The convention of Our Song.
This idea that your brief romance, meeting of souls, marriage or a life time of love can be summed up in three minutes, a few verses and a couple of choruses.
A quick trip down memory lane of the songs and bands that defined my romantic past prove to be hilarious and the music choice prophetic.
My first love.
Tall. Tragic. Drummer. Artistic. Smart. A grease monkey. Soul of a poet. Full of self-doubt. Dark. Moody. Lanky. Fully tatted.
My 16 year old self to his 21, cruised around town in his 1967 Chevy in a suped-up 350 that did 12 second quarter mile time, when we scraped up enough money to feed it good gas. I would sneak out in the middle of the night to go street racing with him. He wrote me love letter after love letter. I held on to a box jammed full of letters and trinkets for 10 years after. He was my first love, my rock star, my first everything.
Five years of love soundtrack to Rush and Nine Inch Nails.
Our song was “Closer” and “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails.
“Help me I broke apart my insides, help me I’ve got no soul to sell / Help me the only thing that works for me, help me get away from myself / I want to f*ck you like an animal / I want to feel you from the inside / My whole existence is flawed”
“You could have it all / My empire of dirt / I will let you down / I will make you hurt / If I could start again / A million miles away / I would keep myself / I would find a way.”
It never occurred to us that neither song was romantic and had nothing to do with love. Dressed in black on black, we would sing the lyrics to each other night after night and dance wildly to in the Goth clubs of LA. We were young and broken. Like I said, he was my rock star in every way.
My second love.
Full of Mischief. Anacharist. Poet. Philosopher. Healer. An Intellectual. Brilliant. Tender. Honorable. Plagued by his own demons. Loved Star Trek. Musical. Talented. Absurd. Existential.
We met on All Hallow’s Eve. It was only fitting that our two years were accompanied by Oingo Boingo and the mischievous spirit the music unleashes.
“I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go / Walkin’ with a dead man over my shoulder.”
Another “our song” that was not romantic yet strangely appropriate to the essence of love we shared. He was my Hades and I was his Persephone. He healed the darkness that was tearing me up from the inside. But as Persephone couldn’t stay, neither could I.
My Third Love.
A Photographer. A Red Head. Freckled. Awkward. Full of potential that he didn’t know how to realize. Snored like a train wreck and loved fried chicken.
We couldn’t agree on anything. Not music, not food, not movies, not a single thing. Yet we often made love to Loreena McKennitt’s “Bonny Swann.”
A year spent with a strange Celtic song about a failed marriage and the bride who drowned in the end.
My Fourth Love.
Bald. Bright Blue Eyes. A warm smile. Guitarist. Composer. Loved Romantic Comedies. Talented. Talented. Talented. Funny. Goofy. Sweet. Boy-ish. When we met his favorite foods were strawberries and Oreos. Six years later when I left, he wanted the recipes for my chicken curry and Guinness chocolate cake.
Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Women Behind the Counter in a Small Town” was our first song.
“I seem to recognize your face haunting, familiar, yet I can’t seem to place it…my god its been so long, never dreamed you’d return but now here you are, and here I am … hearts and thoughts they fade…away…”
Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” was supposed to be the song for our first dance. A small wedding in our friends’ backyard with a view of Mount Rainer.
“When we were strangers / I watched you from afar / When we were lovers / I loved you with all my heart.”
What could possibly happen to a love when the first song is about the brief reunion of kindred spirits but in the end everything fades away? What could a marriage possibly have been when our song was written in past tense?
Deeply, tenderly, profoundly. We loved each other for 6 glorious years and I could not have chosen better bands than Pearl Jam and Neil Young to soundtrack our life together.
Tall. British. Handsome. Smart. Lost. Oh, so lost. Delicious. Tender. Effortlessly at ease with words. No conviction. The local town crazy in Nicaragua thought he and I were John and Yoko.
Bob Marley’s “Is This Love?” is the perfect song for this random love affair through Latin America.
“I wanna love you and treat you right; / I wanna love you every day and every night: / We’ll be together with a roof right over our heads; / We’ll share the shelter of my single bed; / We’ll share the same room, yeah! – for Jah provide the bread. / Is this love – is this love – is this love”
Two broken hearted travelers wondered their way through Latin America. Cheap rum, simple hostel beds, crystal blue ocean and willing hearts. You couldn’t design a more perfect song.
My Bad Romance.
Another red head. Rebellious spirit. Pianist. Street Performer. Smart. Handsome. A chance encounter. Believed Wuthering Heights was a great romance.
Every time during the few months we spent together Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” would inexplicably play in my head.
The title alone is enough don’t you think?
My Present Tense.
Logical. Rational. A trekker. A skier. Adorable. Boy-ish. A reader. Comfortable in his own skin. Not a musician or an artist. He is unlike any before him.
This cannot be quantified. This is brand new terrain I’ve never trekked through before. The hours we’ve spent together are countable yet there is already a song playing along to this unquantifiable experience.
Ray LaMontange’s “Be Here Now.”
“Don’t look for love in faces, places / It’s in you, that’s where you’ll find kindness / Be here now, here now.”
I can’t tell you if this is love, much less if it is even a romance. Our time together is fleeting and brief. “Be here now” seems to be the perfect advice as there is not much else to do.
Not everyone gets a band, an album or even a song. But when the Universe’s juke box does play, every song seems to be oddly appropriate and foreshadows the essence of that romance.
Subscribe to SpyTravelogue and tell me about your song. Tell me about the anthem to your love and why it is the perfect song.