Last Valentine’s Day, I was given this list of words, and I was challenged to write a love song without using any of them. I’ve always been afraid of love songs. It’s not because I can’t think of words other than “kiss” and “miss” to describe the feeling of love, it’s because I’m a manic pixie dream girl, minus the pixie dream girl part. I’m the one obliviously sinking into true love like it’s quick sand, while the other person is trying their best to get the hell out of crazy town. And they always do, while I’m busy writing verse two of a love song that I will soon be too heart broken to finish. Sometimes it’s even the love song itself that breaks the camel’s back. Do not underestimate the dangers of writing an ambiguous song with the word “love” in it while your relatively new boyfriend is within hearing distance. But that’s a whole different story.
This time I HAD to write the love song, it was an assignment for a night class on songwriting. I remember telling my boyfriend, “I’m wrote you a valentine’s day song, but it’s like, for a class. It’s not, like, for you.” I was terrified. I started writing without looking at the list of restricted words once. I knew I wasn’t going to need any of them anyways, because if I wanted to say “oh baby, I need you”, I could just send that in a text message. Good songs are the ones that say something important, and this had to be a good song… not just because there was a potential grade attached to it.
At the time, my relationship was strained by my constant mood swings and anxiety. I had just started treatment for bipolar one month previous, but it wasn’t working, and the lithium was messing up my kidneys. I cried a lot. I called him everyday and asked him drive into town and hold my hand so I could do my daily tasks without having a panic attack. He did. But when he showed up with his reassuring hands, I noticed that he could barely look at me. I was so chaotic… it must have been hard to watch.
This love song was meant to thank him and reassure him. He left me a month and a half later (on my flipping birthday), which of course I’m still writing songs about, and now we don’t speak. I know everything that happened is for the best, but I still want to take back what I said to him last valentine’s day. I didn’t write this song for a class. I wrote it for him.