there were no glory days
Bruce Springsteen is in the midst of some shows in the area.
I hate Bruce Springsteen.
Now, let it be said here and now that there was a time I liked him. I've seen him several times, had all the albums, knew all the words, etc. Mr. Working Man, Mr. Here's To The Little People, Mr. New Jersey.
There are several things that can turn your opinion on an artist you like. One could be just a simple change in taste. You grow up, you move on, you enter a different phase of your life and suddenly you are craving double bass and curse words.
Then there's the change in attitude on the part of the artist. Maybe he discovered that he's really not meant for rock and roll and he runs for Senate, or his lyrics change to the point of being unrecognizable to his former self or he shaves his beard and head and decides he'd rather hand out Hare Krishna pamphlets in the desert than sing into a microphone again and you throw out all his records because the past is gone, baby.
And then there's the relationship factor. Songs are invasive that way. They creep into your heart and soul and stick there like crunchy peanut butter so when you hear them again, some years into the future, all that crunch and peanuts loosens itself from your insides and you regurgitate your past until the bitter taste in your throat has you reaching for the tequila.
My ex-husband was a bit obsessed with Bruce. Still is. In fact, he's over in Jersey tonight or wherever The Boss is playing, and I'm sure he's in his own little heaven right now, being in the same space as his idol.
I can't hear a Springsteen song without cringing. Somehow, between all the years, all the collected CDs and vinyl and concert stubs, I forgot where Springsteen ends and my ex begins. They've become synonymous with each other.
It actually started before I was separated. The entwining of the two entities started a year or two before, when I was contemplating the end of my marriage and in my effort to bring myself out of funk, I took out all the CDs I never listened to because he forbade me to play them in the house and I rocked out and banged my head and all that, and none of it was Bruce.
I can't stand his strained voice. I can't stand his underbite and the way he grimaces when he sings. I realize now that all his songs were the same thing with different chords. And with every note and lyric that emits from any stereo playing Springsteen within hearing distance, all I can hear now is my ex husband's voice, his words overriding whatever the boss guy is going on about.
It's not Bruce singing about Rosalita, it's the ex yelling how much he hates my family. The bleak, funeral chords of Nebraska become a depressing dirge to which seven plus years march by, led by the ex's unsmiling face.
Oh, there's more reasons I can't stand Springsteen and his working man posturing. But isn't the reminder of all the failures, the depressing moments and the mistakes enough?
I broke and burned the records he didn't take with him. All that bland crap he liked - all the Springsteen and Billy Joel and jesushchrist, he had Huey Lewis records - they all went in a pile and became melted, twisted chars of hate and regret, along with some wedding pictures.
I hope he's having a grand old time at the concert tonight. And I hope that when Springsteen breaks out Glory Days, as he most certainly will at some point, the ex remembers that one specific moment like I do, so his stomach lurches like he has some god awful flu and he has that twinge of regret and sadness that comes with the once-in-a-while realization that he blew it.
Pass the tequila, please.