[Got a box full of letters, think you might like to read.]
You know that feeling when you’re sixteen and you and your girlfriend/boyfriend are going through a weird patch? You hear they want some space, that they’re spending all this time with someone new? They’ve been slagging you off to their friends?
What do you do?
You make a mixtape.
It’s hard to say. Your motivation changes from song to song. Obviously, you’re sad—you want them to feel that. But you want to do it coolly, in a way that shows how stoically you’re dealing with all of this. Because maybe there’s a little part of you that thinks this is the way to win them back?
So you start with something cool, like Wilco. Then maybe go to something ironic, show you haven’t lost your sense of humor:
[Don’t you want me, baby?]
But sometimes you misstep: it’s hard to hold the balance between reminding them of the good times (which makes you sad) and playing it cool.
[The ride with you was worth the fall, Catholic Right.]
And honestly, there’s some jealousy: Who is this Benedict? When did that become an option?
[Another version of me? Is she perverted like me?]
But then you read what they’ve been writing and realize that it’s all a bunch of adolescent fantasies and you wonder what the hell you ever saw in this person anyway. And you hear what they’ve been saying about you, and you’re all like Fucking go.
[Because I do know what’s good for me. And I’ve done what I could for you.]
But you can’t leave it at that; as good as it felt to say that, you’ve got to find some way to leave things open:
[Shoot! Another misstep.]
Let’s try that again: