Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Insensitive

Autumn Leaves: half - green, half - red simultaneously!

Someone asked me the other day if I thought that increased tolerance of public incivility was leading to an increase in individual anger? We're all treated rudely by store clerks and so - called "civil" servants from time to time, if not daily, right? Thinking of impersonal insensitivity reminded me of this 90s single that laments a more intimate version of the same tendency:

Insensitive
How do you cool your lips, after a summer's kiss?
How do you rid the sweat, after the body bliss?
How do you turn your eyes, from the romantic glare?
How do you block the sound of a voice
You'd know anywhere?

Oh, I really should've known
By the time you drove me home
By the vagueness in your eyes, your casual goodbyes
By the chill in your embrace
The expression on your face that told me
Maybe you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive
Insensitive
Insensitive

How do you numb your skin, after the warmest touch?
How do you slow your blood, after the body rush?
How do you free your soul, after you've found a friend?
How do you teach your heart it's a crime to fall in love again?

Oh, you probably won't remember me
It's probably ancient history
I'm one of the chosen few
Who went ahead and fell for you
I'm out of vogue, I'm out of touch
I fell too fast, I feel too much
I thought that you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive

Oh, I really should've known
By the time you drove me home
By the vagueness in your eyes, your casual goodbyes
By the chill in your embrace
The expression on your face that told me
Maybe you might have some advice to give
On how to be insensitive


~ Jann Arden, Canadian singer - songwriter (b 1962)

Jann Arden sings from the heart;
poet Sharon Olds writes from the gut:

Sex Without Love
How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.


~ Sharon Olds, American Poet (b 1942)

Once again, I'm reminded of the narcissistic Little Chap, always focused on himself in Stop the World, I Want to Get Off. At the end, rather than stopping the world, he simply admits that "the only person I ever really loved was me." Could that be the problem? As Coach once advised his daughter Kelly in one of my favorite episodes, being insensitive doesn't always prevent you from getting what you want; it just means that, sometimes, you'll have it all alone.

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