I have been listening to all The Beatles’ albums in chronological order for the past week, something I have done many times before. As so often happens when I listen to an album or a song I have heard thousands of times I am now hearing these songs differently, and I intimately understand the progression of their songwriting and musicianship. Rubber Soul is a highly personal album, and I can really feel that at this time in my life.
The Beatles were young men when they became famous. They started with bubblegum love songs that struck a chord with teenagers. And as they grew and had increasingly complicated lives and relationships, so did their audience, and they each needed something more. So The Beatles began to express deeper feelings in their music, singing about heartbreak and anger more than love.
Paul wrote “You Won’t See Me” about his deteriorating relationship with Jane Asher. Most people can relate to shit like this. You keep reaching out to someone you care about, someone you thought cared about you as well, and you get nothing in response. The first time I remember this happening to me was with my best friend in junior high and high school. She played a lot of mind games because she was always on a fucking teenage girl power trip. By the time we graduated there had been so much drama and uncertainty between us, but I still thought we would be best friends forever.
I didn’t hear much from her the summer after graduation. When I was home for winter break, I called her house. Her mom remembered me, and I heard her tell my friend that I was on the phone. She told her mom to tell me she wasn’t there.
Wow. I had no idea how to process that, even though all signs had pointed to her having little interest in maintaining the friendship. I was heartbroken. How would I ever move on?
I was 18, and of course, I got over it. At least, I got over wanting her to be my friend. She had always been pretty fickle, and many of my other friends didn’t like her because of that. But I finally realized that she wasn’t really a good friend.
When I call you up
Your line’s engaged
I have had enough
So act your age
Unfortunately, that experience scarred me much more deeply than I had understood until just now. I still fear getting hurt by people I care about, and it has happened many more times since high school. I seem to attract people who are unreliable, dishonest, and emotionally unavailable.
And that goes double for men. Having your friends treat you like that with no explanation is extremely hurtful, but when someone you’re in love with, someone with whom you have shared your body and soul cannot talk to you, when they drop out of your life suddenly for no apparent reason, that is the most devastating thing your heart can endure. You feel like you cannot breathe.
Though the days are few
They’re filled with tears
And since I lost you
It feels like years
Yes, it seems so long
Girl, since you’ve been gone
And I just can’t go on
If you won’t see me (You won’t see me)
You won’t see me (You won’t see me)
I stayed alone for most of my thirties so I could get my shit together after many bad experiences with men I loved. I really wanted to be with a decent guy, someone who would treat me with respect, someone who would love me unconditionally and feel lucky to be with me.
When I turned 40, I started doubting that would ever happen. Over the years I went through periods where I would tell myself that it just wasn’t meant to be, and then I’d feel more optimistic and think that it would happen when I least expected it.
Four months ago, I was resigned to the fact that I am meant to be alone. I didn’t like it, but I accepted it and knew that God had other plans for me. I love so deeply, so all-consumingly, that it would interfere with anything else I needed to do. That was that.
But then a bright shining star appeared in the night as I was lost. That star was so beautiful, so fascinating and wonderful. I followed it without expectations. I just wanted to see what it was all about.
That star was all about me. I was happier than I had ever been! I left behind my baggage, all that anxiety and paranoia and doubt. I knew I deserved this star, I deserved to be treated well. And I was, for a while.
I don’t know why you
Should want to hide
But I can’t get through
My hands are tied
I won’t want to stay
I don’t have much to say
But I can’t turn away
I don’t know what happened, and I may never find out. But The Beatles will always be there to help me get through the rough shit, and if I ever love anyone again, they’ll be there to help me celebrate that.