25 July 2006

morrissey - "hold on to your friends" (from the vauxhall & i lp, available for purchase here.)

(trainspotters : see how many "hidden" morrissey references you can find! send your answers to the usual address! winner gets one (1) used walkman, melted.)

a friend of mine is the biggest morrissey fan i know. i sang her a line from this song the other day; she told me she didn't know it. the song is for her, then. & so is the rest of it.

if i were a morrissey album, i'd undoubtedly be vauxhall & i. i could assuredly write about my relations w/ a certain person i know in my life using nothing but lyrics from this album.
could you pass by? will you pass by? ... oh.

ah, but bunny, i loved you.

i am hated for loving for loving, anonymous call, a poison pen, a brick in the small of the back again. ... and i am hated for loving, i am haunted for wanting.
... & then there's "the more you ignore me, the closer i get"--but, no, back to that later. for now, "hold on to your friends."
a bond of trust has been abused, something of value may be lost ...
my most morrissey-like trait is not the wearing of gladioli in pocket, but the wearing of heart on sleeve. this comes, as all these things do, from watching my parents as a child, seeing how freely they expressed their love for one another. the other night, thirty-six years into their marriage, i saw them--mother on her couch, father in his armchair--holding hands, w/ a lack of self-consciousness, watching a lifetime movie.

this, i sometimes have to force myself to recall, is not everyone's experience. it is not the experience of my mother's daughter from her first marriage, now going through a divorce. it is not the experience of my father's daughters from his first marriage, neither of whom have married.

& so i'm always v. open w/ people about how i feel, at times too open, stumbling drunk down maudlin street. but i never thought it'd be held against me : i'd never run into a personality before who recoils from fondness & appreciation.
but now you only call me when you're feeling depressed, when you feel happy i'm so far from your mind, my patience is stretched, my loyalty vexed ...
but now i have & it's a brick wall that i keep slamming myself into, repeatedly. 'twasn't always this way, no. only a month ago, we got on royally--but she seemed far more unhappy then and i was, for a short while, her only true friend.

ah, but the vicissitudes of friendship! for her, things are at least back to the status quo, though i hope they're over & beyond that, and i feel like i've been put back on the shelf. do i remind her now of those chaotic times? did she reveal too much of herself to me? am i too much of a friend or not enough of one? i have to ask these questions b/c, like joni mitchell sings,

"i don't know where i stand" (from the clouds lp, available for purchase here.)

(disoriented, yet? imagine how i feel.)

but, no, joni's not quite right for me today--she's too tentative. she feels "too foolish & strange" to say the words she's planned. one wonders, too, how gender roles fit into this, esp. as this was recorded in the late 60s. but damn she sings it pretty.

the sentiment is otm, though. i don't know where i stand. today, i was on campus, filling out paperwork, ordering textbooks for my classes (oh, yeah, i got that position i mentioned the other day). i stopped in the library; i saw that they were giving away some books. i thought, "she'd like these"--and the moment i put them in my car, i felt i made a mistake, that i shouldn't have done it. the words of isaac hayes ran through my head : "ladies, sometimes you mistake love & kindess for weakness." or, too, mistake love & kindness for wanting something in return.

but i've no expectations of reciprocation. for me a gift is the reification (!) of a kind thought, concretized confirmation that at this particular time, on this particular day, you were thought of. again, like morrissey, my world view is kinda manichaeistic, the forces of idealism locked in eternal struggle w/ the armies of pessimism, the love inside the house i grew up in vs. the hostility of the world outside. i give & give & give to people, but i don't look for anything in return--maybe acknowledgement, at the most. but, w/ her, maybe it's b/c of what we once had, well, it seems my only mistake is i'm hoping. i should know at this point that she won't reply to anything, if only b/c i've let her know how much she was missed while she was away & b/c i kept asking for her to make some time for me.

i know how to undo this; i know how to make her call. she's given me the key herself, told me what one needs to do. but that would be base & therefore, whether she thought so or not, unworthy of friendship. so, morrissey sings, "it's war" in "the more you ignore me ... "--but for me, it's not. in many ways, that song sums up the situation better than any other on the album could. but war is a game. & i don't play games.

i've left it in her hands & this is the last time i'll ever bring it up (hooray!) ... until i change my mind again (groan!). at long last, i've got a lot of good things coming my way, as another band sings--no, no download for that one--& i'd like her to be a part of it. but i've done my part. i can only hope--there's that word again--i say, i can only hope that all of this really means nothing, that it's just another station on the difficult road to becoming friends. after all, she bought me back a souvenir from her trip. maybe i need to have faith that, in the words that close out vauxhall & i, she remains true to me ...

... in her own strange way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At least you didn't bring up:

"I've been stabbed in the back
so many many times
I don't have any skin
well that's just the way it goes"

which was the line I connected mostly to during my Vauxhall & I period.