Who Wrote Every Radio Song Ever? I’d Like A Word.

I’m at the point now where I think that all music with words in English needs to be banned from my earshot, and I’m talking to rom-coms on television trying to convince the stupid women in them to stop falling in love with the guy who can’t make up his mind.

I’m smart enough not to attempt the radio or most of my music collection. I usually have Pandora going on my laptop (the internet music service, not the band) while I’m cleaning or cooking, but I didn’t do it yesterday while I was frantically dusting and scrubbing and washing on deadline because having one neighbor over for dinner turned into a party of eight and I hadn’t cleaned in two weeks. But I had to go to the grocery store for tomatoes and mixed greens, and everything that played over the speakers high above my head was about love or breakups, or came from the standard 1990s collection of wedding songs.

So for now, I can’t go to grocery stores. Or watch Sunday afternoon television. Or see a random issue of People Magazine, because Gwyneth Paltrow is on the cover as the most beautiful woman in the world. (Which, let’s be honest, is nauseating even if Jack’s future wife didn’t look like her.) I also have to avoid everything relating to baseball (Jack’s passion), horses (long story, multiple chapters), several streets and restaurants, an entire television station (another long story with multiple chapters) and a lot of non-rom-com movies.

And certain cocktails.

And church.

Ralph Lauren Blue. Listerine Pocket Strips.

And, weirdly, zebras. He’s afraid of zebras. Not that I see zebras a lot, but when I do, I instantly think of Jack.

I’m taking to heart a lot of what friends have said – including blog friends – about Jack’s impending marriage and what it means, or doesn’t, about our relationship and about him. I just got off the phone with Joey, himself heartbroken over the breakup of his first real relationship in years. He somehow was the first one to get through to me that it doesn’t matter what I knew about Jack before, and it doesn’t matter what Jack thought about his capacity for relationships before, and it doesn’t matter what I understood before. Jack has changed. That’s all that matters.

It’s hard, though, to synthesize that with everything I know about him for the last ten years, and what he’s told me about the ten years before that. It’s hard to believe that after ten years of showing him what love is, and nearly 50 years of his own life, it only took eight months for him to completely turn around his whole understanding of himself. The only way his marriage will work is if he really did turn that around within himself.

What still hurts is that, when I asked whether I had any significance in his life, he had no answer, which meant the answer was no. I asked him that more than a year ago, and I’m still not over it. I have realized that there were lies and there was hiding and there was evasiveness and there was a fundamental lack of respect for me after all the years we were so many things for one another – but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him anymore. I don’t wish he were marrying me instead of Gwyneth –  not because I don’t love him or can’t imagine it, but because he’s hurt me too much. But I can’t understand, at bottom, why he didn’t have the respect for me that I had earned.

I’m angry with myself, too. I have been, I guess, for a long time. It’s another thing I made peace with and now it’s come back, in light of the change in conditions that makes me wonder what was true before. I’m angry that I let myself love someone who wouldn’t love me, even though I tried more than once to stop and I couldn’t. I’m angry that it wasn’t the first time. I’m angry that I considered his feelings above mine all the time, that I avoided showing him the fullness of how I felt – good or bad – because I didn’t want to scare him away, and in the end he walked away anyway. Who wouldn’t have seen that coming? I’m mad at myself for hiding the nature of that relationship from even my closest friends other than him, because I knew they wouldn’t approve, that they would warn me it was a bad sign. That’s what I would have done, too, if it were them instead of me. I’m angry that I was happy loving him and only thinking, or guessing, or hoping that he loved me.

I have learned a few things, yes. And I applied some of what I learned with Rick. I’m hoping those are lessons I won’t forget. But I worry about what effect this will have on me in the future, should I meet someone else and have the stomach for anything more than “hello.” I made a conscious decision, at more than one point, to trust Jack. I wonder now if I will be able to do that again, or if I will struggle with it so much that whoever he is will be discouraged.

And the memories that float to the surface unbidden – I’d like for them to stop. Images and impressions and senses and jokes and looks and touches and the indelible mark of his condo and the smell of the air there when I walked through the door… now when it flashes, she’s in the room, too. It knocks the wind out of me every time.

Day six. Breathe in.


15 thoughts on “Who Wrote Every Radio Song Ever? I’d Like A Word.

  1. Yeah, songs are not your friend right now. And I get how all those many things would bring it all back. But as you have ended with, it was day six. And today is day seven, tomorrow day eight . . . and on and on until every day you can breath just a little bit more. And who knows, mabye one day you can stand listening to Air Supply on the grocery speakers again. Well, maybe not . . . :-/

    • I will never be able to stand listening to Air Supply at a grocery store. Even though I had their Greatest Hits album.
      Thanks for the encouragement. You’re right, of course. It’s just hard to imagine a day when it doesn’t hurt at all.

  2. Woof. That’s a lot. For future reference: 1) We don’t get to decide who we love, so don’t beat yourself up for that. 2) If you have to ask if you hold significance in another’s life, it’s time to go. You’re worth more than that. 3) No matter how hard you try, you will never get another past. 4) You have no reference point for what light is if you don’t also know darkness 5) You should totally listen to the band Pandora. And possibly do some frenetic form of exercise along with it. Good for quieting the mind. Better than meditating when your mind won’t be quiet.

    • You know who always said we can’t help who we love? Jack. But you’re both right – it’s true. When I asked him if I had significance in his life, it was because I was at a point when I knew something pivotal was happening. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew there was something, and I knew I deserved some clarity. But it was still so devastating to learn that, after all those years, I either had never held significance, had lost it, or was now facing a man who couldn’t stand to tell me I mattered. As for the light vs. darkness point – you’re right, but I’ve had enough of the latter in my life to recognize the former without reminder.

      And yeah… I should probably check out Pandora the band.

      Thank you.

  3. Go listen to “Why Modern Radio is A-OK” by Roman Candle. It’s thematically related to this post, and the lyrics are amusing. Plus, it’s just a good, upbeat song. I’d post it here, but I don’t know how to post songs, and the only videos I could find are live versions, and the studio version is better. In fact, listen to the whole damned album: http://www.amazon.com/Oh-Tall-Tree-Ear-Dig/dp/B0020G5LVK/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1369328378&sr=1-3&keywords=roman+candle


  4. Your life is moving too fast for me to keep up. Ihate to just say, “Sorry,” but that’s all that comes to mind when I read these gut-wrenching posts. I have no experience with having a broken heart in the measurable past (ain’t I lucky) but Ican say a few things about trust, About eighteen years ago, Ibroke the heart of someone that loves me through some stupid actions. She was very reasonable, easy-going person (I’m not saying you’re not) but it took her three years to trust me again. Worse, it took at least twice that for me to trust myself again. Trust takes time to rebuild, especially self trust, What saved me was a small handful of intimate friends that I could bounce things off of when I was wasn’t trusting my own instincts. Friends that not only listened, but were willing to say what they thought, to make me accountable, I hope you have or can find someone like that. But be patient and take a few risks, OK?

    Another thought … Do you think Jack cou;d be a Narcissist or a Borderline Personality? I have a neice who was married to a narcissist and he could be incredibly charming while lying through his teeth and incredibly hurtful when he decided he no longer needed her. Another friend was married to a borderline with many of the same characteristics. I suppose naming it doesn’t help anyway. Anyway, tinking of you ….

    • I am blessed with several amazing friends – people who will do all the things you suggest I need from friends and more. They are my lifesavers and believe me, they have heard from me these last few days. I’m also blessed to have gained the wisdom of needing those friends, instead of trying to shoulder it on my own.

      I am very hesitant to ascribe any kind of “mental disorder” to Jack. That might partly be because of how much I’ve loved him for so long, but I also tend to be – believe it or not – a pretty good judge of character (sometimes I ignore that which is inconvenient to me – and that’s my fault). I’m also generally – as Jack has very often noted, himself – very intuitive and very perceptive. I don’t find duplicity in Jack’s personality or mental health. And my suspicions of his duplicities with me are just that: suspicion. I can’t know for sure.

      Thank you, Bud.

  5. You, my friend, need a Liz Phair marathon. Specifically from the “Exile in Guyville” album. Her feistiness has gotten me through many rough times. Recommendations:
    – 6’1″
    – Dance of the Seven Veils
    – Mesmerizing
    – F*ck & Run
    – Divorce Song
    – Ant in Alaska

    Admittedly, you have to be in the right mood or it sounds like screeching. But I find that one glass of wine and this album on repeat is all it takes.

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