I hate being needed or relied on in any way, so what kind of girlfriend could I really be for a man who needed a big knife in his chest just to get through the day and probably required a little something extra in the way of girlfriend sensitivosity? I’m listening to said man’s posthumous album for the first time now (this is Elliott Smith, for those of you playing the home game) and trying not to have the thoughts that undoubtedly swamped the discussion boards as soon as the album was released, i.e.
SomebodysBaby2823: OMG ‘a fond farewell to a frend’ is totaly about his death
SomebodysBaby7984: no omg totally in that song ‘dont go down’ he is talkin about his deth
SomebodysBaby9442: ru ppl blind that 10sec trak with the cartoon noizez is totaly about his deaths
l4r4cr0ft223432: U PPL R LOSERZ L33T 4EVA!!!I HACKZ0RZ U!!!
SomebodysBaby57: if u play the album bkwrds u kin here a sucking chest wound
I am failing, though. OMG, that lyric “Stay with me, baby, stay,” I thought, clutching a throw pillow to my chest, that is totally what I would say to him if he were here. Except I would add: and put the knife down, baby, put the knife down.
Apart from these eerily prognosticative moments, though, it’s not the bright and shining album I know he was capable of making, which is not that surprising given that it’s unfinished and he was suicidal. Still, during “A Fond Farewell to a Friend” he and I had a nice moment on the tour bus where I taught him how to braid hair and he braided my whole head in a chummy little interlude (by which I mean “friendly” and not “similar to shark bait”) and he maybe sang a little and then maybe we had sex later in the bathroom of the restaurant where the bus stopped for lunch. So overall I give the album three stars because it got me imaginary laid. And imaginary braid(ed).