Street Smart Chicago

Love & Sex: The Tracks of My Tears

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Photo by Evan Sears

Photo by Evan Sears

By Sarah Klose

Cupid fires an electric arrow into your soul. A tornado of endorphins whips through your heart, and you realize the Barenaked Ladies were right: the object of your desire can be your Yoko Ono.

You embark on a grand love affair with your beloved, who agrees that you are perfect for each other. Your world explodes in a kaleidoscope of scarlet, fuchsia, magenta and ruby. You blast the Rolling Stones’ “She’s Like a Rainbow,” Liz Phair’s “Supernova” and Wilco’s “I’m Always in Love” from your iPod. You sing along to these songs at bus stops. You assign the qualities of Einstein, Adonis and Valentino to your beloved. Your angel is as dazzling as Marilyn Monroe, Satchel Paige, Cleopatra and King Tut rolled into one. Amazingly, he or she feels the same way about you.

Eventually, you notice a decrease in phone calls, emails and text messages from your one-and-only. This cannot be happening, you think. The Turtles song “Happy Together” was about the two of you. Elvis dedicated “Love Me Tender” to you both (or he would have if you had been dating back then). Still, as Stevie Ray Vaughn lamented, you get a real, real bad feeling your baby doesn’t love you anymore. Shortly thereafter, your sweetheart tells you goodbye.

Crushed, you realize that your baby no longer sees you as his or her Yoko Ono. You sob to Kasey Chamber’s “Not Pretty Enough.” You listen to The Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post” fifty-nine times—one time for each week you were together. You clean your apartment twenty times and trash the love letters from the one who was perfect for you. You stumble out of CVS or Starbucks watery-eyed if you hear Linda Ronstadt’s “Heart Like a Wheel” (which becomes “Heart Like a Heel”) or Oasis’ “Wonderwall” (which feels like “Wonderwail”).

If “Morning Song” by Jewel used to be your song as a couple, you refuse to listen to it because waking up with Simba instead of your beloved turns it into “Mourning Song.” If “Your Body is a Wonderland” comes on the car radio, you immediately change the station, because you cannot handle the idea of anyone on this Earth making love while you suffer. However, you are able to dance to “Dead Flowers” when you see The Redwalls in concert, because that Stones song describes your life better now than the one about the rainbow.

You know better than to listen to Norah Jones or Lucinda Williams, so you try downloading songs that burst with power and strength. If you are a woman, this includes “Better Be Good to Me” by Tina Turner, “Single Ladies” by Beyonce, “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera and “Respect Yourself” by Madonna. You even add the cliché emancipation anthems “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor and “Sisters Are Doing it for Themselves” by Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin.

You purposefully avoid “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Everybody Hurts” and “I Will Remember You.” You can’t watch diamond-ring commercials. Even Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” makes you tear up. Your rainbow world has been painted black, so you crank up “You Oughta Know.” It is good to know that you are better off than Alanis Morissette. At least your ex-boyfriend didn’t dump you and quickly marry Scarlett Johansson.

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