Are You Looking For Fast Love, Too?

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I’m not much of a music person. In fact, my taste in music sucks. My playlists are a mashup of Broadway tunes, pop, rock, and disco. And Madonna. A fuck ton of Madonna. I’m more of a movie and TV person, having worked in entertainment-ish for about a decade. The Grammys just aren’t on my radar the way the Emmys and Oscars are.

Despite my modest to non-existent interest in music,  I did catch Adele’s tribute to George Michael on social media yesterday.

As a fellow Brit who was enamored with his music, Adele explained backstage following her awards sweep that she was “about 10” years old when she first discovered “Fastlove” and “heard the vulnerability in that song.”

Added Adele: “When the video came out for that, I was blown away by how f—ing hot he was. It’s actually quite exceptional how good-looking he was.”

She connected with the lyrics, Adele noted, which reference promiscuity but also point to losing one’s way. – AOL Entertainment channel

I have this song on one of my playlists. It’s included in a group of songs I listen to when I write as each tune reflects an aspect of my protagonist’s history and motivation. When the song first came out people paid more attention to the video, as it depicted Michael mocking his recent run-in with the law for soliciting sex in a men’s room. People didn’t really listen to the lyrics.

(Gotta get up to get down)
(Gotta get up to get down)
(Ooh ooh, baby baby)

Looking for some education
Made my way into the night
All that bullshit conversation
Well baby can’t you read the signs?

I won’t bore you with the details baby
I don’t even wanna waste your time
Let’s just say that maybe
You could help to ease my mind
Baby, I ain’t Mr. Right

But if you’re looking for fastlove
If that’s love in your eyes
It’s more than enough
Had some bad love
Some fastlove is all that I’ve got on my mind

(Ooh ooh, baby baby)
Ooh, yeah yeah
(Ooh ooh, baby baby)
What’s there to think about baby?
(Ooh ooh, baby baby)
Hey baby, oh yeah
(Ooh ooh, baby baby)

Looking for some affirmation
Made my way into the sun
My friends got their ladies
And they’re all having babies
But I just wanna have some fun

I won’t bore you with the details baby
Gotta get there in your own sweet time
Let’s just say that maybe
You could help to ease my mind
Baby, I ain’t Mr. Right

But if you’re looking for fastlove
If that’s love in your eyes
It’s more than enough
Had some bad love
Some fastlove is all that I’ve got on my mind
Get yourself some lessons in love

So close
I can taste it now baby
So close

In the absence of security
Made my way into the night
Stupid cupid keeps on calling me
But I see nothing in his eyes
I miss my baby, oh yeah
I miss my baby, tonight
So why don’t we make a little room
In my BMW babe
Searchin’ for some peace of mind
Hey, I’ll help you find it
I do believe that we are practicing the same religion

Oh you really oughta get up now
That’s right
Oh you really oughta get up
(Ooh ooh, baby baby)
Oh yeah
Looking for some affirmation

I found Adele’s stripped down version haunting. Take away the dance track and the horns and you’re left with a story about a man suffering from a profound loneliness.He leaves his home without a bodyguard or anyone else protecting him or who might prevent him from going off the rail.  His pain is so profound that he’s reckless (In the absence of security/Made my way into the night) and gets arrested.

With this song, Michael wasn’t making light of the fact that he broke the law. He was trying to explain why he was in a bathroom soliciting sex from a stranger. There was something to the act – a desperation – he’s attempting to convey with the lyrics. It’s like he’s saying, “I’m not some creep. There’s a reason I did this. Just give me a chance to explain.”

I must have watched Adele’s version four or five times yesterday, experiencing more unrest with each viewing. I identified with Michael’s longing for a connection, but I also related to being so lonely that you don’t care if what you’re doing is unhealthy (or illegal). I’m still tormented by  how I just invited that guy from Tinder over to have sex. It wasn’t sex that I was looking for. I see that now. I wanted human contact.  In absence of a meaninful relationship with someone that cares for me, I was willing to accept the touch of a man who – let’s be honest – could have done some serious emotional or physical damage to me.

In the days leading up to my father being taken off life support. I clearly remember feeling a visceral need to connect with another human being. Tad, a man that’s been an off and on lover for over a decade, came to the rescue. Our sex life had gotten stale after that many years of occasional hook-ups. But that night, fueled by vodka and a yearning for a reminder that I wasn’t alone, our sex returned to its once acrobatic and passionate state. I distinctly remember asking Tad not to pull out afterwards. I wanted to stay joined together for as long as we could. The sensation of being penetrated replaced the numbness. In a few days, my father would take his last breath. The  thought was so unendurable that I was doing whatever I could to stave it off. After he died, my sex drive was gone. Connecting with anyone was inconceivable. While in bed with an ex,  he tried to initiate sex and I said no. He asked if I was okay and I said, “I feel nothing.” I was consumed by what felt like a never-ending emptiness. Dating didn’t appeal to me. Sex didn’t appeal to me.  Affection of any kind was wasted on me, as I experienced no physical or emotional reaction to someone’s touch.

This isn’t the most uplifting of Valentine’s Day posts, I know.Depending on where you’re at in your head, this day is one ongoing trigger. Yesterday, I decided to go the hair of the dog route and re-enable my OKCupid account. I’d shut it down three weeks earlier, with one quick visit last week to let a guy from Tinder view my profile. Then I disabled it again. When I went in last week, I went to my inbox. There were all of Michael’s (not George Michael, this Michael) messages right at the top, his face next to them. I put my profile back into hiding, then returned yesterday. Michael’s face was no longer visible. He’d deleted his account.  I sent him one text last week, a link to Melissa McCarthy’s SNL Spicer impersonation, and never got a response. It’s pure speculation on my part, but I always sensed he was dating someone when we were hanging out. Those who know me IRL can vouch for that suspicion. I truly believe I was the understudy in the wings kept around just in case the leading lady bowed out.

Today, I skimmed Facebook and came across a story of a cat with mange so bad that his eyes were crusted shut. Nobody would hold him, so he’d just sit in his cage all day, waiting. The woman in the story passed by his cage and he reached out to her, as though he was desperate for someone to acknowledge his loneliness.I cried.  We’re talking streaks of hot tears.  We are all that cat at some point, reaching out looking for anything to stop the low-grade ache of our loneliness or feelings of isolation.

George Michael was that cat.  I am that cat. The good news is that – at the end of that article – we learn that someone took the abandoned feline in. Someone kind, who looked past the matted fur and crusty eyes, and saw a creature worthy of love and affection.

May we all be so lucky.

 

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7 comments

  1. Oh man. I think you are giving Michael way too much credit. He is seriously a jerk and he used you.

    The good news about the cat story – and that website is an evil evil time succubus from hell that made me cry and cry and cry – is that she found a home BUT part of why she found a home was that she was so loving and gentle. A lot of cats and other animals, including people, have been hurt so badly that they lash out, thus making it harder for others to be close to them. It is one of the saddest truths about life – those of us that are the loneliest and most vulnerable sometimes push others away because we can’t help it. And the circle continues.

    As for George Michael. I have so many clients who crave human connection, but many of them have never had sex without being high. Fucking heartbreaking.

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    1. All that cat wanted was affection. She must have been starved of it her whole life. That’s a special kind of torture, as is being forced to live your life in the closet the way George Michael was. I think he had so much pain inside of him that stemmed way back to his abusive father.

      Like

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