my friend, he was listening to lauryn hill's "ex factor," a song that, yrs ago, i would listen to on repeat. songs about ended relationships are often incredibly corny, but not this one. the lyrics are not the kind that are trying. just simple. real. as in what one person could actually say to another without sounding ridiculous. she says things like "tell me who i have to be to get some reciprocity" and "i know what we gotta do/you let go and i'll let go too" and "you said you'd die for me...why won't you live for me." they're good lyrics. sagacious, even. i feel lauryn on this song. like i wanna look her in the eye and say, GIRL.YES. and that's it. and she'll know what i mean.
and maybe i want to ask her what happened at the end, too. bc she also said, "no one's hurt me more than you; and no one ever will." did she mean no one ever will bc no one ever could? or no one ever will bc she'll never make those same mistakes again? i want to know if she forgave her ex-factor. i want to know how.
a friend told me recently that i need to learn not how to give up hope or how to cultivate hatred — bc she knew, intuitively, my internal struggle to choose one or the other — but how to be indifferent. i agree. except indifference is a wild, wild mustang roaming around in my head. catchable, sure. tamable? never fully. admittedly, i'm still hung up on what i really want, which is to forgive. and would you believe, i've even managed to complicate forgiveness. i mean, isn't it supposed to be given, regardless of whether it's earned? i think about people whose family members have been murdered by a psychopath. later, in interviews, they say, "i forgive him." even though the murderer didn't ask for their forgiveness. if they can forgive without reason to do so, why shouldn't i? oh, i know. bc once i forgive, all of a sudden my boundaries are gone. fences, down.
that same friend told me i think too hard and try to anticipate too many things and in the process make life so much more stressful than it already is. right again. and you know what i thought after she said that? but stopping that would require me to be unlike myself. it would require oh-so-much mental work. not that i don't put in oh-so-much mental work anyway, but this would be a different kind. i could do it. i should do it. for one, it would be good for me. and two, it's the same mental work i wish would happen on the part of my own ex-factor. it's that coveted reciprocity. will i ever get it...
right after "ex factor" on lauryn's album is "to zion." i just googled the lyrics bc i forgot how they began. as i began to read, i had to stop and look out the window, collect myself, bc i'm in public. i had to do it a few times. i'm not sure i've ever known exactly what someone meant in the way i do this:
earlier, my friend posted that there are few albums out there as good as lauryn's. today, there isn't one.