I deserve it

What role does music play in your life?

During my marriage, it lay a little fallow: my ex was the aficionado, so I left the soundtrack to him.

When he was gone, music played a huge part in my recovery. When I was low, I would turn the CD player up high.

I dug out old favourites and discovered I loved listening to songs by Ed Kuepper and Pete Murray. I danced and sang my way out of the doldrums.

Last week, my friend Katherine nominated me for one of those thingies on Facebook where you post 10 all-time favourite or influential albums that made an impact on you and are still on your rotation list, even if only now and then.

It requires a surprising amount of energy to remember to do it and post meaningful stuff.

I was supposed to nominate someone every day to carry on the tradition, but I have a deep chain-mail aversion that has prevented me from bothering people.

Anyways, one of the albums I nominated was Madonna’s “Music”.

Madonna often gets a bad rap, people love to hate her. But this album really spoke to me when I was (briefly) living in New York back in 2007, while my husband studied at Columbia University on a scholarship.

It sounds very romantic that I was living in New York while my husband studied at Columbia University, but I was a bit messed up at the time. I had dreadful insomnia, I’d been diagnosed with a debilitating disaccharide deficiency and I was parenting two small children in a tiny apartment in a foreign city.

My mental health may also have been wonky from my first round of workplace-based  trauma … coupled with all of the above …

When the kids were at preschool, I would escape into a screenplay I was writing, via a song on Madonna’s Music album that spoke to my soul: I Deserve It.

The lyrics went like this:

This guy was meant for me
And I was meant for him
This guy was dreamt for me
And I was dreamt for himThis guy has danced for me
And I have danced for him
This guy has cried for me
And I have cried for himMany miles many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts many years have unraveled
Leading up to today
This guy has prayed for me
And I have prayed for him
This guy was made for me
And I was made for himMany miles many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts many years have unraveled
Leading up to todayI have no regrets
There’s nothing to forget
All the pain
Was worth itNot running from the past
I tried to do what’s best
I know that I deserve it

Many miles many roads I have traveled
Fallen down on the way
Many hearts many years have unraveled
Leading up to today

 Looking back, those words feel like a premonition … all the pain was worth it and all that jazz.
My screenplay was about a woman who walks out on her first love, becomes a weekly magazine editor, ends up in rehab, finds herself the butt of a “reverse paparazzi joke” as a result, discovers her first love is one of the journalists (reluctantly) reporting on her predicament … and finally realises he’s The One.
The song plays as their eyes meet at a party late at night. They slowly move towards each other for the penultimate kiss. Cue happy ending …
I would become a little giddy every time I played the scene out in my head.
Looking back, the way I hung on the song and the scene, playing it over and over, makes me wonder if I secretly knew – way back then – that something wasn’t quite right in my marriage. Were the lyrics a yearning for something more?
Since then, many miles, many roads I have travelled, fallen down on the way. Many hearts, many years have unravelled, leading up to today.
Fate is such an unpredictable beast.
Madonna didn’t live happily ever after with whoever she sang about … because love is also an unpredictable beast.
You can’t get too cocky when you’re wrangling those two beasts.
But I think DD and I were meant to love and heal each other following some pretty tough years in both our lives.
And we deserve it.
Song of the day: Madonna “I deserve it”

 

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