Love (Pt. 3), or, Hope of the Hopelessly Romantic

«Buckets of Rain» versions [.zip]:
  1. Bob Dylan (original Blood on the Tracks pressing)
  2. Marissa Nadler (live on Phoning It In)
Are you in love? Maybe with an artist? Or a writer? Or a punk? A hippie? A stripper? A singer? A foreigner? A free spirit? A cult follower? A pagan? A teacher? A student? An introvert? An exhibitionist? A sister of mercy? A delicate romantic? A fearless sex beast? A wild child, kept alive inside a feral woman dripping in blood and pheromones? A hedonist? An Adventist? An innocent pervert?

And does this person make you feel blessed? Lucky? Beautiful? Joyous? Saved? Sacred? Scared? Helpless? Top of the world? Like you want to be better? Loved?

But is this object of your desire unavailable to you? Living in another country, perhaps? Or maybe on holiday on the other side of the world? Wrapped up in the world of work? Is the person of your affections lost at sea, trapped in a mine, on an expedition in the jungle, repairing a satellite, taken hostage by terrorists, or already married—to a ruthless drug lord with a decidedly jealous, no, let's make that paranoid streak? Or has she been married off to some snot-nosed would-be patriarch who keeps her in house arrest in some inflexible Muslim country to perform household chores and reproductive duties in his mother's home, controlling her communication with the outside world? Is your soulmate so wrought with issues and dysfunctions he or she is all but impossible to deal with? Is the person in a coma—dead, even?

Or is the feeling simply not mutual? The impossibilities are endless, but whatever the scenario, Bob Dylan has you covered:
Like your smile
And your fingertips
Like the way that you move your lips
I like the cool way you look at me
Everything about you is bringing me
Thank you, Bob Dylan, for writing a lullaby for the unbearable tension of nursing a crush on someone who may or may not be approachable, available, attainable—like when there's just no way of knowing yet! When infatuation makes your mojo grow and you can see the light of happiness glow right there in front of you, almost within reach, and you once again feel alive and like a member of that human race that writes schmaltzy love songs, cheesy rom-coms and queesy Valentine's cards that are otherwise so detestable. You can hardly follow a conversation, let alone work or sleep. Flights of fancy, daydreams, niggling hopes and nagging doubts dog your every move as you commute between Ecstasy and Despair (both perfectly imaginary). All productivity goes out the window, your rationality hanging by a thread of strenuous effort to maintain some sort of self-discipline, lest you turn into some incoherently raving stalker howling pathetically beneath the window of the hapless object of your affections.

In the long run, there really is nothing worth pursuing quite as much as love, but right now, in that endlessly suspended moment where you still don't know which way that obscure object of desire will swing—does this other person (and I do hope you're in love with a person, or else you're in for a wild but doomed ride, friend), does this seemingly irresistible someone actually feel the chemistry and the electricity, or is the connection not noticed by him or her and hence not a connection at all, but a cruel fiction invented by your own excitable self? Right now this uncertainty is torture. «Misery.» The wait for some sort of resolution seems endless, time crawling infuriatingly by, and nothing can quiet the swirling thoughts that amount to just one thought, really, repeated ad ridiculum: «Does s/he feel the same?» Until the answer is given, nothing else seems to matter. Food, friends, hobbies… Even though your mind's entirely one-track, you still can't think straight. In bed, you've been tossing and turning for more hours than are left before you need to get up for work, when those words of Bob Dylan's rise up from the depths of your memory (or is that your downstairs neighbour's flat?), to calm you right the fuck down.
Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin' out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love, honey baby
I can stand

Little red wagon
Little red bike
I ain't no monkey but I know what I like
I like the way you love me strong and slow
I'm takin' you with me, honey baby
When I go
Aw, Bob, thanks! One listen to «Buckets of Rain» slackens that knot within. It's a pep talk for those ravaged by the sweetest thing there is. And because it's the sweetest thing, everything seems to hinge on it. (It doesn't, you know.) What you need is time out. Something to take you out of your tunnel-of-love vision. Like the recognition that this shit happens all the time, everywhere, so don't sweat it:
Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well
I'll do it for you, honey baby
Can't you tell?
So drop your romantic urgency and desperate possessiveness for now, because that's not love anyhow. Be thankful that when thinking of others, you do not only feel regret, resentment, suspicion and disappointment, but something to make sense of your inborn impulse to be with other people. If Hell is other people, Heaven must be, too:
I been meek
And hard like an oak
I seen pretty people disappear like smoke
Friends will arrive, friends will disappear
If you want me, honey baby
I'll be here
Now that's luv, Bub.

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