Along with our letters, we also publish “Flashback Fives”—a list of five moments when each writer fell in love with a song, album, artist, genre, et al. This list was submitted by Tiffany from Baltimore, MD.
Yeah, I got dumped. In a bad way. At a bad time. But then I’d hear these songs, and I wouldn’t feel so alone, so hopeless. I’m not the first person to feel this hurt, or this angry, or this damaged. I’d crank the songs in my car and my headphones, and I’d let them drench me. And then, very slowly, I started to heal.
“A Hiccup in Your Happiness”
“The start is the hardest part, to step inside and announce a newly broken heart”
Sure, my name’s not Louise, but I still felt like the singer was talking to me like a friend. And I was hurting so much, and the promise of my heart mending “if by degrees” helped me get out of bed. And even if I didn’t fully believe that I could be happy again, I liked hearing that all this was just a hiccup in my happiness.
“Cut and Run”
“I don’t want to sleep alone and think of you with someone else”
I think, for a short time, I thought there might be some chance he’d try to come back to me. I wasn’t ready to be alone. He’d pried his way into my life, and then he left me and kicked me while I was down. And beyond being hurt, I had to relearn how to live without him in my life. I wasn’t ready to have to figure out how to live my life alone while he was moving on.
“Fuck your Ivy League sweater, you know I was better!”
Then I got angry. Angry at him for treating me like shit. For leaving me for another woman, who looked normal, who had a fancy job, who didn’t adorn herself in thrift store dresses, who listened to bands that weren’t super obscure.
“Who will I find to talk to?”
It was never really about her, obviously. But I couldn’t help wondering why he couldn’t see that he’d thrown away something amazing. I’d been so happy, and I told him so many times. I made space for him in my life, but he left. And I was lost and alone and confused. I didn’t want him back, but I felt the hole he left in my every day.
Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson
“Down on the street those men are all the same”
He hated this song. (How on earth could I have been in love with a guy who maintained that this song was “a low point for Iggy, and for Kate?”) I sang it at my first post-dumping karaoke. We’d gone to karaoke together every week for 6 months, and he’d never been willing to sing it with me. And I stood up there, with a friend supporting me, and sang the shit out of Kate’s part.