I’m currently obsessed with the We are Scientists record, 'With Love and Squalor'. Cautiously avoided it when everyone else I know first started listening to it some time last year, now they’re all bored of it I’ve made it my own - mostly because it’s been the perfect lyrical soundtrack to a doomed demi-affair.
It started at this fancy dress party (with the power of a good disguise) and seemed to end at another fancy dress party (in tears). In between there were scenes of tender teen romance, raucous violence, shameful excess and a screening of a pornographic film.
I first noticed him when he didn’t recognise me as a girl he had previously offended. Gave him his own nickname and told the last standing at the first fancy dress party that I would make him my own. At that point I should have been in bed a whole day ago.
“I shouldn’t even be here / Much less drinking myself into excess”
At an unrelated fancy dress party, in between, I ended up walking home with this guy who worked from home and wanted to take me back to his office. I politely declined but after a few lame texts from him, arranged to meet him the next weekend. After being stood up for the first and only time in my life I’m back in front of the man I would make my own. He offers much sympathy - I’m pretty angry. We kiss.
“My body is your body / I won’t tell anybody / If you want to use my body / Go for it”
Over the next couple of weeks tentative steps are made to get to know each other. He holds my hand while we’re watching TV - I’m so happy I could die. A few days later we take in a rental - I kind of knew it was gonna be pornographic, but I didn’t know it would be that pornographic, plus, it was kind of his idea. He’s mostly aloof and mysteriously silent, but he’s still holding my hand.
“I guess I should probably leave right now / Cause I’m already kinda sweating and freaking out”
Then, I decided to I wanted to meet him outside of the boyish comfort of his home and I ruined it by nervously asking awkward, stupid questions. Next time I saw him I was wearing another disguise, but this time it wasn’t so good.
“If everybody knows how it’s going to end / Why doesn’t someone stop me”
In a two day blaze of celebration and overindulgence he ignored me, threw me to the floor, pinned me against the kitchen counter, told me to stay, told me to go, slept, danced for me, held me tight, showed me a movie (non-porno), made me cry and I ended up losing my mind. Woke up alone, in a silent house that previously throbbed with the noise of a messy, hedonistic rabble and had scant clues about what to do and how to feel, such was the toll of the party.
“I guess I may take it back / But I’m not sure what I did”
Wrote him a really confused, mean letter about why it was his fault / my fault that I had to walk home at this time in this state. In the more sober light of day the first thing I should of done was destroyed it, because I passed out before I got the chance to leave. But it was left there, after I had left on fairly balanced note. Big mistake. I haven’t heard from him since.
“All the words that you said are stuck in my mouth”
‘With Love and Squalor’ is all about those weird few, lonely, hours, although I hadn’t even heard the record then. Defined for me by it’s tender examination of sex and excess, it’s become the soundtrack to me waiting for this guy to get in touch. So tomorrow, I going to stop listening to it, and get over it.
Incidentally, It’s interesting how this little tryst was framed by three very different fancy dress parties…..maybe if I’d been myself, instead of a version of something that doesn’t exist, things would have turned out differently.
Btw, the porn was from the mind of Vincent Gallo: egomaniacal, largely unwatchable but somehow mesmerising road trip.