Friday, 29 April 2011
A piece of writing i found from a long time ago that may bring clarity to someone.
They fall in love.
The falling in lasts four minutes.
The falling out lasts forever.
And perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to be. People meet. They unmeet. They spend the rest of their lives avoiding one another in shopping malls. The world keeps spinning round.
But what about those relationships that actually mean something? It doesn’t really matter what that something is. The point is there was something that meant more than all the other somethings that came before or after.
It sort of sucks when a relationship like that turns a pale shade of shit. And it sucks even more when the phone-calls-turned-emails are reduced to one-sentence texts.
Perhaps that’s what a young bartender named Brian Flanagan meant when he said, “Everything ends badly. Otherwise, it wouldn’t end.” Smart guy, that Flanagan.
But the death of something good is no laughing matter. If it were, the world wouldn’t need barman poets. The world wouldn’t need double shots of vodka (or at the very least I wouldn’t).
If the death of something good were a laughing matter, the perennially single among us wouldn’t need those moments of clarity that occur just before dawn on a Sunday morning—soused to the gills, Guinness in one hand, Regal kingsize in the other, sitting alone on the floor, sifting through a sea of CDs, wondering how things went so terribly wrong, and trying desperately to put them right.
I had my heart broken once.
And it hurt… a lot.
So I drank… a lot.
I drank at the rock bar down the town,, where it was one for my baby (and one more for the road). I drank while killin’ the blues with Chris Smither and sharing a lover’s prayer with Otis Redding. I drank while Diana Ross promised that someday we’d be together.
I drank in my bedsit because sometimes keeping your chin up and focusing on other things just ain’t enough. I drank because I wanted to experience the pain of losing her again, to feel something other than the nothing I was feeling every day.
I drank because drinking was a short-term solution to a long-term problem. But it was also a perfect companion on those long nights spent pining for something that was no longer mine to have. Drinking made my darkest hours burn a little brighter.
And here is what I learned: Desolation—experienced in small doses—really ain’t that bad a thing.
Other people may try to convince you otherwise, but trust me, they’re wrong. Desolation gets a bum rap because most people don’t like to admit how nice it is to be left alone. When I’m fortunate enough to have those moments alone—moments that generally occur in the confines of my bedsit shortly after 4am—there’s nothing more redeeming than turning the volume way past 10 and rocking out to the Who’s Quadrophenia.
I rarely listen to Quadrophenia when I’m in a relationship. Why would I? Being in love is all about Journey and Air Supply. Being in love is about turning in early and Sunday morning coffee over Country file.
Quadrophenia is about the struggle for identity and acceptance and the resentment a lack of either of those things brings to the surface. Quadrophenia is pounding drums and freefall windmills. Quadrophenia is late night air guitar and passing out on the living room floor—CD jacket resting on your chest.
Quadrophenia’s the quintessential rock record for single, ugly dudes. Think I’m wrong? Then you’re obviously not a single, ugly dude. Or maybe you’re a girl I used to date. Most of the women I’ve dated hated Quadrophenia, which—in large part—may explain why none of those relationships ever worked out.
If I’m still standing come the end of Quadrophenia, I’ll close the night out with something more subdued, In through the outdoor by Led Zep or Tom Waits’ Closing Time. These are records that were made for disappearing into the ether, searching for answers while the world outside is sleeping. These are records that exist along lost highways, providing a reminder that sometimes it feels good to feel bad; that feeling lost in love is much better than feeling nothing at all.
All of which ain’t bad for a Saturday night, especially the kind that seems like it may never find its way to Sunday morning.
The best way to understand my Sundays is to imagine a rocket that’s been launched into orbit as it’s falling back to Earth—the amount of turbulence is inversely proportional to just how far and how fast the rocket was launched into orbit the night before.
Sundays are the armpit of my life, and I suppose that’s because I’ve spent the previous 36 hours behaving like a rakehell—calling people I shouldn’t at times no one should be calling them, handing out large denomination bills to homeless people as if I wasn’t constantly teetering.
Yep, Sunday is a day of reckoning, and as such it calls for soothing music. Sundays call for Ladies of the Canyon and Melody Gardot. They call for Townes Van Zandt and Amos Lee. Sundays are for setting the world back on its axis, for putting right all the things that were put wrong the night before.
And it’s generally somewhere around mid-afternoon on Sunday, as my feet are landing firmly back on Earth, that I realize some things aren’t necessarily the way they are for any good reason or bad reason, they just sort of are.
That’s why pursuing things that are no longer mine to have is a fool’s errand. There are no happy returns. In fact, there are no returns at all—only a rearview mirror that temporarily allows me to believe objects in my past may be closer than they appear.
But that doesn’t stop me from attempting to relive the past. Somehow in those desperate, drunken moments between midnight and dawn, it’s comforting to know that a girl who really meant something to me is still only a song away. It’s helpful to revisit her, whether it’s in some rock bar down the town, or leaning against a windowsill shortly after 4am with a Guinness in one hand and a Regal kingsize in the other.
If all that’s left of her is a song, well, I’ve gotta think that’s better than nothing at all.