Not labled for individual retail sale, aka On feeling comfortably uncomfortable

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/06/14 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

Nothing technical, why are you bothering, you know the drill....

The other night Andrea and I had another of those phone calls we have from time to time....

Andrea: I was reading through your blog the other day, and I was curious why you claimed that Andrea wasn't really my name?
{she is referring to this post}
Michael: Oh, you always pronounced in ahn-dray-ah rather than and-ree-ah so I assumed it was spelled Andréa, plus I thought it would add a small amount of obfuscation for your privacy, since even though you said you were not worried, I was.
Andrea: But you realize you were wrong about the spelling of my name
and the need to be completely anonymous.
Michael: Well, you told me as much. I do much better with the truth than carefully constructed blog fabrications -- no one has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
Andrea: You're in software, maybe you should work on that!
Michael: Hmmm -- Microsoft Liar, not sure how that product would be taken in the marketplace.
Andrea: They would assume it was an internal tool used by all of your executives, and it would sell quite well.
Michael: Ha ha.
Andrea: Maybe you should stick to the truth, then.
Michael: That sounds safest.
Andrea: There was something else I noticed -- sometimes the quoted conversation lines with my name sound like me, sometimes they sound like you -- it is still what I said either way, but the style changes. Why's that?
Michael: That isn't intentional, I just can't always do the word-for-word after the fact, and I'm not going to record our conversations to improve my recall!
Michael: So when it sounds like you I probably just remembered key andrea-esque words/phrases or something.
Andrea: You do seem to remember lots of the details, at least. Your summary is probably easier to follow than our actual conversations would be.
Michael: That's the idea!
Andrea: Well, a kudo to you.
Michael: That's
my line!
Andrea: Mine too, now. kudos here are scarce, I have to be frugal with them and only and them out one at a time.
Michael: You people are all insane. These kudos are
not labeled for individual retail sale.
Andrea: I'll make a note of the rule. and withhold all kudos in the meantime. The kudo moratorium is now active.
Michael: No worries, I kind of like those fruit flavored tootsie rolls better anyway.
Andrea: Note to self on Michael's junk food preferences.
Michael: And kudos to you for that.
Andrea: You probably know what the look on my face is right now.
Michael: I imagine everyone can provide an educated guess on that one, dear.
Andrea: So, new topic, elk.
Michael: Ha ha. What do you have in mind, gazelle?
Andrea: What are you listening to right now, zebra?
Michael: {confusion in my voice} Missing, by Everything but the Girl, actually.
Andrea: The hit with all the dance sound from the mid 90's?
Michael: Yeah, 1994. But I was listening to the acoustic version, not the club version that charted so well.
Andrea: I won't even bother to ask why that version. You're a music snob, Michael.
Michael: I actually associate the club version with my ex -- it is on that list of songs she would listen to when she broke up with somebody else, to get over the pain of the relationship ending. Some of those songs I avoided already (e.g. Celine Dion's Seduces Me or George Michaels Jesus to a Child) but Missing I actually kind of liked before. I never used to listen to the acoustic version, ever. But I loved Tracey Thorn's voice --
Andrea: Of course you know who singer is. Let the record show I am rolling my eyes.
Michael: Duly noted. You know, I think she was born on my birthday, just a few years earlier.
Andrea: You don't know for sure the day and the year? I'm shocked.
Michael: I don't remember all of them, hell I didn't even know all of them to be in a position to forget them.
Andrea: Do you go to her shows when she's in town?
Michael: She actually doesn't tour. I think I read something on her myspace page about it -- with a bunch kids in the house, she would rather be home with family than touring.
Andrea: And a kudo to her for that.
Michael: Don't get started on
that again! Let's pop the stack a bit.
Andrea: Okay. You said you didn't care for the club version anymore due to the illegal julz reference and you never listened to the acoustic one. So what's different now?
Michael: I connect the song with
her now.
Michael: Liz.
Andrea: Oh,
Michael: Yes,
her. I mean I could have picked something like the Taj Mahal cover to You Don't Miss Your Water for the inspiration, but that song is from the point of view of a guy who was in a relationship but was unfaithful so it didn't really match up for me, thematically. And I have always liked Everything But The Girl, both before and after the Missing line between acoustic and electronic, especially Tracey's voice.
Andrea: And no thematic inconsistencies! Yea!
Michael: I know you're making fun of me, but I'll pretend you aren't....
Michael: The image -- going to where someone used to be, someone you never really kept up with, when it is way too late -- of missing someone so strongly that it is like the deserts would actually in fact miss the water falling. And deserts don't get very much in the way of rain, under the best of circumstances. Kind of how things are now, really anytime you miss something and you can't ever get it back. That's how I miss her -- like the deserts miss the rain.
Andrea: {softly} I'm sorry, Michael.
Andrea: Can I ask you a question?
Michael: Sure.
Andrea: Is this about the romantic entanglement that never happened, or the long distance friendship that can't happen anymore?
Michael: Maybe both. Ignoring the subplot of the romance that I was (let's face it) ignorant of and can't seem to fully fathom anyway, I do genuinely miss my PNL. Maybe Taj fits too -- I wasn't "unfaithful" to her -- but I think you could make a good case for betrayal since I essentially betrayed her heart.
Andrea: There is no way that she would let you get away with crap like that, you know.
Michael: True enough. Though if she were here to complain it wouldn't be applicable anyway, right?
Andrea: True enough. But I thought you said were happy these days.
Michael: I am, mostly. But this would be the biggest missing piece I am dealing with at the moment.
Andrea: I think it might be time to change the song.
Michael: Well its not like I play this song exclusively -- that was the kind of thing that made me want to throw Celine out a window, or at least her CD when the ex had it on -- it was a real Yamagatian Wore Me Down kind of situation, especially with some songs that could really wear me down. Tonight, Missing was just in the rotation, that's all. And it happened to be playing when you asked me what I was listening to right then. So blame it on timing -- or me not knowing why you were asking the question!
Andrea: I find it easier to understand your mood based on what you are listening to, antelope.
Michael: I could put in Louis XIV's latest.
Andrea: Horndog!
Michael: I was just kidding.
Andrea: Well ,what else is there?
Michael: Lots of stuff.

Andrea: Didn't you say Aimee Mann has a new record out?
Michael: @#%&*! Smilers, yeah. I am listening to that too. There is even a song that kind of fits in with what you're trying to do to get me off Liz called It's Over.
Andrea: Is it working?
Michael: Probably better than it does in the song, which ends with
                        but you sit there in the darkness, 
                        and you make plans but they're hopeless, 
                        and you blame God when you're lonely 
                        and you'll call it fate, when you show up too late and it's over
Andrea: Well I hope I'm doing better than
Michael: You are.
Andrea: I hope
you're doing better than that.
Michael: I am.
Andrea: I hope so.
Andrea: You know, she'd want you to be happy. That's what love is about.
Michael: Maybe so.
Andrea: Are you going to be okay?
Michael: Beautiful.
Andrea: Hey, song title!
Michael: Indeed. and with you noticing that, I'm even smiling.

The conversation then moved into some stuff going on in her life which probably does not make sense to cover here.

If you know what I mean. :-)

It is after these conversations that I can easily both recall and see why her and I would have never worked out, but also that I'm glad we are still friends.

She remains for me definitive proof that friendships that unwisely shift up into romance can shift back down into friendship. We could all use examples like that, I think.

I suppose I should give the Missing lyrics, just for the sake of completeness.

Something like this (acoustic version):

I step off the train
I'm walking down your street again
Past your door
But you don't live there anymore
It's years since you've been there
And now you disappeared somewhere
Like outer space
You found some better place

And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain
And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain

Could you be dead
You always were two steps ahead
Of everyone
I walked behind while you would run
I look out by your house
And I can almost hear you shout down to me
Where I always used to be

And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain
And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain

Back on the train
I asked why did I come again
Can I confess
I've been hanging around your old address
And years have proved
To offer nothing since you moved
You're long gone
But I can't move on

And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain
And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain

Step off the train
I'm walking down your street again
Past your door
I guess you don't live there anymore
It's years since you've been there
And now you disappeared somewhere
Like outer space
You found some better place

And I miss you, yeah
And I miss you
You found some better place

And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain {repeat chorus 5x}

Not a 100% fit to the situation by any means. But close enough to make me feel (wait for it!) comfortably uncomfortable.

But I did say I would turn the song off, so I will do that now. Out of the rotation, too (I did put it on continuously while I was writing this, so I may have overloaded on it).

Dedicated to a PNL I used to know, and a PNA I still know


This blog brought to you by(U+2614, aka UMBRELLA WITH RAIN DROPS)

Igor Levicki on 17 Jun 2008 10:17 PM:

Have you considered writing a novel? Great writing.

Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Jun 2008 12:14 AM:

Well, the challenge would be to have enough conversations with other people to have good source material!

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