Do you remember the first time my heart got broken? It was 2001, we were twenty-one, on tour, crisscrossing the United States opening for Rufus Wainwright. The tour felt like a big deal. We were a small band who’d only just released our second album This Business of Art. We were struggling to make ends meet and not selling many records. I don’t think you and I really liked touring back then. The road was unforgiving, and we couldn’t afford a backing band, so we were often alone in shitty clubs and sleeping in even shittier hotels, suffering in silence, in tandem. I remember kind of dreading going. Remember those feelings? Compulsively hoping our agent would call with a tour, but then always sad to have to go do it.
Two months before the tour, I started dating a woman ten years older than me. Remember? I had been enamored with her for a long time, and so leaving was hard. She told me she loved me the morning I left. I never said it back; too tongue tied to return the words I felt but wasn’t brave enough to say. She was going to fly to LA to see us play, and I promised myself I’d say it to her then. I wondered for a long time after if that’s what caused what happened next.
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