Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Twin high-maintenance machines"

Again, I'm back to the Mountain Goats. When there is no one to talk to you can always write...

Anyway, I'm listening to "This Year" now. I've heard it before and knew I liked it, but the perfection of the phrasing is blowing me away this time. "Twin high-maintenance machines"? So simple, so perfect describing... actually everyone in every relationship ever. I was going to say teen love or some shit like that, but let's get a grip: we are all high-maintenance machines on some level when we get in a relationship. I kind of like to pretend that I am low-maintenance as far as dating goes but that is a complete lie. I am patient and calm and don't like drama, but just because the engine don't whine and blow smoke doesn't mean it don't need to be checked from time to time. (I know I misused 'don't' in that sentence and just couldn't care less right now)

I was asked once by someone I was dating if I thought they were high-maintenance, so of course I said yes, because they were and I figured that anyone asking that question had to know that simply asking it makes them so. As I've said before, I often don't understand people so I missed the mark by a mile, since anyone besides me would know that anyone asking that wants to be told that they aren't, even if -especially if- they are (which I've already said we all are). I always say just the wrong thing with people I love and usually at just the wrong time, so I'm in a constant state of trying to figure out how to not sound like an ass the next time a friend or family member or bf asks some seemingly innocent question. I usually fail, but at least I know that if I can't run them off with my normal idiotic responses then they must be tough enough to enjoy having around.

This is off course, not what I originally was planning on writing about when I started this. I really did just need to share how much I'm loving this song and that line in particular (again, wow!), but I've just gotten back to sea after going and visiting my friends and basically spending three months on the move with my foot firmly in my mouth.

Not really that I said anything terribly horrible. I just always managed to just not quite hit the right tone and felt seriously disconnected around people. Of course, I've kind of always felt this way around people; that's part of why I hang out with fish. But this time was remarkable in how on the move I was and how many different people from how many different places and times I was around and seeing. I guess it is more remarkable how connected I still felt with so many of these people who I haven't seen in so long.

Particularly in New York, I really felt a disconnect. The time flew by faster than I expected and it was harder to find time with people like I wanted. I spun around like a top on fire (not that kind of top, you perv) and found it hard to slow down. And I was so excited to see everyone that I just talked non-stop or couldn't find anything to say, and with some of my closest friends I didn't get to just sit and hang out or spend time like I wanted to outside of bars and parties.

I did get to see perhaps the one person who knows exactly what I am talking about as far as saying the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time: Brock. We met at a time when both of us were kind of in a limbo and soon realized that we complemented each other well, partially because we both had a bluntness that often got us into trouble. He was the king of answering honestly questions that weren't asked because the person (usually a girl) asking wanted an honest answer. I would coach him on things not to say or things that needed to be said, and he would coach me on the same. We couldn't see our own blind spots but were pretty good at catching each other, either pointing out and laughing after the fact or, as time went on, warning the other ahead of time that the other was about to say something stupid.

I guess most of my problem is that when I ask a question, I usually don't have an answer that I want to hear ahead of time or I at least don't expect to get the answer I want. If I don't think I would want to hear the wrong answer, then I don't think a question should be asked. Granted, half of my problem comes from me volunteering random information that no one else in the world remembers. I can't remember names to save my life, but I have this uncanny talent for remembering sorid and amusing details from my and all my friends' dating/social/family histories, which I have a tendency to blurt out when something reminds me of it. I, of course, love it when people blurt stuff like this out. I'm always interested in who slept with who and what weird habit drove someone mad or what kind of weird quirk you'd never guess so-and-so has. Unless someone is saying it maliciously, I'm all ears. I figure we all have our excentricities that someone somewhere remembers and still laughs at (with me, it is usually my friends laughing at mine, usually somewhere in the vicinity of right in my face), so I don't find it exceptional or cruel to discuss other folks weirdnesses and histories. Other people do, and this I always forget. It is part of my charm.

Maybe this is why I like this line in this song, the acknowledgement of being a needy, difficult thing right in tandem with the one beside you doesn't happen near often enough or sincerely enough.


Heather said...

so i was just searching "twin high maintenance machines" because I forgot the name of the song, and this was the first link. I just had to say that when it comes to the Mountain Goats I don't really just love the songs and have favourite ones, but their songs just have a way of having a handful of words or a line or two that is just completely brilliant, it'll just make me feel instantly good. every so often I need to hear him say "twin high-maintenance machines". Anyway, this was random, just wanted to say you're completely right!

XcentriK said...

lol i just did the exact same thing. i wanted to find the song lyrics cos i felt like i needed a motivation boost, and this song gives me just that.

Michael said...

Ditto the above two comments. :)