Holy typos and unfiltered writing! This one was supposed to save as a draft and I accidentally published it. Correcting now. There will be two posts today. I was holding on to this one and accidentally put it out, and I have one from this fucking amazing performance I have to tell you about today too… so well.. I’m releasing both. ________________________________________________
Driving home today from a fun night of trivia I heard a song that made me think of someone. Music brings back a person or a moment. Do you do that? I do that all the time. I walked through the door to my apartment and I thought of a song I haven’t heard in a million years. It was my mom’s. Well, technically it was Kenny Rogers’. It’s this song about a woman who just keeps having faith in a man and missing him.. sleeping alone. It’s called “She Believes in Me”. I’ve listened to it a lot when I was missing my mother. She loved Kenny Rogers and played that song and a bunch of Dolly Parton too. She didn’t listen to music very much, my mother, but she loved those two. Listening to “She Believes in Me” tonight I thought about how different I saw that song than Kenny Rogers wrote it.
He saw a wife I think, standing by her man no matter what. I saw a little girl who kept believing in her mom and maybe a hundred times I listened to that song, just thinking about how much I loved my mom. My mom left the first time when I was about 9 months old and returned some time close to my 2nd birthday. She remarried my dad and then began to divorce him again a short while later. It took about 3 years for that second divorce to be final after hearing after hearing after hearing, and I lived with my father. My father had custody of me, his young daughter, and his step-son, my brother. I’m still not sure how he got custody of two kids, one a girl and one not his, in 1978 or so. He wouldn’t ever tell me what she did. But I can guess.
“But she has faith in me, And so I go on trying faithfully
Forever in my heart she will remain
And I hope and pray, I will find away, find away
While she lays waiting, I ask myself why do I hurt her so
What calls me on along this lonely road
Why don’t I turn around and head back home, Where I belong
While she lays crying
For she knows how my heart is ripped in two
I’m tom between the things that I should do
She deserves it all and I’d give it if I could
While she lays sleeping, While she lays sleeping for me”
Kinda oddly fitting, no?
That’s the thing about music, how it transports us. I hear that song tonight and I haven’t heard it in 20 years, and I remember sitting on my bed in my good outfit, trying not to mess myself up because I’d gotten ready for her to pick me up. I can picture my tights and my dress with red polka dots, my fuzzy winter coat sitting on my bed and my little stiff purse with the fancy strap and my bonny bell lip smackers and my love’s baby soft perfume. I would sit like that on my bed, dressed up and waiting for a long time before I’d admit she wasn’t coming and change into my normal clothes. I’d beat myself up later for being heartbroken that she decided she couldn’t come get me after all. She’d call and I would try not to be a pain on the phone. She’d say why she wasn’t coming and I’d say things like “sure” and “of course” and I’d fake smile, even on the phone. I hated myself so much for how much I looked forward to seeing her and how I’d get all dressed up and be sitting there like an idiot, my hope so nakedly on display.
I learned to hate wanting things from people and not to trust that people felt about me the way I felt about them. I’d look for evidence of that lack. I find vestiges of this girl all the time.. in the way dressing up makes me feel vulnerable and silly… like I’m lacking my armor or like a cat wearing clothes, and in the way I am always always looking for what’s behind people saying they love you. I am always sensing the room and your mood because I don’t know if you will love me and kiss me or hit me and leave me and I’m not sure somewhere inside what I do that makes either of those things happen. It took years of difficult work to see that I was lovable and that I even wanted love and that that shit wasn’t my fault. It took years to see where that shit came from. But life is like that. Parents and the people that come first shape us, and we either grow up and decide what to keep and what to toss or we stay stuck in that. I escaped a long time ago, but you’ll still never see me wearing a white and red polka dotted dress with my girly purse and my fuzzy jacket, all bright eyed and hopeful.
The next song that pops in my head is “Angel” by Aerosmith. It was followed very closely by “Nothing Compares” by Sinead O’Connor. These are songs from my first big love, Raul.
Yeah, I don’t know if I can face the night
I’m in tears and the cryin’ that I do is for you
I want your love – Let’s break the walls between us
Don’t make it tough – I’ll put away my pride
Enough’s enough I’ve suffered and I’ve seen the light
Baby. You’re my angel
Come and save me tonight
You’re my angel
Come and make it all right”
and from Sinead;
“It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since u took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since u took your love away”
Oddly these were songs Raul and I loved and enjoyed together. Break up songs as our love songs. Oh boy. Raul was not my first boyfriend but he was my first big love. It was such an intense passionate romantic love. It was the kind you can only have before you’ve ever had a real wrenching break-up. I honestly felt we were soul-mates and that what we had was singular and special and unique. All the songs were about us. All the poems were ours. I thought no one had ever loved like we loved. We’d stay up all night talking sometimes because we had so much to say. We’d have beautiful fiery sex about 4-5 times a day on average. Sometimes we’d get lost making out or spend all night in the bathtub, till we were almost painfully pruned because we were talking so intently. He looked at me like I was precious, made of spun sugar, all silver and glittery. He had a way of making me beautiful.
No one had ever been that interested in me. He’d ask questions about how I felt about everything and about my life. He’d tell me funny stories from his life, tragic things, hopes, dreams, thoughts. No one ever before or since has ever wanted such access to my soul or let me so into theirs. Listening to those songs I see a lot of flashes of times with Raul and I remember what it felt like to feel really and truly loved and for it to be safe to love him as much as I did. It was maybe the one time in my life I had no doubt of love. I knew it with every bit of marrow in my bones.
I found out after we’d been together a couple of years that he’d been sleeping with a women during those heady first few months when we’d fallen in love. Those precious first months when all of this had been forming he’d been fucking this woman Yvonne, a sexy sultry singer we both knew. I never even knew they dated before me, much less that they were fucking while he and I fell in love. All that time he’d never told me. It was the dishonestly I couldn’t get past. I kept asking myself what that meant.. chastising myself for how wrong I’d been about Raul. We weren’t who I thought we were in my mind. I cheated on him and left him some months later. I thought we weren’t what I thought we were so I broke it into a million jagged bits and crunched it under my heel. It was the relationship I compared all other to for years, and none ever matched up until Hubby. I would never again trust anyone like that, so utterly and completely. Ahh.. first love. Were you marked too?
I suppose this post is all over the place, and I’m guessing it wouldn’t hold appeal for a reader like it does for me, since I lived it and it’s mine and of little relatibility for others. But this one’s for me.
So here’s a song for me. U2’s mysterious ways.