Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Monday, August 22

A Bridge Too Far

In 1987 my girlfriend loved, in the way that all girlfriends in 1987 loved, Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes.

And I strived, like all the boyfriends in 1987 strived, to be the master of the mix tape.

Mix tapes were an extension of one’s personality. They could be soothing, cloying, obstinate, humorous, aloof. Messages were constantly sent, hopefully pictographically rather than overtly, such as Weezer’s You’re My Best Friend.

When I mixed tapes, I tried to never give anyone precisely what they wanted. Instead I gave them that and then tried to gauge what they knew they are capable of and showed them they could go one step further. Including something more than was bargained for.

So when I made the tape, I put In Your Eyes between the Psychedelic Furs’ Into You Like a Train and Prince’s Scarlet Pussy. When she listened to it, she told me it made her feel like taking a bath.

‘A warm, bubble bath with incense and candles?’ I asked.

‘No,’ she said. ‘It makes me feel dirty, like I’m unclean.’

This was a time I misgauged both what someone was capable of and what they imagined me to be. But it was also, admittedly, an extension of my personality. I’ve tried to gravitate around people who push me beyond what I expect of myself and it’s served me well. Though it constantly makes me feel inadequate, I enjoy the challenge of digging out those inadequacies. And like Jesus, I do unto others.

This makes me, admittedly, exhausting to be around.

Every major relationship I’ve had, there has been at least one late-night, after-party, post-coital, cooing where I was asked, ‘What am I going to do with you?’

Apparently the answer turned out to be: Send me to med school.

But I am still getting the question, so it was not a complete answer.


Blogger dan writes:

You put an old, obscure, and extremely filthy prince B-side on a mix tape for a lady friend. I'm in awe. I don't want to guess at your age in 1987, but man were you ahead of your time.


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