Monday, September 29, 2008

Two-Track Tuesday: Melissa Etheridge

My twentieth "anniversary" is approaching. Twenty fuggin' years! (No pun intended.) What the fuck?!?!

Driving in Arlington, down E. Abram Street, past Meadowbrook Park where horniness and wine coolers blossomed into what tried to pass itself off as full-blown love. And subsequent heartbreak. I was a mere twenty-year-old boy with no business being out that night. On a school night, no less. Underage drinking. And raging hormones. It all sounds so much more trashy from the perspective of hindsight and middle-age conservatism. Although I'm still not quite above public lewdness even now.

It wasn't until late spring 1989 when I first heard Melissa Etheridge's "Bring Me Some Water" as I pulled into my work study job at the bank. Even after drinking myself blind--for I had indeed already turned twenty-one--and going through three counselors, almost flunking out of college, and following that blissful trajectory of random sex acts, I was still most definitely obsessed with the other boy who was caught with his pants down that school night early December 1988.

"Go on and close your eyes, imagine me there.
She's got similar features with longer hair."

I still maintain that she did look like me. With longer hair. He probably didn't see it.

I was working through this obsession for most of that summer. I had finally stopped driving by the house. Stopped calling the number and hanging up. Stopped defacing the car every time I saw it parked on campus. I was training my mind to think other things. I developed my own therapy that involved focusing on the color of random things: "That car is brown. This paper is white." After several months of knowing that training myself not to be hurt, not to focus on the pain, was the only way I was going to survive, something finally clicked. It probably wasn't until late that summer. After listening and taking to heart every word Melissa Etheridge sang on her album.

"I gotta do something. 'Cause if I can't love you, I don't want to love you."

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