Wednesday, April 27, 2011


"Your ex-boyfriend is named Alejandro?” Here we go again.

“Yeah,” I answer.

“Like the Lady Gaga song?”

“Yeah… like the Lady Gaga song.”

Guys, something’s been bothering me lately. It’s about this “Alejandro” song. I’m not going to rant about how Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster was the same generic mish-mash of pop that she’s already released, or how she’s built an amazing character but hasn’t backed it up as a musician, or that the “Telephone” video really just wasn’t that great and went for shock value instead of quality. I won't even dive into the repetition and pandering lyrics of "Born This Way." Damn it, this always happens, trying to talk about something else but the topic turning over to Lady Gaga.

Anyway, this song, “Alejandro,” it comes on at a bar, at a party, wherever, and like what happens with most Lady Gaga songs, people flip their shit. Girls are on tables, in circles, pretending to sing along but stopping as soon as they have to actually, you know, remember the words (all FIVE of them, I know sweetheart, it’s hard).

You guys, I’m sick of this song.

Because when you have your ex-boyfriend’s name blaring at you at over one hundred decibels, it’s kind of hard not to think about him. It's hard to avoid memories of hungover mornings, the passion that overtook him when he talked about politics, the way he mixed your drinks just right but did so many other things so wrong.

And that’s just the start, you go down the list, it isn’t just Alejandro the bartender you think about. Suddenly your thoughts turn to Inez the dominatrix and Louie the doctor. There’s Jessica and Kacy and Robin, there’s soldiers and cheerleaders and artists. There might have been a date with a weatherman at some point. The past few years have been sort of weird for you, and you don’t remember much from that summer of Vicodin and Paxil abuse, other than that it was equal parts sky high and train wreck.

If your name is Judas, do yourself a favor and stay away. This is the crazy train you don't want to board.

Every crush, every date, every relationship spills into your mind, even that first sloppy make-out session with a girl in the back of your Bonneville joins the party, invading your thoughts and making you question every social decision you’ve ever made. The alcohol pumping through the channels of your brain sloshes the memories around, mixing and matching them, stirring up rage and confusion and affection, breaking past the dams you have in place that protect your psyche from your own insecurities. You question your education, your job, your life. You’re confident that you’ve made the right choices and that you’re working towards what you want, but you still consider the different versions of you that would exist now if you’d done things a little differently. Those existential questions are lurking in the shadows of your mind. Those questions aren’t bad, they’re normal and healthy and part of being human, and even though they make you feel crazy you know they’re keeping you sane.

But you see… they’re also completely uncalled for at one in the morning when you’re out for a night on the town. Damn it, now you’re thinking about how that slut Leah didn’t tell you she had a boyfriend. What a whore. And Jason, the beautiful, brown bastard, brilliant with physics but wasting all his time on that guitar. What a jack ass.

By the time your mind digs into a foggy memory of making out with a thirty-six year woman on a school bus full of drunks, you start to wonder: Are you making the choices that you want to make, or the choices that make for the best story, and, for you, are those two options starting to become the same thing?

So it really isn’t about Alejandro, it isn’t about Robin or Louie or Kacy, it’s just the joy ride your mind likes to take when you combine an ex’s name with alcohol. And unlike that summer of Percocet and Zoloft abuse, your mind goes straight to train wreck, every single time. And then you’re that guy. You’re that guy scrolling through his phone debating whether to call one of the exes, trying to determine that if you do call them, whether you’ll proposition them for sex or insult their flaws (or what usually happens, both).

Your laugh is annoying. Let's fuck.

You’re that guy who’s so deep in his own brooding that he doesn’t even notice the set of eyes on the other side of the bar looking him up and down. You're that guy who's so focused on questioning himself that he's completely unaware of the arm wrapping around his waist or the shoulder pressing against his back or the whisper in his ear. You’re that guy at the bar at one in the morning who should be drunk and having fun with the gang but is drunk and having an existential crisis instead. That guy is so fucking lame.

Can’t we all just listen to “Poker Face” instead? It has a subtle oral sex reference. That shit’s hilarious.

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