Tuesday, April 14, 2015

when a man loves a woman


My high school sweetheart and I stayed together in college. We had the great idea of having an open relationship. It was a great idea because who wants to be with one guy in college? Life is so amazing and there are so many things to do and see and a boyfriend can be a real drag. We could not break up because we LOVED each other in that serious teenage Romeo and Juliette way. So we decided to have our cake and eat it too!

High school sweet heart is a funny word to apply to me or my then boyfriend, Jesse Malin, who was in the legendary New York early hardcore band Heart Attack. I was a very political punk rocker, teenage anarchist, with all the best intentions about an ideal world where no one needed restraints forced upon them be the government because everyone was cool enough to govern themselves. I was also a radical feminist. I had lots of great ideas and devoured everything that came my way. I loved it all.

Part of our philosophy for having this open relationship was that
“‘I love you’ does not mean that I cannot have other friends, or have fun with other people or even date other people.” We had a point and we tried really hard.

Ultimately we made of mess of things. We had no idea of what we were doing, no blueprint or role models, only beautiful ideas that did not take emotions into account. If I could do it all over again I would change nothing but there was indeed a lot of pain and fighting involved in our “thing.”

One of my other lovers was the nephew of a Hollywood legend. I am talking LEGEND, as in, he was in the film “The Misfits” Yep, one of those guys.

Me and the nephew had a long relationship alongside my other relationship. The nephew also had a girlfriend who was away at another college, so it all worked out, sort of. I loved that I was never jealous of her. It was so fun to play with fire.

Anyway, one time, for his birthday I gave the nephew the Percy Sledge single “When a Man Loves a Woman.” I was not giving it the mushy “I love you” way, but in the “Oh My God! How great is this song” way. How great was everything at the time, life, love, politics, bodies, music, hearts, soul! Everything was new and waiting to be discovered and explored. Still, the gift was loaded.  I gave him the single and his girlfriend found it and smashed it to bits in a fit of rage.  Ah, life!

Percy Sledge passed away today. He recorded the song “When a Man Loves a Woman” when he was 25 years old in Muscle Shoals. Alas, the Muscle shoals sounds! What a beautiful song, still perfect. The song went to number 1. He was praised for his performance, which was of note because he was so young, only 25. I praise him for that performance and being so old, 25!!! Of course young people can give performances like that, teenage love is atomic!! Rest in Peace, dear Percy. Thank you for the music.

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