Love (Pt. 5), and Thinking It

Here's another installment in Toilet Guppies' continued series about that emotional, psychological and sometimes sexual risk that is love, as treated in modern song. The good ones:

You can take all your high class poetry of rock—your Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave—but did you ever try keeping it simple? Perhaps especially when these men among letters are lustful and high on their own gift, one suspects they use their wordsmithery just to manipulate their love interest's mouth down south, coaxing and playing the impressionable beauties from behind a mask of sophisticated elegance and martyred, Bohemian desire that is all but irresistible to validation hungry pretties dazzled by the eloquence they themselves don't possess. It probably works for them, but what are we supposed to listen to, when we're smitten and can barely contain ourselves for all the giddy glee of infatuation and find ourselves in desperate need of identifying with someone, something, some words lest we explode and implode, all at the same time and in every direction, because we sure as hell can't reveal to the object of our affections how we honestly feel (not yet anyway)? The outward motion of seduction is one thing, the inner tension of infatuation quite another, and the two don't share release valves.

Well, there's always Spiritualized's «I Think I'm in Love», the layman's love song (apart from the narcotized junkie intro, that is). This one's not a mating call from a smooth-tongued wizard of words to his stargazing groupie, but an anthem for those of us who, despite having little or no reason to feel hope, are still bursting with a totally unreasonable bliss that's probably doomed, but we don't care: We finally have A Sense Of Purpose and A Reason To Get Up In The Morning!

«I Think I'm in Love» is the perfect song for all of you who are helplessly in love, against your better judgment. Whoever said you can't really be insane if you know you're insane had clearly never been in love. For being in love is finding yourself in an utterly psychotic state—and some of us realise it, without that changing a thing. We're still powerless to resist, which is why we can only try to ascertain that we're not the only ones, by seeking familiar thoughts and feelings expressed by someone far more eloquent than ourselves—and if it's in the form of a pop culture hit embraced by hundreds of thousands of our fellow human beings, all the better! That lends our state some measure of normalcy, which helps, because as we all know a psychosis that's normal isn't considered crazy at all. Which means we don't need to see a therapist, but can go on fantasising and daydreaming about things that will never happen with people who don't exist (at least not quite as the person we think they are) until reality hits us with either rejection or everyday life. (Or will it?)

In the meantime, we can find temporary release in these shared sentiments, guiding us from shameless hubris to crippling doubt and back again. Because we never really believe that doubt when we're in love, do we? We just play with its notions, in erstwhile preparation for the disappointment experience has taught us is likely to come (if not inevitable). It's that clever-dick wise-ass voice at the back of your mind, heckling your innocent joy like some bitter bore stalking your conversations at a party he wasn't even invited to. And the blue-eyed boy inside of you is simply too pure and harmless to think of a decent come-back, powerless against the bad breath of the cynic haw-hawing at your sweet, sweet illusions. Luckily, denial is one of the strongest human tendencies, and so the light in which we bathe when we're hopelessly in love takes our attention away from that voice of dissent. No point in listening to that voice, anyway. You'd just end up with tissues, to dry either your eye or your hand. Naw, just let the doubt voice its misgivings; nod your head in condescension as your mind drifts off to rose-tinted reverie, hallucinating happiness. Sometimes hope delivers.
I think I'm in love
(Probably just hungry)
I think I'm your friend
(Probably just lonely)
I think you got me in a spin now
(Probably just turnin')
I think I'm a fool for you, babe
(Probably just learnin')
I think I can rock'n'roll
(Probably just twistin')
I think I wanna tell the world
(Probably ain't listenin')

I think I can fly
(Probably just fallin')
I think I'm the life and soul
(Probably just snortin')
I think I can hit the mark
(Probably just aimin')
I think my name is on your lips
(Probably complainin')
I think I have caught it bad
(Probably contagious)
I think that I'm a winner, baby
(Probably Las Vegas)

I think I'm alive
(Probably just breathin')
I think you stole my heart now, baby
(Probably just thievin')
I think I'm on fire
(Probably just smokin')
I think that you're my dream girl
(Probably just dreamin')
I think I'm the best, babe, c'mon
(Probably like all the rest)
I think that I could be your man
(«Well, probably just think you can»)

I think I'm in love
Or you could simply say, like Beck, «I think I'm in love / But it makes me kinda nervous to say so». It ain't Shakespeare, but then the Bard of Avon could never have come up with that.

[The full length version of Spiritualized's «I Think I'm in Love» is available on Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space. Beck's «Think I'm in Love» is available on The Information.]

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