After the condom, my heart broke to the Smashing Pumpkins, I vowed to never let another girl ruin good music. With girlfriend #2, I shoved The Cure like a sock in her mouth so my little brother wouldn’t hear our carpet burn. After awhile, I dated girls with apartments and roommates, telling each of them their sighs were the only soundtrack I needed.
Our first song was The Darkness’s “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”; we were giddy like falsetto and power chords. Eventually the only thing that was cranked up to eleven was her mood swings. I tried explaining that a woman should not have hands as lecherous as Geppetto’s but she never listened, boxing me into the windowless van of her arms. I believed in loving all of someone, even the duct tape and chloroform.
Six years later on a couch in a strange house in Chicago, I drank beer, watched the weather, my marriage sour as Iron & Wine told me we would live like our ghosts will live. I listen to that set sometimes when clouds metastasize to build a callus in my gut note by note. Eventually, I’ll be ready for someone else to tear me down like a wall.