To 78.5% of the Girls I’ve Loved Before

IN WHICH I COMPARE WOMEN I’VE KNOWN TO POP SONGS BECAUSE THAT’S THE KIND OF HIGHLY ORIGINAL, NON-OBJECTIFYING HETERONORMATIVE HEPCAT I SWING TO BE

#1: You were “Harden My Heart” by Quarterflash. You were by the first band I ever saw in concert of my own volition; and you were, all things considered, a tasty little pop confection. But in retrospect, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t really get into you that much.

#2: You were “#1 Chance Pirate TV” by Team Dresch. You shifted in tone a lot and came from an angry place, but you rocked my fucking head off. In the end, though, you really weren’t written for me.

#3: You were “Voices Carry” by ’til tuesday. You were a lot younger than I thought you were, but you were really good and very underrated. I often find myself wondering whatever happened to you. Also, inexplicably, you get played a lot at sci-fi and comic book conventions.

#4: You were “Without the Either” by Teen Age Grief Inc. — that is to say, the song I wrote about you and performed with my own band. You were the only song I ever wrote about a girl. And it almost killed me every time I sang you.

#5: You were “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll” by Judas Priest. You were a real party-time number, and when you think about it, kinda fucking stupid, but I’ve always had an inexplicable fondness for you. You are inextricably linked in my mind with Jack Daniel’s and generic cigarettes.

#6: You were “Theme 2” by the Flat Duo Jets. You had an undeniable appeal, and I liked you a lot more than I should have, but you were curiously unfinished and got fucked up about halfway through, and I can’t help but think that I made a major mistake in liking you as much as I did.

#7: You were “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” by X. One of the best songs I’ve ever heard, and no matter what happens, I keep coming back to you. You were sad and sort of poignant — flawed, coming from a regretful but optimistic place — and my only regret was that I could never write something so good.

#8: You were “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones. You’ve been one of my favorite songs ever since I can remember, and no matter how tough things get, you were always there for me. Our relationship changed a lot over the years, but you’ve always on the radio: three chords and a promise.

#9: You were “Mad Izms” by Channel Live feat. KRS-One. You came pretty much out of nowhere, dropped into my lap and blew me away, with some heavy beats, a killer hook, and an impeccable pedigree. You were also great to get blunted with.  For some reason, though, you didn’t stick around for very long.

#10: You were “Tugboat” by Galaxie 500. You were incredibly delicate and beautiful, but also strong, determined, single-minded. You were a hell of a good song, and that’s all I could ever ask for.

#11:  You were “Ambulance” by TV on the Radio.  You were the one song I never thought I’d get tired of, and I ruined you for everybody by overplaying you.  You were my one last chance, and I was your one more time.  For a long time after I heard you, music didn’t make much sense to me anymore.

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