Someone in college once wrote a song about me. At first, I was flattered. Someone wrote a song about me! I was seeing this person regularly (but could I call it dating under our little guises?) and inclined to hang on his every word. We shared a love for a language and sometimes, in the quiet hours when the voices faded from the sidewalks, I would realize that is all we actually shared. But I played along because he played his song, the subtle rifts forming the puzzle of our brief melody.
He would smile at me with a distant, vacant look in his eyes when I would ask him about the song. He shook off the question like a warm coat in the spring. And my question would settle on the floor next to his acoustic guitar, nuzzling with its old friend. So I left the question for another day. I let it slide, and I kept lying to myself. This would be a beautiful song, I promised myself. Beautiful.
When he finally sang the song, we sat alone in his cluttered room. He wore his favorite coat as he sat on his chair and I on his bed. As he presented each chord, his fingers brushing the strings and tapping my heart, his voice dripped with a subtle anger and resentment. The faint blush on my cheeks drained to a barren gray when I heard the words. My eyes dimmed and their shine disappeared. He looked through me as he sang of me. My place in the room diminished and suddenly I was alone. Gone. I could hear his words envelope me in the cold. His rough voice taunted me and sang of how much he did not want me. How much he could not stand me.
In all those hours before, through all those vacant, retreating looks, he could never tell me I was a girl he loathed. And now, every time I hear “Le Vent Nous Portera” I cannot help but let the wind take me back to that moment as I reach for the familiar coat. Oh, how it was beautiful.