Before I came to Blogger the Politics and I used to be in New York. I introduced The Politics of Love at a little paper distributed in the Village. This was my very first column, seemed fitting for the
100th post to take it back to the beginning.
To say thank you for all the love you've given me over the past year, I'm giving away 7 (I like odd numbers) Politics Of Love Soundtrack CDs.
If you've stuck around long enough you know that I've dedicated several blogs to TPOL's favorite songs
So if you want one make sure to mention it in the comment section, first seven to say "Hit It To My Hot Spot" ...well that's what I'm gonna do. :) (2 responses already so they're only 5 left!)
It all started when my uncle made me miss that eight o’clock train into Manhattan. There are only six blocks in between our apartment and the train station and he drove every one of those six at a NASCAR speed of ten miles an hour. Frustrated, I got out, slammed the car door and ran up the steps of the station to the platform in the hopes that the train would arrive late. I made it to the top step just in time to see the train rush by with my friend sitting in the last car, waiting for me as she does every day on the eight o’clock train. Now, not only did I have no one to talk to, gone was the chance of catching the connecting train at Thirty-Fourth Street, eliminating any chance of getting to work on time.
Dropping my duffel to the ground in exhaustion, I sat on it, conjuring up horrible tortures for my uncle in my head, impatiently awaiting the next train. At seven past eight, the A train to Manhattan pulled in, the doors open and I stepped in. Crowded as usual I stood by the doors. Three stops in, I looked around and spied an acquaintance of mine. With an hour ride ahead of me I decide to fight the sway of the train, go over and talk to him.
“Hi! Long time no see,” I said. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking “fate” made me miss that eight o’clock train. Previously grinding my teeth into sand over my uncle’s habitual lateness, now sainthood came to mind, this being the guy I’ve liked for years.
“Hey,” he responded and looked away.
Nervously, I tried again. “So, how have things been?”
Well, I guess those were the magic words because one thing led to another and we’re talking the politics; how he was on this campaign to get his old love back. He was completely gone over this girl. Previously, on several occasions, I’d planned to ask for his number, so of course at that moment I’m thinking, “this is the JACKPOT.” But once he started talking about this reconciliation he had in mind, I was slowly brainwashed into becoming a goner for the cause. He started speaking about his pain, the kind that gnaws at your stomach and makes like hunger. Then he started preaching about a remedy. He kept saying to me:
“If I want to make the pain go away, make the hunger shut its screaming mouth. What do I do? Who can bring about a release for the pain? I have to get her back and this time, things will be different.”
He kept asking me what I thought about his campaign promises (let me interject an -ism here). He and I have never been what you’d call tight - mostly “Hi” and “Goodbye”, a few group dinners, maybe a wedding or two. Now he’s got me all wrapped up in his notes; all the high and low’s he’s pitching me. By this time, I’d forgotten how adorable he was because I’m all siked up to hear more about the cause.
‘How do you plan to get her back? What can I do? Where do I sign up? Will there be buttons’? I asked.
I’m caught up in the politics of love.
In my head, I hear, “Oh, you’re fighting the good fight now!” The reality is, I came here for MY cause and now I’m on the verge of campaigning for HIS. Just moments ago I was ready to get up on my own platform, ready to pull him into my debate. I was ready to speak. Can’t you hear it now?
“This is what I stand for! This is what I can do for you! Vote me!”
I’d wait ‘till the crowd went wild or - in my case – until he gave me his number. But, like I said, it’s all politics, love is. ‘Cause once I approached my targeted audience with politician-like finesse, he started interrupting, preaching about his own stance.
Enwrapped in the silken words, my cause is now forged with his 'tomorrow is a brand new day' promises, complete with cheesy campaign songs. I was trapped - his Shatner like beam had been fired and now glued me to the distant planet. I was spaced out on sensation - excuse the pun.
Meanwhile, he’s still spinning his tale. “I really love this girl. There are days when I can smell her perfume in the streets on women passing by and I immediately think of her. I wonder what she’s doing and I wonder if she’s thinking of me.”
God, I thought, ‘How far away is she again?’
“Are you listening to me?” he says.
“Oh, yeah, sorry. I spaced for a minute. Go on,” I reply.
“You’d love her; she looks like Katie Holmes from that show. You know, Dawson Creek. Only prettier.”
Dang Dawson’s Creek! I knew that show’s constant love mishaps and magazine good looks would leak out of TV-land and ruin me someday. I mean, how could that much drama and American Eagle clothing be good for anyone? Are all the kids on the Creek looking that great-- merely coincidence? Hardly. It’s politics, I tell you; the politicking of love.
Thirty minutes later, he’s romanced himself! Hell, he captivated me; it’s like he was the juicy chapter of your cheesy dime store harlequin novel. Words so smooth they hit you like ice but slip right off. He’s the guy that inspires the sympathy vote, rallying the nation towards a better cause, screaming at our consciences:
“It’s better to give than receive.”
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!”
It bothers me that no one else on the train seems to notice his gushing displays. While he's ending his speech his arms are flailing and he’s flashing those pearly whites.
Well, he gets off three stops before mine and as we parted, I found myself hugging him “Congratulations,” I say while patting him on the back. The subway doors close, I sat in one of the plastic seats facing the window with my head down spinning out of control. What did I just do? Reflecting back on the past hour I knew that if he actually used that speech, he’d be sure to win her back. Hell, I’d cast my vote for him and don’t candidates usually vote for themselves?
It was getting chilly on the train so I pulled my sweater out of the duffel and put it on slowly. Dazed by my loss I concentrated on slipping the holes over the fabric-covered buttons.
“How about you dear?” a voice from behind said.
“How about you, would you like a button?” Turning around, it was a lady dressed in a red scoop neck top with blue jeans handing out campaign buttons for the presidential candidates.
“How would you like to support a man who cares about your needs?” she asked as she started to pin a button picturing a smiling candidate on my duffel.
“No, thanks,” I said. Pulling back my duffel before she finished, I walked towards the doors. Still bent over my chair staring at me, she looked confused and I yelled back with one foot out the door, “Sorry, but I’m through with Politics!”