"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

17 May 2011

"To All the Girls..."

Back in the last year of university, and the few years after that, I knew a half-Ecuadorian we called the Latin Lover. He reminded me of Ian Asbury, from the Cult, and was possessed of that smooth and sincere charm, which made him instantly likable. His ink black hair was far longer and thicker than mine. He had dark soulful eyes and an incubus smile. In the circle I sometimes traveled, all of the girls, and even a few of the boys, wanted him.

And he loved women. Loved them. He would wax infatuation and romance about the various females he would see on campus or that he'd take out on a date. We always found this quite amusing. In every conversation, a girl would come up at some point.

"Are you in love?" my x-wife asked once, when talking about a particular girl.

"I fall in love twice a day," the Latin Lover said sweetly, and we all knew he meant it. The ladies that were in attendance swooned at his remark.

Once, sitting out on the veranda of the flat my x-wife and I shared, the Latin Lover told me, if he had a theme song, it was that sappy ballad; To all the Girls I've Loved Before. Seriously. Seeing as I'm not romantic in the slightest, I groaned, rolled my eyes, told him he was a sissy and wore pink by choice.

"You misunderstand," he said with that big grin more than one girl had lost her inhibitions to. "I've been with a lot of women, and I've loved every one of them. That's why that song fits me. It's to every one of them."

"You're still a sally," I said.

I can remember a time when I thought it was a nice to give a song to a girl. The whole our song thing. In theory, it's great. Until the break up. Then, the song becomes tainted. Twisted up with all the bad and mournful memories, it seems. A long time ago, I gave up on the practice, with precious few exceptions, Sabina being one of those, even then, I've fought myself about it.

Besides, I have noticed the resonance of a particular song can change. A different set of memories or feeling might end up being affixed to a tune, which meant something different at different time. Maybe that's just me.

Although, I told the Latin Lover, and it's been true to this day, if I was to have a girl-song like his simpy ballad, it would have be the Smithereens' A Girl like You. For every girl I've been involved with, I can think of at least a single line, maybe two, that during that stretch of time, just seemed to fit.

Hey, if some charming half-Ecuadorian, who could make women, and some men, go all kinds of goofy in the slacks with just a glance, could have To all the Girls I've Loved Before, then I can have a Smithereens' song. It's like that...

"That makes a girl feel like they're not special," my x-wife told me. "Like they could be anyone."

"Reckon I don't see it like that," I said. "See, every situation is unique, just like every girl has been. Fuck, everyone I've ever known, period. If by nothing else, than by virtue of their DNA and fingerprints."

Of course, we didn't see eye to eye on that. We didn't see eye to eye on a great many things, and those things have increased in legion in the years since. The fact I don't like to dedicate songs to girls is something I don't readily talk about. Probably because of that discussion with my x-wife. My rational seems perfectly sound to me, but then again, I'm not a romantic.

The Latin Lover, however, understood. In fact, it made him smile. He did say that, despite whatever I might say, I really was romantic, just in denial. I told him I hadn't made it Egypt yet and he drank. He laughed at me. Over the years, a few cats have made similar ascertains, to which I've pointed out their respective drinking or drug habits, which might cause delusion. I've met those who profess to being romantic before, and I know I ain't that.

The Latin Lover never claimed to be a romantic neither. He just loved women. Loved them. I suppose, were I possessed of that kind of charm, I might have tried to be like him. Since I'm not, I just figured I'd be like me, for whatever that might be worth.


  1. Funny thing about this is that I know that guy's twin brother, The Dirty Cuban...
    And since I have given up on love and romance, I have never swooned over him, not even once, and he only sees it as a challenge. Silly Dirty Cuban.

    Great post! And now I shall be humming Julio Iglesias all day.

  2. Oh, them thar wacky Latin American men...

    Glad you enjoyed this.

  3. Really enjoyed this post. People don't always fit into the boxes other people wish they would. It's good to be able to see how others might see you but still be yourself anyway. I find the way books, art and music make me feel often changes as the years pass.

  4. It's good to know someone else sees how the resonance of a thing might change.