Wednesday, May 2, 2012

for a change.

yesterday i came across a favorite singer/songwriter while flipping through youtube (of course you can't "flip" through youtube, but i like that word better than "browse"): justin townes earle, the spindly, high-water-pants-wearing son of another great songwriter, steve earle. it's possible i like the younger earle's songs better; however, i'm less a fan of his nerd-cum-hipster appearance, which seems too-carefully cultivated in contrast to his father's accidental cowboy-rambler look. i don't like men who carefully cultivate things...if i were writing on paper right now, i'd draw a line with an arrow to the previous sentence and write in the margin: there are exceptions to this, including men who cultivate a love for cooking me meals or bringing me surprises or picking me up (in their arms, not their car) or telling me the truth (i have (had, that is) a habit of stumbling upon those who were terribly allergic to truth-telling, it seems, and worse, the season for that allergy lasted all year long)

at the beginning of one youtube video — not sure which, other than it was from his album midnight at the movies bc i like that one a lot — earle, while mid-story about a girl he once loved, grinned and turned slightly away from the microphone, saying "i'm forgetting myself here"— and in that very instant, the slighter of two earles, in a slight way, reminded me of a man i used to know, bc he would say something just like "i'm forgetting myself here." he was also slight and wrote songs. he wrote me a song once; read it to me over the phone, actually. which did not make me swoon. when i tell my mom things like that — that while a man was reciting a love song, i was on the other end of the phone making a face like someone was reading me the phone book — she says things like "honey, i just don't know what in the world is wrong with you." she thinks i'm unromantic. i don't consider myself unromantic...but then, i'm not entirely sure what romance is. anyhow, love-song singer-guy and i went out for about a month. i'd known him for a year or two, from hanging out around town. nice guy; highly intelligent; witty. all qualities that sound good on paper. hmm. what is paper but mutilated trees. 

so. love-song guy insinuated himself into my life like freckles do my nose under the sun: one day something is there that wasn't there the day before. right from the start, he was exuberantly attentive. texting all day long, just to check in. i'm not a checking in kinda girl. when there's a guy around, i do like to know he's around, but, you know, after one hundred check ins, i start wishing i could reach through the phone and bend his texting thumb backwards until he cries. he did all sorts of thoughtful things...brought me ice cream and cookies (not as in showed up to my house with them, as in showed up to my house without them, then left to retrieve them upon my casually mentioning i wanted ice cream and cookies), drove extra-carefully when i was in the car, always told me the small things about me that he liked. a week or so into our fling, he texted me "i don't miss you one bit," naturally meaning the opposite. i had to put my foot down: look, love-song guy, i like you, but i'm not ready to say that kinda stuff. he took it well. so on we went. a few days later, upon realizing he'd rearranged his friday-night plans to better coincide with mine, i'd had enough. it went something like, "HEY.  why did you do that? you don't have to be everywhere i am." and his reply: "damn, woman. i'm just trying to be nice to you." oh. whoops. so on we went. i liked him. in the way you like someone likable. not in the way you like someone you can't wait to kiss again. and againagainagain. i was tormented by wanting to want him. i would call my mom and try to make sense of it, and she would say, "honey, you can't make yourself love someone." guy was nice; highly intelligent; witty. so on we went. until i ended it, then fretted over ending it. it was a strange month. 

if i were writing on paper, i'd draw an arrow and a stick-figure me, running back to the paragraph where i first mentioned love-song guy. and i'd write in the margin: looking back, it's nice to know what it's like to be someone's darling, even when the feeling isn't mutual. 

men and me. the games i played with myself were damaging to me; the games men played with me were damaging to me. double trouble. nowadays — while men are still fun to watch, in the way they walk and talk and smile and dress — they're more like background noise. nowadays, the only man i'm weak for weighs 16 pounds and still has no idea he's got me wrapped, no matter what, forever. and that's nice, for a change. 

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