I listened to this Depeche Mode song today and fuck is it depressing. Thanks a lot, Martin Gore. Thanks a lot. You have pretty hair, by the way.
This song took me back to 1985. It had come out the year before, but I played the tape endlessly on my Walkman.
’85 was the year of my ridiculously enormous crush on Geoff Brown. He was all I could think about night and day. I dedicated a whole journal to one afternoon he and I spent together while we both waited for our parents to pick us up after school.
It was doomed from the start.
He was in the 8th grade, I was in the 5th. He had dreamy brownish/blondish hair, while I was sporting a graduated bowl cut, my thick black hair hanging in my face. He never looked my way, spoke to me, or even knew who the fuck I was. I knew everything about him: his friends, where he lived, how he did in school.
Shit. I was a stalker in the making.
You know how that saying goes – she’s out of your league? I was never THAT girl. I was the wallflower that sat on the curb during recess, reading a book and proud to be part of the AV Club. Unfortunately, pimples were also invading my face, I was plagued with terrible bouts of hives all over my body and I was shy as fuck – a winning combination right there.
But for one glorious afternoon, Geoff Brown acknowledged ME and it felt like we were the only two people on Earth.
We talked about movies and music. He laughed when I said I didn’t like Madonna and preferred the musical stylings of Erasure and Yaz. While we spoke, I envisioned we were in a John Hughes movie and Geoff was finally falling in love with me while Corey Hart’s Never Surrender played in the background, which is really stupid because that song had nothing to do with that scene, but whatever. My developing 5th grade mind could only take me so far.
My reverie lost traction when his mom pulled-up. He hopped in the car and said see ya and drove down the winding road. That was the first and last time he spoke to me. I’d see him in the school sometimes and smile at him, but he would stare blankly and then look away. Didn’t he remember OUR afternoon and how we laughed and how he was falling in love with me?!
The realization that he would never notice me again was crippling. There were too many nights where I laid in bed crying. Wishing that one day, I would be swept away by Prince Charming. Wishing that one day was already here.
Is there a way to make sure my kids never have to experience heartbreak and rejection? Maybe I’ll inherit some superpower where I can absorb their emotional pain and launch it into the ether.
Until that time comes, I’ll have to run over anyone that breaks their hearts. With a tank.