Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 3

To continue with my list of reasons why everyone on Warped Tour is miserable, I will start with what perhaps, I should have started with in Part 2.  All day long, you are…

That will put anyone in a bad mood.  We put that sticker on our tent as a reminder, not that we had the luxury of forgetting.  Maybe it was more of an attempt to add humor to the hell.  There were six stages on the tour if I remember correctly, which meant that at all times, there were six different bands playing within earshot, which also meant six different forms of torture all day long.

I do understand that there is a big difference between music that is bad, and music that I just don’t like.  One of my pet-peeves is when I hear someone say, “That band sucks.”  No, they don’t suck, you just don’t like them!  With that being said, a few of the bands that were on 2010 Warped Tour sucked.    It did make me wholeheartedly appreciate the good songs/bands however, which is another romance I had in my misery that I will get into later.

I am going to speak for the boys here, and say that another reason why they were all pissed off and frustrated is because they were forced to watch half-naked teenage girls flaunting around shamelessly all day everyday.  While many men have no qualms with checking out underage girls, there are also many men that do have issues with it.  The guys that I was with most of the time, hated that they had these inappropriate thoughts about underage girls.  It made them feel skeezy.  But when a fifteen year old girl who looks like she’s twenty-two walks by wearing nothing but tiny shorts and stickers over her nipples asking them to autograph her stomach or boobs… you can’t blame the men for not being able to help but imagine titty-fucking her.

Of course, I know the guys would not be turned-on by the disgusting girls above – they’d be repulsed – but it’s just an example of how some of the attendees dress.  I would imagine trying to jack-off on the tour would also be difficult, so releasing their built-up sexual frustrations probably felt like more of a chore than it did a pleasure.

You may think that as a musician, getting laid on the tour is as easy as drinking water, but it’s actually a little more complicated.  First of all, you can only get backstage or to the bus area if you have a pass, and security is pretty strict about this.  There were a couple of times when I forgot my pass on the bus, realizing it as I approached the gate, and had to walk all the way back to retrieve it.  At a lot of these venues, the busses were sometimes parked over a half a mile away.  The point is, getting a potential lay back to the bus is not a simple task.

Also, there is “bus call.”  Bus call is the time we head out and you have to be back to your bus.  Those driver’s will leave without you!  Obviously, we travel at night, so bus call varies, depending on how far away the next city is.  Sometimes bus call was as late as 3:00am, but other times it was as early as 11:00pm, and the festival usually lasted until 9:00pm.  So, if a guy did go through the trouble of getting a fan/groupie to the bus, he then has to make sure that he gets laid before bus call.

That was my very long way of explaining why the men are always pissed off and sexually frustrated on the tour.

On top of that, you are sharing a tour bus with sometimes eleven other people so you better hope you love all of them because unless you’ve retreated to your bunk, there is no personal space.  The petty arguments that stem from who gets drawer space and who doesn’t is awesome.  On most of the busses there are twelve bunks, two columns of three on each side.

That was not our bus – ours was way dirtier – but the layout is the same.  Half of the tour there was eight of us on the bus, but the other half we shared with another band that were high school kids (literally the members had just graduated high school or were going into their senior year), so there was a full twelve of us.  Nightmare.  Although, we did get one of the high schoolers to smoke weed for his first time, and while he was high he said, “It feels like my legs are having an orgasm.”  That was a fun night.

It’s safe to assume that everyone on the tour is also going through some serious relationship problems, which also adds to everybody’s misery.  Touring murders any type of romantic relationship.  Obviously, being gone for three months at a time while living a rock-star lifestyle will put a strain on any relationship.  But if the boyfriend/girlfriend comes with you on the tour, that’s a recipe for killing a relationship as well.  Conundrum.  I have never seen a relationship turn out well when the couple is on the tour together.  This is because of my main point, that everyone is at their absolute worst while touring.  Couples see each other in a whole different light.  Like I said, relationship murderer.  Even trying to maintain a casual, we-just-like-to-have-fun-together-fling-type of relationship with someone from back home, is nearly impossible.  So on top of everything else, it’s safe to say that 90% of the people on the tour are also going through some type of personal crisis.

Touring is this strange break from real life, so people who do it enough, never really have to grow up in many ways.  This is why most musicians are at least partly insane.  And that is why I am plagued with always falling in love with one.

…see. This is us going insane.

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Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 6

I completely blew off the bartender today who I spoke of in Volume 4.  I do feel bad about it, but I will not subject you to my tales of self-hatred and woes.  Instead I am going to talk about why it just wasn’t going to work.  Last time I hung out with her, I had what I like to call, an “uh-oh moment.”  I think we all have had these moments, but I have actually named it because it unfortunately happens oh so very often and it is the beginning of the end.

The “uh-oh moment” is that single second, after your boyfriend/girlfriend/fuck-buddy/romantic interest does or says something that can be pin-pointed, which causes an unexplainable switch to go off in your brain, and from that moment on, you just know that you will never be attracted to that person again.  There is no going back.  I’ve grown to recognize these moments, and when it happens, I literally think, “uh-oh” in my mind because I know that no matter how hard I try to salvage romantic feelings, or force myself to be turned-on by the person, it’s simply a lost cause.  It’s sad, because it’s never something the person did wrong… it’s one of the few times that it is truly a “it’s not you, it’s me” occurrence.

For example, I was at the bartender’s apartment just lounging around chatting with her.  She is absolutely beautiful, and has this great energy that radiates from her, but she hit me with, “I think humans are the product of aliens mating with monkeys.”


Ummmm I’m sorry, you think what?!

She explained that she doesn’t exactly believe in evolution because if we came from monkeys, then there would be no more monkeys.  Okay, I didn’t even justify that with a response.  Then she went on to say that she believes in intelligent alien life.  I have no problem with that.  I think that it’s naive and close-minded of us to not believe that there is some kind of other life in the universe.  As far as it being intelligent is up for debate, but not something I have a strong opinion about.  Then, she says that she believes that these aliens visit Earth all of the time… shit… please stop talking and I may be able to write that statement off as hopelessly endearing.  But she kept going, and hit me with her brilliant theory of evolution:

Aliens were a dying breed, so they needed to procreate with a stronger species.  They came to Earth on their space ships, fucked apes, thus creating humans as their offspring.

      +            =      

She was dead serious.

I have only gone out with this girl a few times, so I tried to be polite during the discussion, suppressing my “call-out” urges.  I do have a bad habit of calling people out when they say something embarrassingly stupid.  Anyway, when I rebutted with the two species cannot procreate fact, she had no idea what I was talking about.  “What do you mean?  What about donkeys?”

Oh man, the hits just keep on coming.  First of all, I think you mean mules.

I informed her of the simple law of science, that while yes, a mule is a product of two different species, the line ends there.  A mule cannot produce another mule.  She was dumbfounded and so was I.

Despite my uh-oh moment, I still made plans with her for this week like a jackass.  I never learn.  The closer the date came to seeing her again, the more I knew I just didn’t want to.  It was doomed.  Yes, I was a bitch and blew her off when I should have just called her and let her down easy, but as stated, we had only hung out a few times, so a serious, “this isn’t working out” discussion seemed just that… a little too serious.  No excuses though.   I do feel bad about it but like I said, I’ll leave my confessions of self-hatred for a private journal entry.

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Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 5

Can I be a Maid of Honor and be the person who objects to this union?

I’m at that age where a bunch of my friends are either getting married or popping out kids and it blows my mind.  Every time a friend tells me of their engagement, I have to make a conscious effort to not roll my eyes.  I know, I’m awful, but let’s get serious… it’s a bad idea.  I thought my generation would be smarter about it, not make the same stupid mistakes all of our divorced parents did by marrying when they were too young.  Nope.  I should know better than to give this heedless generation the benefit of the doubt.

I think it’s more romantic to be together forever and not be married, because it would mean that you’re together because you want to be, not because you’re bound by law.  Despite me always being very vocal about how much I think marriage is death sentence at our age, and despite me being the type that if for some absurd reason, I decided to sign my life and happiness away, the wedding guest’s would be placing bets on whether or not I would runaway at the altar.  Despite all of this, I have still been asked to be a Maid of Honor.  Twice.

I am the absolute last person anyone should want as their Maid of Honor.  The second the bride begins to get cold feet the day of the wedding, instead of giving her a pep talk, I would be the one pulling the car around front and planning an escape route while shoving her into the front seat, replacing her heels with tennis shoes and stealing massive amounts of champagne bottles on the way out.

The last wedding that I was in, I approached the bride, my friend, reminding her that it was not too late to run.  She laughed.  I didn’t.  I was dead serious.  I would have to be with someone for at least eight years before I would consider marrying him.  Maybe I’ll become a masked superhero who saves people from the biggest mistake of their lives.  I could descend from the chapel ceilings, Mission Impossible style, during weddings with couples who have been together for less than three years.  I’m not sure what I would do from there, haven’t worked out the details yet.  But I would be the next great X-Man and have a room at the X-Mansion where I would rub Xavier’s bald head all day, have hot rough sex with Logan, become best friends with Beast and punch Jubilee in the face, because someone needs to.  Excuse my nerdgasm.

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Vagina Dialogue

Am I alone in this?

I find it incredibly disturbing that I’ve heard multiple Doctors refer to the vagina as a, “self-cleaning oven.”

I get it, and suppose I should be grateful for my two-in-one appliance, but… really?  Self-cleaning oven? !

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 2

In Part 1, I shared some observations I made during the summer of 2010 while working as a merch girl, on Van’s Warped Tour.  In this part, I am going to discuss the overall touring lifestyle.  It may provide some insight as to why musicians are out of their mind.

The biggest mind fuck is not living out of a bus or van… it’s not going in and out of time zones sometimes twice a day, it’s the utter lack of privacy.  I started that summer being one of those girls who claimed that females don’t poop.  Two weeks into the tour, pooping was a topic of conversation with me and everyone else.  Typical club tours are much different than Warped Tour and other traveling music festivals.  With club touring, the pooping situation isn’t as much of a problem, but on Warped Tour, it’s the number one problem.

I did not poop, at all, for ten days!  I know.  It was absolutely awful and definitely added to why I was so miserable ninety percent of that tour.  Even after I finally did, it still was not regular the entire summer.  Many people had this problem I came to find out, but not as seriously as I did.  Traveling in general can make one constipated, but then on top of that, your diet does a complete 180.  We had a catering service that traveled with the tour, and it was better food than you’d imagine, considering that they’re doing all of this out of a semi-truck.

The catering service really impressed me, and the guy who swiped your tour pass in the food line was sexy (unfortunately not pictured above).  They have to feed 600 people three meals, every single day!  Yes, it takes 600 people to make Warped Tour happen.  Despite the hot guy, and the pretty good food considering, you are still eating from a mobile kitchen and your body knows it.

Also, half of the venues do not have bathrooms.  We have toilets on the bus, but they are STRICTLY for pee only!  No toilet paper even.  After you wipe, you have to throw the toilet paper in the trash.  Yummy.  So, if you’re at a venue with no bathrooms, and you have to poop, you are subjected to using porta-pottys that all of the other 12,000 (literally) sweaty,puking, muddy, teenage attendees have been using all day and night.  Me and the band had an ongoing inside joke that walking into a porta-potty actually makes your butthole involuntarily contract, not allowing anything to exit or function properly.  It’s true.  I know, gross inside joke, but like I said… privacy out the window and there is nothing more hilarious than some of the conversations that spawn while touring because no one holds back.  Pooping in a porta-potty is just not an option your body leaves you with, so there was that to add to my constipation.

After the fourth day of not pooping, I finally had to go to our Tour Manager, Kyle (pictured)

because he is the one that would have to get me in touch with the touring Medic.  Yes, Warped has a Medic who tours with us… kind of makes it seem more bad-ass than it actually is.  She gave me some natural pill that didn’t work.  Every morning Kyle, and everyone else on our bus for that matter, would ask me if  “it” happened yet.  Of course, they didn’t sugar coat it though.  They would just yell across the bus, “Caitlin!  Did you shit yet?!”  When I still hadn’t after a week, Kyle made arrangements for me to see a Doctor in the following city.  Now, thanks to Dr. Clemens, I do not leave for tour without Colace,Benefiber and Miralax.

Apart from everyone knowing about your bowl movements, right down to the size and color of them (some of the guys would even take pictures of their shit and compare with one another), everyone also knows when you’re having sex and who you’re having sex with.  The “walk of shame” has a whole different meaning on a tour bus.  Those poor girls who just hooked up with one of the band dude’s in their bunk, had no choice, but to walk past ALL of us on the way out.

(Though it’s hard to tell, there are eight people just right there).  There’s no escaping to a bathroom to quickly fix your hair or eyeliner so to minimize the “I-just-spread-my-legs-for-a-stranger-look.”  We did our best to try to avoid eye contact with these girls, act like we didn’t notice, but I think that just made it worse.  The guy, would then be subjected to being made fun of for the rest of the tour if the girl was on the more unfortunate looking side.  Regrettably, I was in a relationship with one of the band member’s at the time, and if we were both MIA for twenty minutes, everyone knew why.

Overall hygiene, as you know it, is also out the window.  Again, not every venue had bathrooms and showers, so baby wipe showers become your number one source of hygiene control.  I am not kidding, I would say on average, I was able to shower once every four days.  Keep in mind, that Warped Tour is in the dead of fucking summer, so you are essentially sweating your ass off for three months straight.  I had to push two hundred pounds of merch up hills, over crazy terrain, set-up tents, sit outside for eight hours, unload and reload the trailer… the pro is I got skinny and very tan, the con is everyone is disgusting.  When there were showers available, there were usually only a few, and remember that there are 600 people, and I would say 400 of them are trying to shower on any given day.  Extremely long lines, filthy bathrooms and no hot water.

Towards the end of the tour, Kyle got some “shower bags” that are made for camping.  That was helpful, but where did the showering take place?  In between the busses of course.  As stated previously, that detached space polluted with generator exhaust, rivers of spilt beer and the eerie feeling that home has never been so close or so far away.  Also the space where everyone was constantly walking through and hanging out.  I had to shower in my bathing suit for all to see.  People try to be respectful and not stare, but it’s still just hilarious to walk up on someone loofahing in a bathing suit under a makeshift shower that is rigged up to a trailer.

These are just a couple of reasons why touring brings out the worst in everyone, and there are many more reasons I plan to share next time!

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The Adventures of Touring with a Rock Band – Part 1

I was on Warped Tour the summer of 2010.  I was the merch girl for one of the bands, and for those of you who live in some sort of weird alternate culture, or in a different country, Warped Tour is a giant touring music festival sponsored by Vans.  It travels around the country and parts of Canada every summer, reaching out to a mostly teenage demographic.  Lots of destruction, terrible music and terrible behavior.  America in all its glory.

Being on Van’s Warped Tour was possibly the worst experience of my life, but somehow looking back, there is this oddly romanticized sentiment associated with the memories.  What is it about being miserable that heightens the soul in a way that lets us have our own love story with all that we see?  Touring is an entirely different lifestyle that absolutely brings out the worst in everyone.  Specifics as to why, will be the topic of a later blog.

I was tragically sad for ninety percent of that summer while on the road.  I won’t get into reasons why, because that is related to wounds that are still fresh, but I will share some of my observations… my romances with the world if you will, that I probably would not have noticed had I been blissfully blinded by good times and contentment.

Andrew W.K.’s bass player and his cigarettes.  Obviously, there is no smoking on the tour busses.  Of course, smoking drugs on the bus, snorting drugs and everything else you can do with drugs and alcohol is a-okay.  I don’t smoke, but a lot of socializing took place at night during cigarette breaks in between the long rows of busses; that detached space polluted with generator exhaust, rivers of spilt beer and the eerie feeling that home has never been so close or so far away.

Andrew’s bass player, this tall, kind of goofy looking man with chops and a deep, soothing voice, would smoke his cigarettes all the way down to the filter.  I’ve noticed that people who would not generally litter, always litter their cigarettes.  It’s like this weird exception to the rule for some reason.  But not him.  Every cigarette, he would put it out on the bottom of his shoe, and then cup it in his hand until he went back on the bus to throw it away.  Often, we would all talk for a good thirty minutes, and he’d have a second cigarette, but he never once littered a single one.  He’d just stand there, hovering a good foot above me, holding the burnt out things in his hand, while everyone else had long since discarded their’s onto the already infected soil.  The amount of damage Warped Tour does to the environment is obscene, and I could write an entire blog just about that, so littering a couple of cigarettes seemed almost harmless (even to me, the litter police) when looking at the big picture.  While I can’t even remember his name, I’ll never forget that man standing there with those cigarettes in his dirty, calloused hands, doing what he could in a small way, to leave a place the way he found it.

Another unspoken romance I had that I probably would not have appreciated had I not been miserable, was this beautiful display of what real punk rock is.  On one not so very special evening, I was pushing the dolly back to the bus which was carrying the usual, over two hundred pounds I’d say, of all the merch crap.  Earlier that day I was hanging out in a big group and a couple of the guys present were band members of Alkaline Trio.  The singer mentioned that he was losing his voice, and I remember this because I thought it was cool that he was still talking and carrying on.  That might seem like an absurd thing to think, but it’s disgusting how often these lead singer’s are on “vocal rest.”  Vocal rest means that you simply don’t speak or utter a sound.  At all.  It’s obnoxious.  You call yourself a rock band but you baby your voice with hot tea and Slippery Elm Bark?  Take a shot of Jameson and hit the stage!

The vocalist of the band I was working for, I swear to God, was on vocal rest eighty-five percent of the time, which meant I often had to be subjected to snaps and whistles in order for this person to get my attention.  So to hear Trio’s singer mention that he was losing his voice, and to be laughing about it and kind of brushing it off, was something to take notice of.  Getting back to later that night, as I was heading to the bus, I was passing Main Stage and Alkaline Trio was about to play.  Being alone and miserable, I decided to stop and watch the show because I certainly had nothing else to do.   I had seen their set plenty of times that summer, but Trio holds a special place in my heart and I was interested to see how he would handle his voice situation.  They get up there and he immediately says to the crowd, “I’m losing my voice… I’ll do my best, but you guys are going to have to help me sing tonight.”

I kind of rolled my eyes, because I have seen this before with other bands, and I knew what that meant… he would just sing softly and then let the audience take over every two lines.  The song begins, he starts to sing,  and I think I fell in love with him in that moment a little bit.  It was probably the most genuine thing I saw happen on stage that whole summer.  His voice sounded like absolute shit, it was a cross between singing and yelling, it was scratchy and cracked, but so beautiful for all of the same reasons, and because it was real.  He sang his heart out in a way I have never seen before or since, and somehow made Warped Tour fun again for a glistening minute, and I remember thinking, “that is so punk-rock and awesome.”  He didn’t care, he was there to give the audience the best show that he could, and on that not so very special night, leaning against my cart of wrinkled merchandise, watching the sun set behind the stage and embracing my loneliness, he did give me one of the best shows I have ever seen, along with a feeling that I desperately needed a dose of: that everything was all right.  God, music is the glue of our soul.

I have many more love stories and other tales to tell from that summer, so stay tuned, my friends.

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Trader Joe’s Trade-Off

Every time I walk into a Trader Joe’s I want to kill myself.

^That is why.

The two “pro’s” of this grocery store, is that they have healthy food for cheap.  I’m going to focus on the “con’s.”  Lets start with pulling into the parking lot.  When this happens, my mood immediately plummets, and my anxiety immediately escalates.  At all times, there are at least 600 people (it seems) in a Los Angeles Trader Joe’s, but they only have four parking spots.  Upon entering, you’re met with seven types of people.

1. The crazy woman with frizzy hair, wearing some sort of capri pant with sneakers.  She is probably standing less than five feet tall, squinting at all of the ingredient labels and quietly talking to herself, unaware that she is in your fucking way.

2.  The twenty-something indie couple.  Enough said.

3.  The celebrity.  Almost every time I’ve gone into a Trader Joe’s I see a B list celebrity.  This does not make the trip worthwhile.  All this means is you think to yourself for a brief moment, “Cool, there’s the girl from that shitty television show that I can’t think of the name of,” then you keep walking.

4.  The hip single Dad who somehow is maintaining a smile and positive vibes.

5.  The college girl who always has a basket, not a cart.  She is generally aware that she is in your way, but pretends to not be by avoiding eye contact.  I like these girls though, they tend to move fast and don’t take up much space.

6.  The middle-aged hippie.  This can be a man or woman, but they’re always wearing hemp clothing, sandals and definitely have their own reusable bags and some sort of very old arm tattoo.

7.  The rich, older woman.  They’re polite and not usually in your way because they’ve got nothing but time, so they’ll wait for a clearing.

I love people, but too many in a small space, on top of being freezing, makes me hate everyone.  Yes, it is always freezing inside Trader Joe’s because the freezers do not have doors.  After twenty-five minutes of “excuse me’s,” and taking detours and fending off mean looks from other people hating their life, and waiting for the crazy woman to step away from the granola, I ask the question, is this worth it?  I appreciate the $15 dollars I just saved, but my day is now a little bit shittier and I still have to make one more stop because while they carry a lot, Trader Joe’s does not carry everything.  If there was a booth at the exit that cost $15 to get one’s memory erased of the experience, I would probably do it.  I suppose that means the trade-off is not worth it in my eyes.

What almost makes it worth it, is how cheap the liquor is.  However, I end up immediately cracking open the bottle when I get home in order to calm my nerves.  The few bucks I saved on the liquor is spent in those couple of drinks that I wouldn’t normally have.  It’s disturbing that I have the same reaction to a Trader Joe’s experience as I do after an awkward run-in with an ex… “I need a drink.”  So the money I saved, I made up for in extra drinking and liver destruction.

Every time I leave, I tell myself that I will never go back, it was really the last time this time.  But then, a month and a half later, I find myself breaking my promise and I return for some obnoxious reason.  Why, in perfect health, I would choose to put myself through such hell, I will never know.  So again I ask, is the trade-off worth it?

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Aristotle and a Story of Love

I don’t think I’ve ever loved anyone as much as I loved Nicholas Weston Golden.  I’ve always been a sucker for hot names, it may be the screenwriter in me, and Nicholas Weston Golden takes first place at SATNA (Sexy Author-Type Name Awards).  I met Nick when I was eighteen years old, working as a host at Outback Steakhouse.  He was a busser and I’ve loved him in some way ever since.

Nick has this ability to make you feel protected just by looking at you.  Girls have always been drawn to him because of this, and because he is just good.  While this may sound cheesy and rash, Nick is everything that is right in the world.   I was lucky because while everybody loved him, he loved me.  Of course, being who I was then, I always had a few boys, at the same time, that I was involved with in one way or another, declaring that I was anti-relationships.  We were young, so all of them put up with me, which is something I am eternally grateful for, but will never forgive myself for.  Those sad tales however, are for a different day.

Nick joined the Army, which was something I desperately did not want him to do, but I think he felt like he had no choice.  In a story about heartbreak, that could be the most heartbreaking of it all, because I know he could have done anything.  In late 2006, I believe, he was deployed to Iraq, and during those tormenting months of him being gone, I’ve never loved anyone more than I loved him.  The rest is history.  Life happens, people get away, we give too much or give too little, but we try.  Nick is now engaged to be married.

I’m not bitter about this, which surprised me, and is what brought on this random musing which will come to a point, I promise.  I am of course not thrilled at the idea of him getting married and I don’t pretend to be, not even to him, but I am truly happy if he is happy.  We hear that expression all of the time, but in most cases, we’re full of shit.  This is the first time that I’ve said it and been one hundred percent genuine, and the feeling did take me by surprise.  I suppose I still love and respect Nick far too much to have any real bitterness toward him.

I’ve been in many relationships, said I love you and meant it, in some way or another, to many people, but I wonder why… what it was that made me love Nicholas Weston Golden unlike anyone before or since.  Maybe it was because he was gone and I missed him so much to the point of it being crippling.  Or maybe it was because of all of the handwritten letters, there is something romantic about the mail.  Or maybe it was because he needed me.  He still, to this day, credits me for getting him through Iraq alive, which could be the most important thing I’ll ever do in my entire lifetime.  I think it was all of those reasons, but I also think it was because he was so near death, which brings me to my point.

Aristotle said that unrequited love is the most powerful form of love.  Therefore, the love of the dead (since loving a dead person would be the ultimate unrequited love) is the most powerful of all human emotions.  Of course he said this much more eloquently and in many more words… I’m just paraphrasing.  Thinking about Nick reminded me of Aristotle’s philosophy, and I think good ole’ Stotle was right.  I’ve come to the conclusion that I loved Nick the most because he was so close to death.  Of course, my love for him was reciprocated, but during that year of his deployment, I was constantly scared of him dying which in theory, could correlate to why I loved him so differently.  The question is, does this cheapen our love, or does it make it more beautiful and powerful?  I’m going with the latter.

For a second I was worried that loving him more because he was at war, somehow cheapened things. I was wrong and I think it actually allowed us to have a certain connection that many people will never know, and let us experience something so profound, that we should be honored to have felt that together.  Had Nick not gone to war, I still would have loved him very very much, and I know he would have loved me, but I also know now, that it would not have been the same love.  That however, makes it all the more special.  Realizing this allowed me to more easily come to terms with his marriage.  Nick and I were perfect for each other during that time and place, and had it been anyone else, it would not have worked.  In a way, I think, we kind of saved each other.

The notion that it takes death to experience the most profound of human emotions is heartbreaking in my mind, but somehow romantic as well.  After the love of the dead, in second place must be the thought and dread, of someone’s possible impending death.  So thanks to Aristotle, I now know that loving Nicholas Weston Golden may have been the most romantic and true thing that I’ll ever experience.

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