Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Patience and my new ‘husband’

So maybe the flash action ain’t all it could be ... but here, for your viewing pleasure, proof Anna has persisted in burning down those candles. With moderate success in the one case. And meanwhile, since she’s worried I may be losing my mind, Roommate decided to make me a husband. Sure he may be a little orange of face, but since my NoCali errand to Trader Joe’s I’ve scarfed so many dried apricots it’s a wonder my skin hasn’t turned that color too — and sprouted fine hairs beside.

James Blunt is neither orange of face nor fine-haired (except in that pleasing, soulful indie Brit rocker way). And his taste in shirts, based on what I saw this July nips him barely out of Josh Groban territory. But we’re begging you, James, don’t ever cotton to who does his hair. And don’t let go that “I was a soldier” toughness. We think it’s a hit with the ladies. Well, in saying “we,” I may be presuming a bit for my erstwhile photo chum. But we both found James winning — just with his unamplified guitar and a little booze in our empty bellies. For this was still in my Ad Co. days, you see, and he played a small acoustic set there. Verra swank.

And on the strength of that three-song set, I’ve been waiting to introduce you to James — how else? — in a Spooning Fork. Yes, the music feature returns (now let that inspire you for this month’s contest!).

‘You’re Beautiful’ from Back to Bedlam
It’s not hard to see why Blunt has been such a hit with the Brits (and now with us as well). Not only is this lilting, driving single the perfect rainy-day subway-ride music, it’s also an anthem for all those lonely, fate-obsessed Craigslisters who keep Missed Connections in booming business.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don’t know what to do,
’Cause I’ll never be with you.

Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
Fucking high,
And I don’t think I’ll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.
Now James, honey, maybe I misunderstand ... But this “high” business. Are we talking “high” on love and her rare beauty, or something else? Cause I’m thinkin’, feet right flat on the ground might be a better way to approach a lady.

I’m not sayin’ I don’t sympathize, oh no. Not that I’ve had such moments with men I didn’t even talk to, but I know our penchant for latching onto moments divorced from all the surrounding, depressing reality. Give me a meaningful hand-to-the-head here, a brief unspoken understanding there and wrap it up with a couple jaw-to-temple contacts and my God, I’ve stitched together one helluva doomed relationship!

For really, in this age of Web-increased options and decreased permanence, sometimes we romantics do better to pine about the haunting, dead-end moments here and there than endure the confusing not-quite-relationships that so often are.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.
But it’s time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.
Oh we’d like to believe in romantic fate all right. The question is, was James’ angel smiling at an idea she was powerless to produce, or because she’d thought of a great joke she could play on him?

A dark ending yet again, I fear. Sorry, ya’ll. That’s just the writing this fall compels me to. But hey, if you need some help rewriting song lyrics for this month’s contest, find a way to make James’ story less sad — or at least more cheesy. That’s my tip for today. Now get to work making love songs worse! Ten days left in this month’s contest ...