June 20, 2011

This Was So Much Easier When I Was Cruel

Like most of the other songs on its parent album (yes, the year-long series of shame continues), this pulpy beast of blood and guts cannot be taken nearly as serious as it seems to take itself. But by all that is great and holy, I tell you this: when I was 19 and pretty and dumb, U2's "So Cruel" was the most perfectly melodramatic tearjerking thing to deafen myself with on a muggy April night as I lay inert on the floor of a Chico State dorm room while the girl who usually occupied that dorm room (and who'd just dumped me that weekend) was somewhere else, allegedly for her own safety.

Naturally, I felt like shit—1996 was one epic pile-up of suck—but I have no idea if it was really about her, or about the other girl who'd dumped me on Valentine's Day earlier that year, or about getting myself thrown out of my dad's house the previous Christmas—but I played this song over and over as I waited for the sun to rise so I could shlep my ass to the train station for the bus home (yes, the bus home—it was too early for trains). It's a long fucking bus/train ride from Chico to Santa Barbara. Oh, the humanity. Sometimes I wonder how on earth I ever survived being 19.

I should have thought "I'll write a novel about being 19 some day," and of course I eventually did just that, but 19-year-olds don't usually think that far into the future—especially hyper-pretentious suburban white male American dorks whose favorite album is "Achtung Baby" instead of something more dude-bro/macho like "Master of Puppets."

Of course, things are darkest right before they are most awesome, as my subsequently brilliant career in design/wordsmithery/rockstardom eloquently proves. I found many more eloquent and biting breakup songs to wallow in, by infinitely superior songwriters and musicians. I even stopped being angry at that girl after about, oh…four years (that's right, waaaay before Facebook, kiddies), but she got off easy—because I haven't spoken to my dad in about 13 years, and I will never, ever, EVER go back to fuckin' Chico.

Okay, okay, never say never—but if I ever DO pass through that godawful town again, I'll bring more money, cause all she wants to do is…

Ah, hell with it. Life's too short and I got dishes to do.

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