“Stay up all night to feed your fire
My day’s a dream with you on my mind
I wake up tight full of desire
And you are the one who can unwind
My weather’s always a surprise
Don’t think you’ll ever come prepared
But love’s the lighthouse in my life
If you get scared…”
- Sophie B. Hawkins, Mysteries We Understand
When I woke up this morning I had another Sophie B. Hawkins song (Don’t Stop Swaying) stuck in my head so I thought I’d listen to the album. Listening to it I was so struck by how much those lyrics reproduced above speak to my situation. I slept solidly last night mostly due to the fact that I hadn’t slept at all the night before that. I laid in bed all night but I didn’t close my eyes. I was driven by a fire of my own, a compulsion, a desire. A confused desire perhaps. I wanted to feel like I mattered to someone – anyone – and was determined to do whatever was required to feel like I was important to at least one human being.
The truth is I am deeply conflicted. I have all these ideas about romantic love and sex that seem to circle around each other but which don’t always seem to coincide. I want to be loved and I want to be loved. I laugh to myself at that sentence because it seems contrived but I hope the emphasis is understood. I guess in a large part this is what this is about – a conflict between romantic aspirations and raging hormones and sexual desires. I want it all and I want it now. Though if I’m being honest I don’t think I can have it all. Part of me wants to settle to have at least some of that. But what parts do you pursue and which do you forget?
I was propositioned recently by an enthusiastic charming individual. And honestly I was deeply flattered (perhaps in the most literal sense of that word), and a little curious, but I know from my own relationship history (as limited as it is) that sex without love leaves me feeling cold. A part of me – the desperate delusional part that dreams of running away with the circus long after it has left town – wondered though if it might be the beginning of something else, something better. And to this person’s credit they were very frank and honest about the realities of the situation and their intentions. It helped bring clarity, and completely destroyed the lofty imaginings taking place inside my head. I guess if I’m being completely honest I always hope someone will come and rescue me from my life and myself. Though clearly we live in a world that is markedly different to the one I imagine.
And it’s funny that I should be listening to Sophie B. Hawkins this morning because in a sense I feel like I’ve come full circle. Because this album Tongues and Tails is more or less a tribute to all that desire, to all manner of desires really, often conflicting ones. It’s murky and messy, and, maybe, when it works, wonderful. I guess what Sophie has that I don’t is a faith in forces – natural, romantic, spiritual. An expectation that things will work out and that things are worth working towards.