My love of the film is well documented. Or at least well known. Among friends, that is. Following my last divorce, I must've watched High Fidelity at least four hundred times, give or take. My buddy in Miami, C-Love, would watch it, too, since he was also ending a relationship. We watched this movie so much, anytime we got together, which was pretty often since we were both newly single, our conversations would often lapse into long stretches of dialogue straight from the film. Like when C-Love would reference Todd, one of the two dipshits who stole my wife, I might say, "I didn't like the guy before, but I fucking hate him now." Or if I would ask C-Love how he was holding up, he'd say, "If she really wanted to get to me, she should've gotten to me sooner." Since neither C-Love nor I were big on actually engaging others in, this worked well. We could smoke, have a drink or two, and say all we needed to say without having to say anything.
When you are going through a break up, it's hard not to replay all your other past (i.e., failed) relationships. After the divorce, I bought this and hung it on my living room wall as a constant reminder
(They have a fuckton of posters just like this, a play on those corporate teamwork pics of birds flying and shit. Fucking hilarious. http://www.despair.com/viewall.html#)
I also actually did the High Fidelity thing, where I called up ex-girlfriends to ask "where it all went wrong." The divorce was hard on me, at least at first, then it just became a gnawing bitterness. When I asked Tom Pitts what it was that bothered me so much, he said, "That's easy. It was an injustice committed against you." And he was right. It wasn't the loss of my wife. Once I got over the initial devastation of the disruption to my routine, what really bothered me was having been played for a chump, feeling as though I'd been lied to. But did I genuinely miss the person I was married to? Not so much. "If you really wanted to hurt me, you should've gotten to me sooner"...
Things change at this stage. I wrote this post a month or so ago (http://joecliffordcandyandcigarettes.blogspot.com/2011/04/top-ten-insults-i-have-received-from.html), after Justine complained about how cynical and jaded I'd become, which delved into a (mildly?) humorous entry summarizing the top ten insults I'd received from women. And I am cynical and jaded when it comes to love. How could anyone who's 40 and been divorced twice not be? And, yet, here I am about to get married again. And if I didn't believe I'd gotten it right this time, I wouldn't be making the plunge. After my last marriage fell apart so quickly, I swore I'd never do it again. And, yet, in two weeks...
They say at the heart of every cynic is a wounded romantic. At least I think that is what they say. And like that poster above says, I've been the only consistent player in the dissatisfaction. Some of it has had to do with making the wrong choice in a partner, not listening to an internal voice that told me she was bad news, but moreover it simply was what it was, love and loss, learning and growing, getting back on the horse to try, try again.
I was in rehab with this kid once, and he was talking about his girlfriend. He was young kid, like 23 or something, and he made a comment about when he and his girlfriend break up some day, and I was, like, "Whoa, kid, that's a bad attitude. Why are you saying that?" And without a hint of irony, he replied, "Well, haven't you broken up with with every girl you've been with?" And I thought, Holy shit.
Then again, I am not 23, or even 34. I am older now, with a kid, and I want to believe I've learned something from the failures of the past. Like Rob Gordon, I want to believe that I've learned how to make a mixed tape for Justine, full of the stuff that she'll like, songs that will make her happy, and at 40, I think I'm starting to see how that is done.