Friday, December 22, 2006

Flashback Friday: Love and Daniel Lanois

I wasn't planning to do a Flashback Friday post today, but this morning I wanted some music I hadn't listened to in a while so I downloaded some Lou Reed and Daniel Lanois. Swee'pea is napping in our bed (again! I'm getting spoiled), and I am reeling with flashbacks. Mostly from second year university, when I shared a 2-bedroom basement apartment with a friend from high school. She was brilliant, a fantastic writer, painfully shy at times, and had been through a lot. She still struggled with anorexia during times of stress. We both liked to drink. I think we were a good match, me with my boisterous big red mane of hair and mostly matching personality, and her with her dark blonde more subdued hair and personality.

Right now, I am listening to songs from Daniel Lanois's Acadie for the first time since that year. It has totally transported me back to one particular night, when I was, er, awake most of the night with the cd on repeat. We had a full apartment that weekend, with four or five extra houseguests in the living room, and I was falling in love with the friend of a friend. Everyone else in the tiny apartment was also subjected to the cd on repeat, and I don't think they ever let me listen to it again. The cd got mysteriously lost.

Although I was enjoying the headiness of mutual attraction, I was the only one falling in love, and I spent the next six months mooning about, trying to impress him, or being deeply sad. This music has seriously made my chest ache remembering the pain and angst of unrequited love.

It was in this apartment that I learned about woman lovers and womanizers. They're both equally promiscuous. But the womanizer approaches seduction with a hint of deception; there is a sense of victory and triumph, like a warrior, when they are successful. They can be good in bed, but it's with a cold skill. Luckily I didn't attract this kind of man very much.

Conversely, the woman lover finds something attractive about pretty much every woman they meet. They are genuine and warm and enthusiastic, but also not very loyal. They are great fun, and make you feel special, because they genuinely see the special-ness of every woman. But encounters with woman lovers are heartbreaking if you forget that you are with a woman lover. Neither type makes for good marriage material, I think.

Earlier this morning I was listening to Lou Reed, and I was transported to a perfect day the fall before that late winter encounter. My roommate, her boyfriend, and I started a Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market and bought a couple of bulbs of organic garlic. We couldn't decide on anything else so we went to a dark little pub-type operation in the sad, failing, dim downtown mall. They served beer at 11 am. So we drank a pitcher or two, then went to the beer store. We spent the afternoon in the backyard of our apartment, drinking beer, enjoying the warm sun, listening to the Trainspotting soundtrack and singing along loudly with "Perfect Day," likely pissing off our upstairs neighbours to no end. They were two quiet serious women who studied (unlike me, although my roommate was more balanced) and spent their Saturday nights sewing. They asked us not to play music after 10 pm, which we thought was grossly unfair, so we'd play church bells at high volume at four in the morning. Man, we were shits.

Anyways, that afternoon, we did something I have never done before or since. We got high on garlic. If you eat a clove (which we cut with a small piece of cheddar), it makes you high, but only for a minute or two, then you want more before you come down. Or at least, it made us high that day. So we disposed of two bulbs between the three of us. By 9, a fourth person had joined us and we were out of beer. So we decided to go to the bar on campus, and we decided to ride two bikes between the four of us so we'd get there faster. This was a mistake. I ended up sprawled in the middle of the quiet street a few meters from our driveway. That's when we decided to walk.

When we got to the bar, amazingly, no one could smell the garlic on us. But I didn't last long. I got kicked out for being too drunk, and woke up on a couch outside a friend's dorm room the next morning with a massive and excruciating, purple and swollen elbow from my bike accident the night before. It hurt for months and I still have a scar.

But it is mostly the sun and warm friendship and music I remember from that perfect day.

Writing this silly post about my former crazy self reminds me of Faulkner Fox's Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life, where she writes about a fun evening getting to know a couple of other parents.
"I was truly happy that evening, and yet I also felt sad that the stories making our faces brighten were all solidly rooted in the past. Of course sharing stories about your past is a primary way of getting to know people beyond the surface -- in our cases, beyond the harried day-to-day hustle of life with young kids. I was glad and eager for our backward-glancing talk for that reason. On the other hand, weren't our current lives funny and interesting? Didn't we do anything adventurous or carefree now?

Apparently not. We were laughing at our foolish, younger selves, but it was also clear that we mourned the loss of their footloose ways. Still, I felt certain that none of us would trade what we had now for what we had then. Even if more were possible, verbally reminiscing about the past was as far as any of us wanted to go."

Somehow this also fits into the post I read last night (very late to the party) by Andi Buchanan. But I'm not smart enough to figure out how exactly.


Mad Hatter said...

I love that comparison between womanizers and woman lovers. I do so have a soft spot for woman lovers.

Hey, I was thinking that it won't be long before I can start a series called Hot Flash Fridays.

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh, I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one with the soft spot. I was a bit shy writing about that. But woman lovers are fun.

LOL... For some reason I have actually had hot flashes for a couple of years, although I'm not menopausal. Not while I was pregnant, but they started last week again, the week I was horribly stressed out, and blew up. They certainly contributed to the explosion.

Oh, The Joys said...

I think my associations with the album are all just happy. That sounds much more intense.

(I have never heard of the garlic thing!)