My Childish Bride

Have you ever seen a map laid flat, four corners pinned back, all the lines and the legend in black, so clear that you feared it was nearly all in your mind?
And the phrase that fell from her lips left a rip from the top of your shoulders to the point of your hip; and the feeling that you get is if God exists he’s really unkind.
But it’s not what you want to say when you’re losing. All the meaning’s lost in the choosing: the right side, the wrong side, the side that’s been winning. Forget the words, look back to the beginning.
My childish bride, Oh how I, miss your face
Sometimes, I see my life slip by across your face
There’s an ocean on land. There’s a plan. There’s a plan. There’s a fifty-foot tower running power over sand. There was a city on a hill. It was a thrill but the lights are all gone. Now we stare at each other like a sister to a brother, like a pusher to a shover, like a secret to a cover, like a lover to a lover under covers with the stereo on.
But it’s not what you said to me when you were leaving. Oh this mass of bodies, we’re heaving the right way, the wrong way, the way that they taught us. Forget your words, remember they got us.
My childish bride, Oh how I, miss your face
Sometimes, I see my life slip by across your face
Tell me are you real? Do you feel? Do you steal these moments you reveal with those eyes that can’t conceal? Were you wronged? Was your song just some clever thing that you made up? ‘Cause the words are just right and I could listen all night. I could whisper. I could bite. I could write. I could write. I could sing. I could cling. There’s not a single thing I’d ever give up.
But it’s not what you meant to me when you were leaving. Oh this mass of bodies all heaving the right way, the wrong way, the way that they taught us. Forget yourself, remember they bought us.
My childish bride, Oh how I, miss your face
Sometimes, I see my life slip by like a taste of death.
I’ve always liked working on songs with Steven. He has great ideas and more than anyone I’ve ever worked with, walks in the door with a very complete idea of how he wants something to sound. Plus it’s just cool to do something you are proud of with a friend. This is how we wrote the music for “All I Ever Wanted” and most of “All at Once” — we’d both have ideas then we’d sit in a  room with guitars throwing riffs at each other, or bits of keyboards or harmonies or whatever—until one or the other of us would say, “Oh hell yeah…” Then we’d be off to the races.
So on this particular day, Steven walked in with about five pieces of through-composed music with keyboards and drums and whatnot. It was really cool stuff — sounding to my ear something like LCD Soundsystem or Pulp (Steven is a massive Jarvis Cocker fan). And then there was this one weird little track that had some hand claps on it and some simple chords and maybe one little melody line and I thought, “Now we’re talking.” It sounded like a song to me — as if the lyrics and vocal melody were aching to be written. So we spent some time locking in the music together and then I got down to writing lyrics.
This song probably has my favorite line in the whole record: “Now we stare at each other…” I love the stereo, the sheets, the intimacy between the people. It’s something like a shared secret, this love they have, as if nobody else was in on some breathtaking elaborate joke. Which is the best way I can describe true love. A secret joke two people share, a knowledge that somewhere in this very very hard world there can be true comfort, warmth, belonging, friendship — a gentle sharing of burdens, secrets and sweat — that no one else could imagine except the person under the covers with you listening to the stereo.
I love the idea of the map, with every detail, every signpost laid out: you know, life is supposed to go like this. You’re supposed to fall in love with someone like X. And we’ve all been told our whole lives that this certain X has certain attributes and those are the ones we’re supposed to want. But then love comes along it surprises you. The map fails because in reality, you fall for Y or Q or Z — and X seems like something from a fucking magazine: an airbrushed, two-dimensional version of love that has nothing to do with the shocking reality of falling for someone flawed and exciting and cool as shit. Because that’s love: something cool as shit and scary that you just can’t stay away from.
And everyone wanted you to fall for X. And here you are with Y (or Q or Z) and maybe nobody gets it, maybe you don’t even get it. So you’re forced to change, to soften your position, to feel around for a new self— because you are never going to end up with X and lets face you can’t wait to jump under the covers with Q.

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