I wish I had written this earlier without the gift of hindsight so that my memory of this song would remain unaltered in text form. I sometimes think maybe the reason I take it so personally that he can’t stay awake these days is because of how we met. On our first encounter, we talked all night until dawn chased me home. On his first visit to my house where he surprised me with a kiss in my room, we talked until the chatter of waking birds shut us up.
I talk a lot. To anyone and everyone. I have something to say about virtually everything. But rarely would I find someone to whom I felt like sharing more than one facet of myself with. Rarely would I feel safe enough to be honest to the extent where I criticised my friends and aired offensive opinions without feeling judged. What happened on the sheets all that time ago wasn’t what bared my soul. It was the exchange of minds under the sheets afterwards that nabbed me the most. And the growing possibility that perhaps my heart longed for more than unrequited love and instead, tangibility.
I’ve always been a knowledgeable person, at least in the sense that I know of what is “out there”, but he opened my eyes and ears to so much more. Never having been a particular fan of female vocals, this one sexy song changed my views. At the time, it was the best fucking song ever. Literally. The entire album was. I was so used to keeping pleasure of the body and pains of the heart separate, that Gibbon’s crooning question, “Did you really want?” refused to leave the forefront of my mind. Little did we know, that night and that song was the start of so much emotional scandal, and the beginning of lying to myself, and lying to him by means of withholding.
He said he found me endlessly interesting and was afraid he was too boring for me. I said – for the first time in my life – far too little and was afraid he would grow to realise I wasn’t that interesting after all. And if every child’s illusion of their perfectly functioning family could be shattered before they ceased being a child, then why not the illusion of two people seemingly perfect for each other?
I hated that I felt like I was ripping my chest wide open as an invitation, and his remained sewn shut. In hindsight, it turns out that we would end up being the first of many things for each other. But how was I to know at the time? I hated his refusal to cut his hair and abide by societal expectations, because he was so darn good-looking and his hair in my eyes was driving me insane. I hated his self-assurance that I was so bloody drawn to but felt I couldn’t match without the lust of something more. I was barely legal and I hated that I was potentially about to be kept prisoner by my feelings just as I was legally free to do whatever the hell I wanted. So I fled. I fled like I had fled his house at dawn after that first fateful night where we talked all night and our words exchanged fluids we didn’t. I fled like I fled from things in which I did not want to be seen failing. I fled like an idiot who then let themselves get screwed over by other people and ended up writing introverted poetry about the person they fled from in the first place. I’m a fleer. And unlike the infallible dawn that chases me after every great night of my life, he didn’t run after me at all.
And so that song is forever imprinted in my memory as the perfect fucking song to mess up my hair, my sonic perceptions, my every-other-perceptions, my torn mind and some part of my soul with.