I know everyone has run into the case where breaking up with a significant other means some song or artist or band is essentially ruined for them. With my high school boyfriend it was Dave Matthews Band (at the time, DMB was still very, very new, and you know you all went through a DMB phase), which he listened to repeatedly. With another guy it was Robert Earl Keen's "I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight."
Now, let's talk about Bruce Springsteen.
The Modern Ex has a thing for the Boss, and when I say 'has a thing,' I mean he's probably as I write this sitting somewhere quizzing himself on what was the seventh song that Springsteen sang at the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town show in Asbury Park. I'm not being mean, anyone who knows him could verify this.
The MEx has every album, and if that's not true then it's dang close to the truth. He has many of them on vinyl. The Bruce Springsteen Sirius channel is the very first one bookmarked on his radio. He's heard every concert they have to play on that station, and can generally name the year and location of the concert without looking. It's sick. I'd say 75 percent of our time spent together in his car was spent listening to the Boss.
Now, I liked Bruce Springsteen well enough before I started dating the MEx, but there were days while I was living with him that I honestly thought I wouldn't be able to listen to another Boss song without poking holes in my eardrums. I remember getting out of the shower one morning and crying upon hearing "Thunder Road" wafting from the speakers.
(Editor's note: Again, I'm not trying to be mean or make the MEx look bad here. He was well aware how I felt. And I would tell him this very story now.)
Anyway, so one would assume that the Boss is absolutely ruined for me not only for this lifetime but for two or three other lifetimes, right? I thought so. I may have been wrong.
I heard "Born to Run" this morning on my way to work, and I was halfway through belting the song out before I realized what was going on. How did that happen?
Maybe the MEx took me so far along the space-time continuum of music obsession that I started over again as a fan? Or maybe it was just the notion that I could turn the Boss off WHENEVER I WANTED.
On that note, the lone Bruce Springsteen song that could never be ruined for me because, you know, '80s music!! ...