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
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
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
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.