No Doubt: Return Of Saturn

Song: “Ex-Girlfriend

This song has been playing on my iPod rather frequently lately. Not because of me — something in the shuffle has been crushing on Gwen Stefani, so No Doubt plays just about every time I listen to music.

It was the summer of 2000 when this song played constantly, and I was going through the longest break-up of all time as Eric and I slowly moved away from each other, back and forth, breaking-up and getting back together, wondering what we were going to do. He wanted to move to New York. I wanted to move to Los Angeles. He wanted to move on. I wanted to stay together. He didn’t. So I started to move on, and then he wanted to stay together. I’m making it sound much less complicated than it actually was, as of course it had to be, but that’s enough for you to sympathize with the fact that this song never stopped playing the entire time I didn’t know if I was getting dumped.The soundtrack to this heartbreak was this damn album.

It was “Simple Kind of Life” that would get me the most upset. I remember one day sitting in my office at the dot com job, listening to this song in the almost dark, so scared of what was going to happen to me, wondering what I was supposed to do next.

I put “Spiderwebs” on the playlist I often use when I’m running, but the iPod lately just wants to play the more maudlin songs.

I don’t know why I wrote all of this, except I sat down and hit play on the iPod and “Ex-Girlfriend” started, and I realized six years ago right now I was in a very different place — physically and emotionally — at a time when I couldn’t imagine the month ahead, much less the years. I had no idea what I was supposed to do or how to do it. Everything seemed enormous and scary. I’ve come a long way since that summer, and I’m grateful for what I’ve learned about life, love, and me. But I still remember all of those feelings, and why I had them, and some of those fears never go away. Different city, different computer; same song, same girl.

That was the summer it hit 112 in Austin and stayed that way for two months straight, and my car didn’t have air conditioning. So all the crying and anger and depression and desperation might actually have been a combination of heat exhaustion and my brain cells popping from the heat.

Hey, the iPod just started playing “Bust a Move,” so maybe it’s feeling a little more perky. And yes, I give my iPod its own personality and thought processes, because the writer’s life can get a little lonely. I spend my day with machines, and if I don’t think they care about me the way I care about them, I don’t know how I’ll be able to sit here for hours on end. Besides, all of these machines give me the ability to communicate with all of you. So, sort of, these machines do have personalities and people in them.

Hey, why am I still typing? I sound like a freaking crazy person, here.


Stay away from the Stefani. The only thing I should have remembered when I heard that song is that it’s time to get my roots done.