relatable if you hear Natalie Imbruglia's Torn every time you go to the grocery while living in suburban Tokyo
  1. ignorance
    you go to the grocery store the first few times. it's fine, you don't notice anything off. you're culture shocked as shit and can't read anything so you're a little overwhelmed and aren't really listening tbh
  2. initial recognition
    you're in the grocery store with your boyfriend, trying to decide what ice cream to buy when it comes on. Torn, by Natalie Imbruglia. it's one of those songs you've heard passively many times and recognize but don't know the title or anything. fortunately your boyfriend does. I guess she was bigger in Europe. anyway, you remark on it-an American song!-and don't think much of it
  3. joking
    the next time you're there you hear it again. what a coincidence! then it happens again. three times, that's so weird and funny! when you come back from the grocery you tell your boyfriend if it came on today. and it totally did, every time! that's crazy!
  4. annoyance
    it's late and you're making dinner and realize you didn't buy chicken to make curry with. you're tired and you're almost done at the store-in checkout-when you hear it. God, you're so tired of this song. why is it always on? who has the grocery store aux cord here?
  5. recognition II
    you start to recognize the other songs that also play on loop. there's 4 in total: one K-pop one that's mostly someone slowly singing "open your eyes." one where the only distinguishable line is "smile, smile, stay for a while." one that sounds like Horse With No Name by America initially but ultimately isn't. and of course-Fucking Torn, by Natalie Imbruglia
  6. obsession
    you read Natalie's Wikipedia page. also, for some reason, the only song in the four song canon you can find is Torn. the others can't be found. even googling all the lyrics you can think of is mostly unhelpful, with the exception of the "open your eyes" one-you find it's by a Korean group but can only find the lyrics written in broken English on some fan site. damn. you want this badly, for some reason. your boyfriend even googles "songs like Horse with No Name" what a terrible thing to google
  7. acceptance
    you start listening to podcasts while you grocery shop. all is drowned out, except-of course-for the frequent calls of "irrashaimaseeeeee" from the staff because this is Japan wer'e talking about
  8. renewal
    and just as quietly as it began, it ends. you never hear the song at the store again. it's replaced by a new loop of faintly unrecognizable pop songs. you don't even try to commit