High Fidelity

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

My desert island, all-time, top-five most memorable breakups, in chronological order, are as follows: Alison Ashmore; Penny Hardwick; Jackie Alden; Charlie Nicholson; and Sarah Kendrew. Those were the ones that really hurt. Can you see your name on that list, Laura? Maybe you'd sneak into the top ten. But there's just no room for you in the top five, sorry. Those places are reserved for the kind of humiliation and heartbreak you're just not capable of delivering.

It would be nice to think that since I was 14, times have changed. Relationships have become more sophisticated. Females less cruel. Skins thicker. Instincts more developed. But there seems to be an element of that afternoon in everything that's happened to me since. All my romantic stories are a scrambled version of that first one.

Hey, I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I'm certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I've read books like "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Love in the Time of Cholera", and I think I've understood them. They're about girls, right?
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