I've been thinking of you lately. last week when i found a big-band station and i've been playing it late at night in the car like we did in winter. and then this week when i was looking at Native American fetishes in a catalog and remembering that Indian center in New Mexico where they had glass counters full of little hand-carved totems, with every animal you could possibly think of to choose from, and thinking about how much you liked Indian stuff and then I remembered that I never even got to tell you about that place, much less show it to you, because we weren't speaking by the time I went. or were we? can't remember...I still have that awful little fake-tribal necklace you got me in Ellicott City the day we went with your friends. i wanted to dig it out just now and put it on, but it wasn't where i used to keep it, so i'll look for it in the morning. I got attached to it because you gave it to me and actually it doesn't look bad on me even though it's about the last thing I would have picked out myself. that day was so nice. why couldn't there have been more days like that and less of the other?
and then nik told me he found one of your records in the used bin at some store, it was the matador release that didn't have me in the credits, and nik was like yeah i was gonna ask you about that...and I told him how you "forgot" to put my name and we had a big argument over it. the subtext being that you did the art with your birthday twin tina and you two were too damn close to suit me then. of course it came to nothing because she was going with larry then anyway, until she ran off to oklahoma with dan evans the morning DJ and larry ran the WRUW fone bill up to 500 bux or some ridiculous amount calling her and when she finally came back she married some other guy, a nondescript nerdy guy, a teacher. now, looking back, i am sorry i was jealous over the tina thing, because she was nice and larry was kind of a dick to her, and anyway i was like "bebe blue, who never ever could be tru-uue," so it would have been fair for you to have other friends too. of course i am considering all this now from the standpoint of a forty-year-old woman who has spent years training herself in Love without jealousy, as opposed to who i was then, a twenty-year-old girl in need of constant reassurance that she was special. gad, we were all awfully young then - you and tina were what, twenty-three, twenty-four? we didn't FEEL young at all though. we all felt completely mature, old as the hills, over the hills even.
you said you just forgot. but also i thought maybe you left that credit off on purpose, all passive-aggressive-like, because you were mad at me. because i was a "cheat" and a "slut" and all those other lovely words that people would use or if not use, think, because i had other friends and refused to be owned by anybody. i'm not sure how much was just experimentation and wanting to see what it would be like, being with other people, and how much was me seriously trying to find a reasonable way out of our situation because it was starting to go bad. if somebody else had fallen in love with me, that would have been an escape hatch. but nobody did, or at least not in the way i wanted them to. see that is the thing, with you i felt truly loved and understood. i would never settle for anything less or anyone who did less for me or paid less attention to me than you did when you were at your Best. when i see girls that age putting up with any sort of bullshit at all from guys who won't say I love you or treat them badly or ignore them or whatever---hell when i just think of how some of the other people I knew acted (repressed wilt chamberlain with his 500 emotion-free fuck toys, hehe)---i just want to yell, THAT AIN'T LOVE! YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE THAT SHIT!! being Truly Loved was something i had always wanted, and when i finally got it, it changed me fundamentally. it was like being annealed, like when you take the bright brittle glass bead and put it in the kiln and all its internal structure changes, and when it comes out it's a little different color and a whole lot harder, you can drop it on the floor and where before it would have shattered into a gazillion pieces, now it won't do more than chip a little tiny bit, if that. love made me stronger like that.
and i want so badly to think that we were a love for real not fade away. my mom didn't want to think so, she will deny it to this day, only she's learned not to deny it out loud to my face any more because since you died i get too upset. my stupid roommates didn't think so. fuck them...dale said he thought you did, but dale sometimes says what he thinks i want or need to hear, when it's something all imPo'tant and eMo, because he doesn't want me to get too upset. anyway, you probably don't want to hear what dale thinks right now, although you guys got along OK in real life just like you did with sharon's stevie. i guess what i am trying to say is that if i was wrong, if that wasn't Fo' Reals, then part of the support structure for my life is gone, and i will crumble. i don't believe love is one of those things that can be "true at the time", if it is there it is in some sense Enduring - even if it gets messed up and you never see each other anymore - even though this belief has probably brought more derision and hurtful remarks down on my head than anything else even getting called slut. It lasts, it HAS to last, otherwise there is no reason to stay alive. None. So, am I kidding myself? Am I indulging in fiction just to keep myself alive? "Keep yourself alive/Keep yourself alive/Oooh it'll take you all your time and your money - " Thinking about that credit and that Tina business and how mad you were at me made me cry a whole bunch of times yesterday (furtively, behind a brief) because maybe you didn't really love me, maybe we were just kids and being together was a bad habit, puppy love, we had nothing else to do no other options.
But you did love me - you wouldn't have come back and talked to me otherwise - even if you were mad.
You did, didn't you?
P.S. Say hi to the Pope for me.