It was magic — goosebump-making, tearfully joyous pure magic — and I told Zack we should make a point to collect covers of the song by all of our favorite musicians as time goes on.

To me, “I Can Change” is a promise to cooperate and coordinate, to love someone unconditionally while doing everything in your power to live up to the wonderful person they bring out of you. Nobody in my life has ever inspired me to be a better human being than Zack. I find myself looking for the good in every situation now, and when bad thoughts creep in, reminding myself that I have the very best person possible always on my side, in my corner, and to hold my hand. I try things I would never have dared to, and see all of my blessings more easily, all because of Zack. He is the most passionate, curious, funny and intelligent person I have ever known, and I love all that I learn from him, and all that I get to share with him. I can say with certainty that he makes me better, and I feel so lucky to have sat behind him one warm Texas night on a shuttle bus, and that “…the Black Keys,” made me tap him on the shoulder.

I love you, Zack, and I hope you enjoy these gorgeous, unique renditions of “our song.” Never change, never change, never change, never change.

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4 Responses to “Happy Valentine’s Day, Zack.”

  1. Zack February 14, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I have never felt more loved in my life. Thank you so much! I will cherish these forever and find more of our favorite artists to cover our song, forever. ❤

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Very LCD Valentine @ Austin Writes Music - February 14, 2012

    […] “I Can Change” the day we met, and it’s always been ours, ever since. I wrote him a bit of an opus over at our shared blog, Rock Love Austin, and for Valentine’s Day, I also had some of our favorite local musicians cover our song for […]

  2. oh antonio - tony, toni, tone has done it again! - February 14, 2012

    […] was working on a super secret project for her man Zack for Valentine’s Day. She wanted to get several covers done of their song, “I Can Change” by LCD […]

  3. James Murphy (The Man) DJ Set | rockloveaustin - April 14, 2013

    […] former LCD Soundsystem front-man and current DJ/espresso aficionado James Murphy. As we’ve documented before, Caitlin was playing LCD Soundsystem in her car the night we met and “I Can Change” has […]

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