Henry and I will often find ourselves up late on weekends, flipping through music channels, but I almost always have him stop on VH1 Soul to pacify my inner yo-girl. For as much screamo, hardcore, post-hardcore, goth, emo, indie rock, etc. etc. I listen to, my roots actually lie in r&b. I am always down for a good motown joint; some old school Anita Baker; or my 1990’s favorite, El DeBarge. My favorite r&b singer of the last decade is hands down Trey Songz. When I first heard “Can’t Help But Wait” in 2007, I was pretty much like, “El DeBarge who?” That song accompanied me on many cemetery suicide-jogs, prompting me to wail to Henry, “WHY DON’T YOU EVER CALL ME A STAR?!!?”
Not to mention Trey Songz is fucking hot. Every time I see his video for “Can’t Be Friends,” I will literally collapse onto Henry and squeal, “HE IS SO PRETTY I CAN’T STAND IT.” (Trey, not Henry.) The song is unbearably sad to me, like barbed wire strangulating my already-broken heart, but I must have watched this video 87,878,787 times over the last few months, because HE IS SO PRETTY I CAN’T STAND IT.
I’ve listened to this song over and over. One time, I left it on repeat almost all day (it was actually on a torturous playlist with a whole whopping two other love songs) until Henry snapped and turned it off. (I feel like this happened on Thanksgiving Day when he was already stressed-out in the kitchen.) I’ve always been excellent at playing out songs. There was one New Year’s Eve in high school when I listened to the same Howard Hewett single on repeat, crying over some dumb boy, and I really thought my friend Christy was never going to talk to me again, she was so fucking annoyed.
(Fifteen years later, and I’m still Queen of Overkill. In fact, the same Dance Gavin Dance album has been perpetually spinning in my bedroom for a week now. Henry gets to be lulled to sleep every night by Jonny Craig’s sex-lungs and Jon Mess’s redrum screaming. LUCKY HENRY AMIRITE?)
“Can’t Be Friends” has that same Howard Hewett-sadomasochistic effect on me.
Oh, the things I could say about this song.