On a mild day, four or five years ago, I was hanging out with a friend in another friend's truck bed. We were talking music, as he and I often had, and watching clouds drift across one of the bluest skies I remember seeing. Somehow in the conversation, he'd made the assertion that I was like Adele, and best friend W was like Amy Winehouse; we both came from the same place, both had a certain strength, and were pretty much foreign to the folks where we were at the time.
When bringing it up to W, it's more than obvious to her and I both; she's Adele, I'm Amy.
There's a sweet mournfulness about Amy that resonates deeply with me. She's the tragic romantic, the honest and raw antithesis to what a "lady" should be, while encompassing all of a lady's vulnerability, softness and elegance. She's no role model, but admittedly as far as role models go you could do worse. She's broken and whole, she's happy and sad, she's full and empty; she's me.
Even in my happiness, even in my joy, there is still the sadness. I don't know how to explain it to friends without feeling like a whiner, or like I'll be lectured on "living my best life" and being "a strong, independent woman who don't need no man" and other such bullshit. Because yes, it's true. I AM a strong, independent yada yada, and yes I AM attempting to live my best life today and shit, but at the same time, I'm a lover without someone to love, or without someone who'll love her back the same. Nothing anybody can say can fix that.
And so, I drink down the stress and the loneliness. I line the wine bottles up next to my bedroom door, labels front facing, as a reminder of sorts of my problem, but not as an indicator of when or if I should stop. I write poems and journal entries, I sing her songs and think about my life and where I am, about how fucking happy I am. About how fucking beautiful I feel. And about how God damn lonely I am most days.
If nobody else gets me, Amy gets me. Her songs, be they jazzy and uptempo, or cheeky and sampling hip-hop, are a mirror into what or who I am. Please, no "Rehab" jokes.
I think the quintessence of the parallels I draw come to a head with "Wake Up Alone." Sorrowful and stripped down, she sings about trying to focus on being happy, on being above her drinking, her obsessive thinking, her loneliness. She sings about waiting for her him to come and he does (or they do) and yet she still wakes up alone every day, wishing he (or they) would love her as she wants to love them. Like, shit...if that's not me I couldn't write a better song for myself.
But, and here's the most beautiful, and in my opinion the worst part of it all; above all, she is hopeful. Just because she's waking up alone now, doesn't mean she always will. Just because she doesn't feel loved and completely whole now, doesn't mean she never will. Sure, she may not say so, but the warmth with which she sings, the smile you can hear in her voice, let's you know it's not all over for her, not by a long shot.
Or maybe that's just me.