George Harrison, “I Dig Love,” All Things Must Pass. 1970
I dig love in the morning
I dig love in the evening
I dig love
And I want you to know I dig love
I love dig
I love dig
I love dig
2010. Nashville was a sweaty place. In the morning, the inside of my 1991 Geo, if it had rained, would be damp like a gym sock. Toilet paper grew soggy from the collected humidity, as if it were constantly wiping the world’s ass.
You woke up moist and stayed moist until you went to bed. Rarely in those three or four months after graduation did I get out of bed, and neither did my partner. It was a weird and bitter honeymoon affair, the only period of a relationship that can sustain the trauma of constant contact in ninety-degree weather. Those first few months of cohabitation are the supreme test of patience. I had a lot of patience.
One of the rare nights out of the house, my partner played a show at The 5 Spot. I met a girl there who was also from Ohio, and she worked in media. Maybe public relations. We were outside, and I had bummed a cigarette, and we were talking about how I’d just graduated and was dating a drummer, and then the drummer appeared, kind and drunk and smiling.
He came and went in grand gestures, always fulfilling the prophecy of a Leo, and when he left the girl from Ohio turned to me and asked if I was driving, and I said that yes, I was.
Then she told me of the honeymoon phase we were in, the way we could do no wrong in each other’s eyes and how all our little faults were seen as little quirks. And then she told me not to worry, that it wouldn’t last, and we’d both wake up and walk away.
When you think you’re in love, and when that love is everything in your life, you don’t want to hear that it isn’t going to last. I didn’t see the signs in front of me, did not notice their flashing lights until months and months later when they refused to be ignored. It’s not that love causes blindness; love demands it.
There is a lot to a relationship. There are interests and fights and kisses, and things you never think you’ll experience again, for better or worse. And then there are songs you celebrate together, words with lovely simplicity that you can both shout along to—I dig love!— in underwear, sweat crawling like ants from head to toe. And in those moments, if you’re dumb enough, you think that’s what love is all about—that shared joy. And then it ends, three minutes later, and all that’s left is panting and stinging eyes and calls from collectors and fights about dinner, and just like when a drug has started to wear off, you’re forced to decide whether or not you’re ready to kick the habit. And you never are. Not really.