I took all the love songs off of my iPod. Anything to do with yearning, romance, sex, jealousy, or booty-ooty-ooty. I had the idea the other day after yoga, I got into my car and was all relaxed and worn out and hell bent on being in the moment. The first song that popped up on my drive home was "Gay Messiah." Do you know that one? Rufus Wainwright is a fucking artist, and that song is the least-sentimental vision of Christian love my ears have ever had been blessed to hear. It was perfect.
I think there's some strange primitive function of consciousness that lures us into setting our dreams to pop music. In high school I listened to "Don't Stand So Close"* and it completely defined the crush I had on my English teacher. When my boyfriend suddenly stopped calling the following summer I spent the entire vacation lowering my heart into a deep-freeze and lying in the dark on my brother's old waterbed listening to Ronnie Laws over and over on a busted eight-track machine. (Even if your eight-track isn't busted you listen to everything over and over again until the batteries die. Technology! It's what the seventies were made of.)
But I'm over it, I've napalmed every last vein of fantasy in my still-beating heart, and if I dream of romance it's thinking about how much pent-up weeping I'll finally get to do if Jackson ever gets married and has someone play "Day By Day" for their first dance.
So I CLEARED ALL THE LOVE SONGS OFF MY iPOD and was genuinely surprised I had any songs left at all. It reduced inventory by about half, giving me roughly five kinds of music to listen to now:
1. Civil-rights era empowerment R&B;
2. Alt-country poverty sagas
3. Samba (bonus for lyrics in Portuguese)
4. Angry white rap with left-wing overtones
5. And one song written about an Oliver Sacks book
*I would like to state for the record that I never need to hear any more Police songs as long as I live. They have saturated my very consciousness, and that goes for Blondie, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, and DOUBLE for the Beatles. And if anybody tries to play any of that shit at my funeral, my ashes will climb out of my urn and make sure you will need a half-pint of Visine just to get out of bed the next day.