A few years ago, my husband told me that watching a Placebo video ruined his experience of the band. He'd pictured them looking like this:
In reality, they look like this:
It isn't that there's anything wrong with the looks of the real Placebo necessarily; it just wasn't what he'd been imagining from having heard their music and lyrics.
At the time that he told me that, I thought he was being weird. Maybe even shallow. But recently, I experienced something similar.
Sometimes, I listen to Carolina Liar, and I'm pretty sure it's ONE TREE HILL's fault. There's this one, song "Last Night," which is about one-night stands. This line just depresses me: You can give her the world and then eight hours later, You can't even put a face to her name
A face to her name? That's like, whoa, right? It's so cynical and moody and sad.
To the best of my recollections, in my mind, the person singing these melancholy words (along with the totally upbeat music) looked something like this:
I discovered that he actually looks like this:
I don't know why it matters, but it does. The line is still depressing when the lead singer looks more like Jesus than Zac Efron. (Although, ZE is just a placeholder here because the person I'd imagined wasn't actually him.) But somehow, it doesn't feel the same. The image in my mind and the feelings that went along with it are gone forever, and I don't experience the song the same way anymore.
It's kind of like when I read a book and then they make a movie or TV show from it. When I see the movie, everything I'd imagined before becomes erased from my memory. I can't remember what my original Hogwarts and Hermione looked like, but I know they weren't like what I've seen in the films. The kids from THE GOSSIP GIRL books now look like the actors from the TV show. And I haven't even seen THE TIME-TRAVELER'S WIFE movie, but the trailer was enough to make me forever forget whatever Henry and Clare used to look like to me.
It's a strange thing, having all of these missing pieces in my memory that I can't get back now matter how hard I try. The images are so fragile and precarious. So easily replaced.
(Weird. I just realized that the actors in NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST movie have now replaced all of the characters as I'd imagined them in the book with the exception of Nick. I guess because my brain doesn't accept Michael Cera as Nick, I'm still able to retain my original imagining. I'm glad. It would have been a shame to lose him.)