I saw this video interview with Lana Del Rey a few years back that really stuck with me. Although I usually find the meticulously constructed Lolita persona of Lana to be abrasive, the video captured glimmers of a surprisingly human side of the starlet. At one point she sings a few stanzas of “Million Dollar Man” acapella and then follows it with an exasperated sigh, saying, “I am always singing about the same g—damned relationship… I’ll love him forever.” Its statements like this that draws us in to the genuine suffering underneath the acrylics, faux lashes and silicone-injected lips.
More often than not I am transported into sepia-toned memories of boys past while I am brooding along to her songs. And while I possess the ability to draw parallels from most any song to previous relationships, my 3 most recent boyfriends are more obvious examples of how my life has become a LDR song.
Jim- “Blue Jeans”
A song about a cinematic romance betwixt polar opposites. I had decided upon Jim as a love interest almost immediately after I met him. I then spent the next 6 months trying to seduce him, not desperately I promise. One day when I was feeling like giving up I pulled into the campus parking lot to find Jim, tan skin bathed in the warm sunlight of the Golden Hour, sleeves of his White T barely rolled up, putting on his black Ray Ban’s in what I witnessed as slow motion. I almost drove my car into the bushes. It was like James Dean reincarnate. He was so devastatingly handsome and badass that my eyes literally burned. I had to have him. Unfortunately, like most badass’, Jim was emotionally unavailable and after 6 months of feeling pathetic about waiting for him to reenter and exit my life at-will, we ended the relations.
Brian- “Off to the Races”
A song about a toxic relationship with a guy who thought he was hot stuff. Lana knows that this guy is bad news but she clings to him, living to gain his affection. This is Brian. Brian was my teacher junior year of college and he was captivating, intelligent, witty and mean. Besides the normal inappropriateness of the relationship, he was also a sociopath. There’s a lyric in this song which is eerily similar to a standard line Brian would serve me. It goes “Who else is gonna put up with me this way?” Brian would say this to manipulate me into thinking I wasn’t good enough or normal enough to be with anyone else, that I was too crazy to put up with. But he, as a professor of clinical psychology and practicing therapist, had the proper tools to deal with me. And at this point in time I didn’t have enough self-confidence to effectively reject this notion. The best part was that at one point I was in class learning about Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a brand of therapy most popularly used on patients with personality disorders, and I realized that he was currently using techniques from this perspectives in our conversations. Brian was treating me like a severely psychologically disturbed person! The nerve.
Maddie- “Dark Paradise”
My sister gets upset upon hearing his name; the whole ordeal affects me in such a way that it takes me to this dark and twisty place whenever I bring him up. “Even though you’re not here, won’t move on.” “There’s no remedy for memory.” “There’s no relief, I see you in my sleep.” Just the kind of Major Depressive Disordered lyrical goodies that would accurately depict my feelings towards Maddie while simultaneously make my sister concerned. Okay so it is technically about a lover who has died but, and I mean this in the least dramatic-sounding way, he is as good as dead in my life story right now. That one relationship that ends in a very severe way (either by death or, in his case, marriage and a child) that you never quite get over. It is a loss that is very raw, that wont seem to scab over the way I need it too. Everything reminds me of him. He haunts my dreams to the extent that I awake to a deluded state of awareness that takes several reality checks to submerge from. The dreams are unpleasant to experience (an understatement) but a part of me looks forward to the suspended reality of dreamland where I am afforded more chances than life offers. Where I can still be connected to him in this subconscious dark paradise I construct for us.