True art is about revealing the deepest level of our inner humanity. It cracks open the faults that we try to hide and makes them beautiful. It forces us to see that we are perfect in our imperfections, strikingly beautiful our the darkest moments of truth.
That’s why I love songs about booty calls.
No recording artist would call them songs about booty calls. They’d call them songs about yearning for a lost love. Songs about lust and self-worth. Songs about loneliness, about fate, about simultaneously defying and complying with the fabric of history. But really, we know that the songwriter had a date with tequila one night. The tequila told him or her that through the veil of tears obliterating all focused sight there might come a former loved one who is feeling a little frisky. And by the way, that’s a great idea.
It’s not a great idea. Not at two o’clock in the morning when the pigeons won’t even eat the hot dogs dropped on the ground outside the bars. Not while driving down a major west coast highway and basking in the glory of the beginning of summer. Not while scouring the racks of a department store, or sipping blissfully on a cup of iced coffee. Not even after knicking your ankle shaving or shoveling gravel all day or doing the most obnoxious and tedious task in the world is that a great idea.
In fact, it is such a disasterous idea that it would completely set aflame the great love stories of our culture.
Just imagine if Elizabeth Bennett was like, Oh hey Mr. Wickham, I know that you fooled around with my sister when she was only fifteen and that’s totally against the law in the 21st Century and also polite society will never acknowledge you while shopping the streets of London to buy a hat or some cufflinks or such, but you wanna maybe get coffee some time and catch up?
Romeo had just met Juliet at the ball, and he’d also been taking pulls off of Mercutio’s flask hidden in those really tight pants, and so he was feeling pretty depressed because of the whole families hating each other in an epic feud thing. That’s when he slipped a note to Rosaline asking her if it was cool if he came over to talk, because he just really needed someone who knew him and could understand where he’s at right now in his life. Yikes…
Gatsby is the only one whose life wouldn’t be totally ruined by a quick “remember how I used to be important to you?” bit, since he would be the one receiving the note and maybe that whole car-accident-killing-the-mistress scene wouldn’t have occurred. But really, Daisy did do that once she found out who Gatsby was and she was too late; her husband was already loving his life down the road with the other woman. Just goes to show you…
And yet the songs persist. The songs lift up the eternal hope that the past isn’t forgotten. They haunt our every move, as if our memories couldn’t do the task themselves. Just keep the radio turned up nice and loud so that no one can tell if you’re singing along or yelling at yourself. No texting! Put the phone away!