Saturday, September 5, 2009

An Ode to Morrissey

Oh, Steven Patrick. How I adore thee. Your giant hair, your amazing eyebrows. For 17 years, I have loved you from afar. I know I came to you late in my life, but in 1985 I was 9. I knew nothing of angst. When I was 15, possibly the coolest girl in my high school mentioned The Smiths to me. I found out who they were and I have been devoted to you ever since. I mark it as the beginning of my life as an Anglophile.  For me, Every Day Is Like Sunday.  You are The Light That Never Goes Out. I have seen you as the tragic hero and thought, much like every teenage girl in the world “If we could only find each other, I could be the one to make him happy”. Hours were spent in my room staring at pictures of you and Davy Jones. (I know, totally weird, but both English. Love at 15 cannot be explained.) Imagined scenarios floated around in my head involving the two of us and great swaths of gray, wet, windy English countryside. Lots of tweed.  
But I grew up. Others came and moved into the space in my heart that you once occupied. Michael Stipe. Robert Smith. Hugh Grant. (briefly). Music no longer had the same hold on me as it did at 16, 17 or 18. 20 saw a brief resurgence when I lived in Bath and you were everywhere, but alas, I came back.  
                    At 25, NPR wound its way around the emotional trellis of my being and choked off the part that once wore brown lipstick called “Toast of New York” and carried a black and steel box for a purse. Dust covered my 14-hole Doc Martens. (that I still wish I had bought with the heel.) I did not marry an English guy. 
                     At 30 I got an ipod and began filling it with podcasts and books. Amusing, but never really soul-touching. Have you ever thought of reading books on tape? I could totally get behind that one. Loved the endless possibilities of the ipod, but never felt it was a necessity in my life. If I did not have it, the sun would still rise. Music had taken the way-back seat in my life. 
                     The years passed. But, My Unrequited Love, I have news. Recently I saw a trailer for a new movie  “(500) Days of Summer” In it was one of your songs. A tremor went through me. It was like recognizing an old friend out of the corner of your eye. Suddenly, my head was filled with all kinds of lyrics. All kinds of melodies. Your voice. And so I ran to my CD collection, loaded up the CD’s and put them all on my ipod. Suddenly it was 1993. I was wearing plaid and you were telling me that Meat was Murder and The Queen is Dead. Frankly, Mr. Morrissey, I was in bliss.  Through the miracle of the ipod I have your whole catalog at my fingertips. And on Tuesday as I drove home, I cranked you up and sang with you as loud as I could. Even though it was pouring. Even though I probably should have been paying closer attention, I was yelling my head off and rocking out in the car. It was a beautiful sight. I knew at that moment you were back in my life for good, reclaiming your place in my heart.
                       At 33 I realize the foolishness of my teenage dreams. I know we can never really be together. I know that even if we meet, you can never be happy. It’s just not who you are. You revel in the vegan-ism, the depression, sadness, angst and unrest. But it’s o.k.  I have your music. I have what I need. And somewhere, hidden deep in the recesses, I have my Doc Martens. I am totally going to put them on, crank you up and rock out.


  1. This has brought an adolescent blush to my face. So I remember George Harrison (I still approve) and okay ... Peter Noone (Yes, the Herman of the Hermits - yeah, I was young, too!). When I hear WHILE MY GUITAR SLOWLY WEEPS - I am in a time machine. We won't mention what I wore (oh dear) but my first anglo loves bring back a time when I sure looked good in jeans. And then there was Darcy and Rochester and all my fictional anglo loves.

  2. Love Morriessy. I remember getting busted by Mr. K in HS, b/c I had a photo of morriessy in my locker. He had his shirt upbutton and his tongue sticking out. Mr. K did not approve. Saw him in concert at 14. Great show. hmmm.

  3. Man! I totally would have gone with you! And had I known about the picture, I would have stolen it.