Soundtrack For The Perfect Girl

Published on July 30th, 2009 in: Issues, Music, Teh Sex |

By Jim R. Clark

Why do you insist on listening to music that you don’t even like? Is it because you’re afraid what the others will think of you? Them, and their damned taste police. No? Well, I know the real reason. Really, I do. Listen, I’m going to tell you what’s going on inside your head. Consider this a free counseling session.

perfect girl poster
Poster of The Perfect Girl
from The Brick Theater

Turn down the lights, lie down on the couch, light a candle, wrap up in your Snuggie, and crack open a Black Label. Relax yourself and think back. Back to when you were young. Let’s say 12 or 13. Way back to your first, earliest memories. Of yearning love. From when your unsteady rollerskate feet go kerplup, kerplup, kerplup around and around the summer roller rink. And the sweaty, smiling people spin brightly colored past the Pac-Man machines where it’s dark and smoky. And fast. The driving beat of the new wave and the neon-paneled light wall. Spinning, spinning. And there, in your mind, you imagine the perfect girl.

Who’s the perfect girl? What’s she look like? What does she wear? And wherever does she live? Well, don’t ask me. You’ve created her haven’t you, your perfect girl? Anyway, the perfect girl, she’s not really a plain-Jane girl like everyone else in town, is she? She’s imported and different. A wild, carefree, Europhile with eccentric tastes. And colored hair. You’ll know her when you see her, won’t you? What does she like to listen to, and how will you ever meet her? Well, your mind goes, the perfect girl listens to the most obscure of the obscurest records that have ever been made. Doesn’t she? Because she’s smart and sophisticated. And how are you ever going to meet the perfect girl unless you can show her that you’ve got such common interests right?

When you finally meet her, it’ll be so easy for you to discuss the finer points of East Indonesian hobo boxcar drummers over a latte of free-traded Colombian, whilst smoking Indian Nag Champa cigarettes. Your eclectic tastes will just really bowl her over. And you can go back to your place where your massive collection of colored vinyl will convince her to forget the desperate condition of your dustbin apartment. And there, she will hold you tightly in her arms and breathe hotly into your ear. All her years of wandering the earth are over because she’s met you, the perfect man. Sigh. She lays you down, down onto the velvet, down-filled cushions, with a commanding, expectant force. Your passionate love is enough to take on an unfeeling world, like a raging fire. Her bosom yearns for you as her hips press. You gently kiss her sweet lips as your bodies become one, a streaking comet across the cosmos. Etc. Etc.

And so it begins. Your obsessive record store trawling for music that’s further and further from the norm. You’ve got to store up more and more impressive information inside your musical knowledge database. Then you find that the record stores and radio stations aren’t even playing music that’s obscure enough. Barnes & Noble and Borders? Hah, that’s so pedestrian, isn’t it? So now you’re picking through the used bins at the second hand stores, going to flea markets and sleazy swap meets at American Legion halls, and, gasp, those ghastly eBay sellers. Have you ever found yourself listening to WPRB Princeton?

depeche mode posters
Still from The Posters Came From The Walls, 2007

Life’s too short to play these games. Now, won’t you admit that it’s really not that fun to listen to broken dishwashers, toilets filling up, orchestra hit crescendos, rattling chains, fifteen minute theremin solos, and jarring autoharp chords? And what if the perfect girl will like you better for what you really like? Instead of trying to be an imposter, go on, be honest with yourself and paste that Heaven 17 bumper sticker back onto the car, wear that Morrissey T-shirt with pride, and tack those Depeche Mode posters back up on the wall. The perfect girl is going to appreciate it. And, you know, deep down, that you really, really want to, anyway.

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