Friday, March 09, 2007

Reflections on Songs and Men

Something about being home makes me reflective. Maybe it's the boredom. I can't really go off for too long since my brother has stuff he needs to do and my Mom, who just came home today, can't be left alone in case she needs to get up or down stairs. But when I go out to do errands I like to go by myself so I can listen to the radio and sing along without anybody judging me for my questionable song preferences. I love cheesy pop songs that remind me of certain times of my life. I wish it weren't bone-chillingly cold so I could roll the windows down and feel the wind in my hair while I sing. The quiet control of moving so quickly, alone, is wonderful and something I don't really get when I'm driving in Boston.

The song that pop radio is most enamoured with right now is DAUGHTRY's "It's Not Over." It's early in the game, but Chris Daughtry's association with American Idol has become secondary to his fame, much like Kelly Clarkson. His album is actually good, without the caveat "...for an American Idol album." "It's Not Over" is a great radio pop-rock song. My favorite line is "a part of me is dead and in the ground/ this love is killing me because you're the only one..." It speaks to me because a part of me is in fact dead and in the ground (my dad), but it also works on all the guys I've dated who I've had to metaphorically bury.

Right now, guys I've dated are on my mind. Being home reminds me of the first time I was in love, and when I hear "Once in a Lifetime" while driving down a certain stretch of road, I remember the night I lost my virginity, the sun just beginning to set later at night, the sky turning purple as he drove me back to my car. Just hearing the words "and you may say to yourself, my God, what have I done?!" comforted me in that moment when I wasn't sure. Wasn't sure if I was any good, wasn't sure if I looked okay or if I made the right noises, wasn't sure if anything would change between us, wasn't sure if I'd manage to avoid getting pregnant. That guy managed to manipulate me into more sex, but I eventually realized I was worth more than his shit and kicked him out of my life. I was so scared I shook when I told him I hated how he treated me, and that he could never make it right. My God, what have I done? But I haven't spoken to him since. Sadly, it's one of the proudest accomplishments of my life to have not given him another chance.

The next guy was years later, and was my first actual relationship. I loved being with him. I loved that he would drop me off at work in the morning. The mid-day text messages made me happy. We looked great together-- a cute couple. We had a spark between us and I'm a sucker for a spark. Unfortunately, sparks also cause fights. We should probably have only dated for six months, but we went on and off for nearly a year and a half. He was my boyfriend. Then he dumped me. Then we got drunk at a party and started play-fighting. Then we started talking. Then started with the clandestine sex. Then our friends caught on, but we weren't dating. After a blowout fight, we began dating. Another big fight, then we broke up. During the time while he was debating whether our latest fight was surmountable, I was listening to Nine Inch Nails' album "With Teeth" incessantly. The song "Every Day is Exactly the Same" was on rotation in my head. The words "there is no love here/ and there is no pain" turned into worn stones in my mind as we eventaully got together to formally break it off. I tried to stay away from him, but we kept seeing each other. Right before I left for Italy last year, we had sex again. While in Italy, I hauled my ass all over Venice, trying to find a small glass parrot to bring back to him because I said I would. The only glass parrots I found were huge, so I just took a picture to show him. I hoped it would be enough. For a man I wasn't dating. I sucked a year ago.

I came back from Italy a year ago yesterday. A year ago today, I found out what my whatever had done right before I left. The day before he had sex with me, he'd gotten one of my good friends so hammered she couldn't even type words, then basically date-raped her. She described it to me as her "not saying no enough, I guess." He told her how now when we talked about his sexual activities she'd have a basis of comparison. Horrible, horrible things. My friend told me what happened, in tears, telling me that she understood if I didn't want to be her friend anymore. Since she came to me first, and was so upset and guilty about what had happened while he had been turned on by it and failed to mention it, she proved her friendship to me.

When I confronted him, he never said "I'm sorry." He made excuses, he told me that he didn't cheat on me (which wasn't the issue), told me that she was asking for it, basically. Finally, I got to yell at him, not concerned with being an adult or being polite, but just read him the riot act. Aside from a voicemail he left on my phone, I haven't spoken to him or heard from him since. After I told our mutual friends what had happened, he lost all his friends. I'm a firm believer in karma doing my dirty work, so just being my ex sucks more than anything I could do to him. Again, it's another proud moment for me to not have given in on checking his MySpace or reading his blog, not even once. My friends didn't think I'd cut him dead since I put up with so much from him, but that was it.

Having said that, Carrie Underwood's song "Before He Cheats" is the catharsis I want without any of the potential lawsuits. I'm not much of a country fan, nor a Carrie Underwood fan, but the nastiness in her voice in that song is amazing. The snarl when she describes bashing out her date-raping ex's headlights is perfect. I love a woman done wrong song. It's been on my iPod for over a month, but I sang along loudly last night after I got a call from my friend, saying that the elevator doors in her office building opened up, and date-raping douchebag was waiting outside. She froze, then when he tried to talk to her she booked it out of the elevators and called me. I don't know how she handled it. Over the course of this year, the knots in my stomach when I see a car like his or a haircut and build like his have faded. Occasionally, I think I see him and a panic rises up in me for some reason. If I actually saw him, I'd either a) kick him in the dick, b) puke or c) just be numb. Ideally, I'd like to look smoking hot (I've lost weight since we broke up) and just keep my cool around him, to not even acknowledge his existence on this planet. I could do that, then find his car and take a Louisville Slugger to both headlights.

There have been other guys, and they all have their songs. This summer's fling ruined "Closer" for me for a while, which I've since gotten over. Some songs just can't be sullied by a man. The Shins playing at the Local after a hot Scotsman grabbed my ass, told me how cute I was, then ran off after his friend and didn't come back.

1 comment:

Beth said...

//Sadly, it's one of the proudest accomplishments of my life to have not given him another chance.//

I don't find this sad. Especially for a young woman, I find it very laudible.

Also, thank God "Closer" isn't ruined forever. ;-)