Sometime in the past few months, Kings of Leon became my favourite band. This is sort of a big deal for me, because my favourite band all through college was Jump, Little Children, and I saw them live more than fifty times (and probably more like sixty or seventy) and followed them all across the country when I should’ve been at class, but then they broke up, and I grew up, and now their sound is just a little too polished for my grown-up music taste, which prefers a raw, gritty sound to counteract my sunny disposition. So Kings of Leon.
This is the song that’s been killing me lately, “Cold Desert”:
I’m on the corner
Waiting for a light to come on
That’s when I know that you’re alone
It’s cold in the desert
Water never sees the ground
Special unspoken without sound
Told me you loved me
That I’d never die alone
Hand over your heart let’s go home
Everyone had seen the signs
I’ve always been known to cross lines
I never ever
Cried when I was feeling down
I’ve always been scared of the sound
Jesus don’t love me
No one ever carried my load
I’m too young to feel this old
Here’s to you
Here’s to me
Oh, to us
Nobody but me
What got me at first was the “no one ever carried my load”, but what’s been getting me lately is the “told me you loved me, that I’d never die alone”. I know it’s almost senseless to talk about wanting that kind of love, because everyone wants that kind of love. It just seems poignant for me specifically to recognize that I want that kind of love after just having been abandoned by a six-year relationship that I thought was The Relationship on which all other relationships could be based.
Looking back, I realize that despite all of the near-perfection of that relationship, the one really imperfect part was that Kamran kept my heart in a cage. Because he was afraid of commitment or was at least of afraid of committing to me, I tiptoed around him and held back my true feelings, which were, “OMGGGGG, my heart is bursting, and I’ve never felt this way before, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with yooooouuuuu! Hearts, stars, ponies, butterflies!” Not that I didn’t tell him I loved him every day, and not that I could really help myself from being zealous, but I took my cues from him. If I mentioned our continued life together, or someday having a house together, or being laid to rest together in an eternal embrace in the burial plots my dad has ALREADY PURCHASED FOR MY HUSBAND AND ME, he got itchy, so I tried to stop myself from ever accidentally mentioning those things. But every now and then, he would ask me if I’d still be with him and take care of him when we’re old, and only then I’d feel for one second like I was allowed to share my feelings. That’s not fair.
I want my next relationship to of course involve nonstop laughter, as my relationship with Kamran did, but I also want it to involve, like, super-intense threatening to slit our wrists in the hidden park overlooking the East River if we can’t be together forever. Am I just imagining myself in a high school relationship, though? Maybe these borderline creepy obsessive feelings aren’t supposed to exist in people over the age of 17. If the lead singer of Kings of Leon is looking to be told that he won’t die alone, though, maybe I just need to fall in love with an artist and not a scientist/lawyer next time.
In fact, yes, I know I should, because listen to this:
Apparently the singer was so drunk while recording “Cold Desert” that he didn’t actually remember doing it. And the amazing part, the sort of chilling part, is that he had only written the first verse to the song when they started recording it. So the loving, the never dying alone, the no one ever carrying his load–all unplanned. He said he ALMOST CRIED when he heard it later.
So he’s an alcoholic. I still want that.