I’ve re-entered high school. Well, in the sense that I’m all The Smiths all the time. (They are just so darn crazy awesome.) So while I was driving down for a visit with the parents, I happened to listen to “I Know It’s Over.” This is the song I played over and over and over and over…. after Robert told me it was over. What I love about this song is how the sadness builds. The beginning is sad enough, for sure. Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head. But the music is rather calm–a few guitar strums in the background and barely, if any, drums. But then the guitars pick up and the drums kick in. I know it’s over and it never really began. But in my heart it was so real. And then by the end, even though Morrissey sings the same lines as the beginning, it’s as if he’s crying out this time, as if the pain has grown and grown and grown. Oh mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head. It’s as if he really can. And so could I. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I drove along on the highway. I’d lost Robert all over again…all these years later.
I wish music were still that way. Patiently building, sad lyric upon sad lyric and guitars layered on top of drums and more guitar. But it’s not. It’s instant gratification now. It’s “bitches” and getting “fucked up.” There’s no “It’s so easy to laugh, it’s so easy to hate. It takes strength to be gentle and kind.” It’s screaming and swearing and a slam of the guitar. And really, why be melancholy when you can go home to your computer and click, click, click…and find another soul mate?
Because isn’t that what dating has become now? I read a blog post on how great online dating is. I just don’t think so. Online dating is like music these days. There’s no courtship leading to a romantic kiss or even to an epic fail. It’s click, click, click…I don’t like you instantly. Or click, click, click…your boobs are big enough so I’ll hide behind my computer screen and send you a message full of mistakes and incorrect grammar. And I’m supposed to find my soul mate this way? Nope. Not for me. I’m with Morrissey. Not to mix song metaphors, but I want someone who’ll scratch my name on his arm with a fountain pen. This means he really loves me. Not click, click, click…
All this made me think of another high school memory. There’s one picture from high school that I will never forget. I still look at it, even today…that black and white group picture from senior Homecoming. We ate dinner and took pictures at one of the guy’s sister’s art studio, and this picture is as unique as the experience. There’s a splattered canvas in the background and each couple is in a different pose. One couple is kissing while another sits side-by-side with heads tilted in like little kids. One girl is dramatically lying across her date’s lap, and my date is holding me up like we’re crossing the threshold of our bridal suite. These were not my closest friends. In fact, one girl I didn’t even know before that night. But it was fun. My cute, cute date is holding me amongst strangers and half-friends, and we’re laughing. And I loved it.
If this were a series of choices from an internet site called eHomecoming, I never would’ve picked this photo. Not ever. Yet it was the one that scratched its name on my arm with a fountain pen. It was a slow build into a wonderful night. And that made it perfect.
And this is why I’m on my own tonight, with my triumphs and my charms, while they’re in each other’s arms. I’m waiting for the song to build to an ending that makes me feel something real. Something that can’t be click, click, clicked.