to the one i love

Santa Rosa's Howarth Park showing kids movies into the end of summer. Valentine’s day, sometime after 3pm, and I’ve got nada. No card, no candy, no flowers, no nothing. OK, that’s not entirely true, because we sloughed the kids off on the ‘rents yesterday, for just long enough to spend a bright and lazy Sunday afternoon canoodling over wine and chocolate, which surely counts for something.

The problem is, I’ve got a long and illustrious rap sheet as something of a Grinch on manufactured holidays, and I’m particularly poor at warm and fuzzy public declarations – had my bride and reverend not stood so close, they might have missed my whispered vows entirely, right along with the rest of our friends and family. And no matter what she says, no matter how completely she accepts my vinegary assessments of poetry and candle light, I know deep down in my toes that something is hoped-for, even if it’s not expected. And that I probably owe her that something, for far too many reasons to bother even mentioning.

So, having no adequate words of my own, and scant time to come up with much else, I’m stealing someone else’s; this one, Mr Stipe, goes out to the one I love (with thanks, for the assist):

[youtube mNBKM5so8tQ]

The chief risk in playing a song for your lover is, of course, that the lyrics may or may not actually say what you think they do, much less convey whatever it is that you meant:

This one goes out to the one I love
This one goes out to the one I’ve left behind
Another prop has occupied my time
This one goes out to the one I love

Fire (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)
Fire (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)

Did he leave her for another? That wouldn’t be very Valentines-ish. Or maybe it’s about his remorse for any moment, every moment, they’ve spent apart? And fire, what’s that about? I’m awful at making sense of these sorts of thing, but here is what I do know: He loves her and her alone, and he sings about it with the sort of voice that makes it feel as if some great fat bastard just sat on your chest. That, and my wife loves Michael Stipe, so I’m going with it.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

(By the way, if this sounds even remotely familiar, my advice is, quit your bitching and man-up, already. And in case you’re tempted to steal a page from my playbook, feel free, but save yourself some angst and check out this short compendium of classic love songs that aren’t.)