"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Year and a Day to be Sure

I met her again (I didn't know at the time that it was her) at another show and we dated briefly over winter break. Then she stopped calling me as well. I worried that I had become the guy that women just stop calling. If I'm lucky they at least sleep with me before they stop calling.


After the jump (thanks Stereogum) you'll read Andy's John Cale mini-essay. I think that a song like "Andalucia" really does require a broken heart. I saw Cale perform this song in November 2004 in a converted church of a concert hall to about 30 people. Myself and my three female friends were the only people there under about 45. The funny thing is that the people who were there over 45 seemed uniformly baffled by Cale. They just stared in polite disdain or confusion. No matter. It was a splendid show. But "Andalucia" was the highlight. It reminds me of the summer of 1994. I was living in the desert and my loneliness was acute. I had a very short roomate with an affected surfer accent (he was from Connecticut) who wore a lot of eye makeup and smoked shake in the bathroom, exhaling through a toilet-paper tube, the end of which had been covered with a sheet of fabric softener. I'd listen to "Andalucia" and predict the future break-up with this girl who was dating me from a distance but who had a live-in boyfriend. Sometimes I'd show up at her house just minutes after he had departed. But those times were too few. Most of the time I sat in small, ugly room in the desert and played Paris 1919. And "Andalucia" seemed so perfect. I had already resigned myself to the knowledge that whatever relationship K. and had, it would be over sooner than later. Upon my return to Oregon in late October of that year, we began a six-week affair characterized not so much by sex but by copious consumption of chemicals. Not a weekend went by that didn't include tons of beer, liquor, ephedrine, marijuana, and sometimes mushrooms or acid. K. and I made out in the kitchen, stayed up all night in bed, sometimes slept outside on the trampoline. Every time I left her, or rather, whenever I sobered up, I was immediately struck by the re-realization that I was on the clock and midnight was coming. And I guess she was my first love, though I use that term loosely. One image from that period sticks in my head. One afternoon I stopped by to visit but K. wasn't home. Her roommates invited me in though (we were all good friends) and for some reason I had to go get something from her room. There, next to the bed in small light blue wastebasket were a couple of used condom wrappers. I hadn't seen her in several days.

Since then, I've had my heart broken many more times. As I've grown older though I've come to realize that women do shitty things to men, but it's usually in response to being treated shittily. My own emotional faucet runs hot and cold. And I think that being "nice" will somehow smooth over or compensate for those days I don't emote. And being nice never compensates. Gifts don't work. Even praise begins to sound like platitudes after a while. K. wasn't one of those girls. We were both too stoned to have feelings, or to worry about hurting them.

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