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A Swift conversion

Published April 1, 2022


Photos courtesy of Eva Rinaldi; Design by Connor Martin

Just the other day, I gave a start upon seeing the figure looking back in the mirror. Of course, it was me. But she felt different.

Unbeknownst to her, a change had been festering, a fearsome and fecund ivy.

This new woman, person, entity, realized she was finally one of them. Those who had accepted the Gift—sacred knowledge that a certain discography reigned supreme. The artist, the witch, had snatched yet another innocent yet again, as swiftly as her name.

It’s taken a few moons to process, but now I know for sure. And the affliction will come for you, too. Once you’re in her Nation, there’s no escape.

The symptoms, at first, begin mildly.

“Blank Space,” once enjoyed in passing, now turns you feral from the beginning of its spacey, beckoning open notes. “Nice to meet you, where you been? I could show you incredible things.” Just the first lines induce a frenzy (think screaming, crying, perfect storms).

Then, you find yourself unabashedly adopting a country twang whenever “Our Song” or “I Bet You Think About Me” arrives in the queue. But you’re from an island in the Pacific, cries a voice in the back of your mind. Time dulls it… there is only Accent.

And most dastardly, the casually cruel trick that hounds you as all your fellow year 2000-born companions celebrate their birthdays, month after month: Suddenly you’re infested with earworms whenever the number 22 arises.

In true Georgetown fashion, your email will light up with a GCal notification. And there it stands. It feels like a perfect night, you find yourself whispering, alone in a room. Without fail, you’ll hear out of the empty, slightly chilly air a response: To dress up like hipsters, and make fun of our exes. Uh-oh. Uh-oh… 

“It’ll never catch me,” you might say smugly. “I could never get into her.” She’s so mainstream, you’ve protested. What is it about her that has the populace tripping over themselves for her time and time again? You comfort yourself with lies, staving off the tide. Feebly.

I, too, once tried to resist the cult, joining in the stale tradition of judgment surrounding the buzz of her music. Why her? But it does you no good; rather, it holds you back from becoming your most charged and cosmic self.

Soon the facts will catch up to you: the pristine bridges. The stunning lyricism. The sheer range of her catalog, each album a distinct magnate in its own right (with the exception of the siren sister albums). The quicker you give in, the better. Recognize the pull of her genius. The transcendence of her tokens: salt, air, the rust on your door.

Eventually you’ll find yourself where I am. Come to terms with its inevitability. Struggle and resist as I might, I’ve become one of them now. In front of the mirror today, I glimpsed the Creature lurking within—and smiled back.

Soon you’ll be with us, too. Behold the Tay-Lord. See you at the next gathering… Are you ready for it?

 


Emma Chuck
Emma is a senior in the College majoring in English.


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