4. Los Campesinos! - We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed

If there’s a worse thing to be than a teenager in love I couldn’t possibly fathom what it might be. You have nothing to compare this with. This is the first time this is happening and nobody is quite sure what to do. Your girlfriend doesn’t understand you, she might not even like you that much, and even the most sage adults are so far removed from the situation that they might as well be trying to tell a raccoon how to adjust brake rotors if God forbid you come to one with a legitimate problem.

This is the case for most people: You’re dropped into the deep end of the pool and told to swim or drown in self-importance. Some will be lucky. Some will have a partner that is attracted to them, and that attraction may even be mutual. They might legitimately care about what’s happening with you and you may have an investment in their problems. You may be surrounded by wise friends who have nothing but the best interests in mind for the both of you, and who like both of you, and would go to the ends of the earth for you if they thought they could help something in the relationship in anyway.

You’ll fuck this all up anyway because you’ll still think you’re doing something wrong. There’s no getting around that. Whatever you do it’s wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. You could care for this person more than anyone has ever cared about anything but you won’t want to show it, and if you do it’ll come out as anger or maybe some weird form of lust because this isn’t something that has come out of you before and it’s not something the other person has experienced before from a firsthand basis, and it will kill them, it may only kill them for a moment but there will come a time when you have to show what you really think and whether those feelings are positive or negative your favorite person in the whole wide world will be dead by the end of the night.

Drugs won’t help too much, alcohol less so. They might for a minute but it’ll come back a hundred times worse. Of course you know this now, but you didn’t know it then, and even though you watched all the same movies that everyone else did you think it’ll be different for you, you think you’ll have some ace up your sleeve that’ll allow you to get over all this garbage with whiskey and a keenly adjusted sense of humor. And when the puke hits the wall for the first time that’ll be when you realize it, that you’re no better than anyone else, there’s nothing special about your heartbreak or your precious little feelings and there’s nobody who can help you. The only person who can help you now is you and you can’t even hold your liquor. You can’t even hold onto a simple feeling without it spilling out all over the place and the absolute last person on earth you want to be around is yourself. He’d help if you’d just talk to him, but you won’t. That guy’s a real prick.

And the worst part is that you think you’ll be ready for this when it happens again, and again, and again. You’re wearing chainmail and they’re flying bombers, you’ve got a stake in the race and they own the stadium. Somewhere, buried deep in the back of your head, you understand that everyone’s heart is bigger than everyone else’s and that self-cannibalization is the only sure path to understanding that nothing went wrong because nothing was right in the first place, but she smells nice and looks soft and just like you, she cannot fathom all the calculations she never made, and just like you she will not realize that her problems are universal, and that if there is one thing true about a universal problem it is undoubtedly and unstoppably unsolvable.

If you’re a regular person, all of this takes about six years from the ages of thirteen through nineteen to figure out and experience. If you’re Los Campesinos, it takes about thirty two minutes and ten seconds.


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