It’s All Happening :: On Breaking Up and Break-Up Songs

IAH-OnBreakUpSongsOn a five hour plane ride away from my troubles, I had a lot of time to think about which way I would wallow in my current circumstance.

One could go the way of an empowered R&B lady, all Aretha Franklin-like: “Oh, snap! Boy don’t know what he’s missin’!” That’s most of the break-up playlists that come up when punched into Google.

Or, you could to choose to simply listen to ‘Angie’ by The Rolling Stones on repeat. I’m reading the lyrics as I type, bawling like a baby: “I hate that sadness in your eyes / But Angie, Angie, ain’t it time we said goodbye?”

Or, you could go down the pathetic self-indulgent road of Bright Eyes, Bon Iver and the like. Think ‘Your Ex-Lover is Dead’ by Stars; I love this pussy shit.

See, the thing about breaking up is that you deserve to wallow in your gut-wrenching self-pity, and smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. You may shed tears of cliches, such as “sometimes, love is not enough” or “if you love someone, let them go”. This must happen before you are able to reach step two, that includes Jack White’s new album, lots of Black Sabbath, and logical phrases like “When it’s that unhealthy, just walk away, man”. You realize you are much better off not being someone’s dog shit-soaked doormat.

As I have a habit of bailing on my entire life after a bad break-up, I have mixes for mid-winter ride shares from two-timing jazz musicians, and perfect albums for lonely european flights fleeing from bad actors with bad habits.

On today’s over-air conditioned West-bound plane, I’m scouring my iPod for anything to cry to.


Trespassers William – ‘Lie in the Sound’

The first lyrics get the tears going for my five-hour pity-party: “I love you more than I should / So much more than is good for me. . . .”

I sob into my Welches Fruit Snacks until they become too salty to eat.


Bon Iver – Skinny Love

In fact, the whole album For Emma, Forever Ago completely devastates my heart. But, I manage to get through the first 30 seconds before deciding I better leave that shit alone out of fear of launching myself into the lap of the 70-year-old man seated beside me, for a much needed “It’s gunna be okay” cuddle. I am so fucked!!!!


The Kills – ‘Last Goodbye’

Alison Mossheart kills me:

“It’s the last goodbye, swear . . . .

heard what you said

And I love you to death”

Too soon. . . .

Umm . . . . Fuck . . . . Ouch . . . .


Mazzy Star – ‘Fade Into You’

Just to dig the knife in a little more, and remind youself of nights laying naked with your lover. . . . I’m trying to remember, but all I keep getting is that scene with Claire Danes and Kieran Culkin in Igby Goes Down – maybe that’s for the best.


Alabama Shakes – ‘Hold On’

This whole album has gotten me through these past few weeks of mind-fucking limbo, as well as this freezing flight.

Why are airplanes always so goddam cold!

“Well, must be somebody up above / Sayin’ come on girl, you’ve got to get back up.”

Okay – totally got this shit . . . .


MGMT – Congratulations 

The applause at the end helps, makes you feel like you done good.

At the end of the day, if you know you tried your goddam best, never loved so much, never gave so much, but it still wasn’t enough. . . .

When people outsource, it proves fatal for the economy, as well as the heart . . . .

Then fuck it.


Congratulations, I made it.

I’ve got 90 bucks, my guitar, and about two-and-a-half shreads of self-esteem, and tomorrow’s gunna find me just fine.

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