I have recently conjured the suspicion that being a young woman dating a musician in 2010 must hold a great parallel to the young women of the 1800s who tried to date sailors. Everyone knows something about sailors, and that something is usually that they are married to the sea. That old idea is a warning to lofty girls not to fall in love with them, for the hearts of such men will always belong to the sea. They are just as fickle as a modern day, struggling, touring musician. When they are away, they fantasize of home, wish and yearn for it, and seem to find little pleasure in their voyage past the spark of the first few days, as they remember all of the hardships a tour entails: uncertainty for a place to sleep, absence of a real bed or reliable companionship, monotony, close quarters, physical exhaustion and abuse. But when they return, it is only a matter of days before they are sitting at a bar, beer in hand, talking fondly of the road and reminiscing as if they cannot wait to get back out there and do it all over again.
And what of the women? We sit at home, at first relieved to have them out of our hair for a moment, yet within days have fallen into similar suit, missing their warm bodies in our beds, their inherent protective presence by our public side, and whatever combination of petty little details, like the smell of his pomade, or the ironically pink hued boxer briefs in the dryer. We, just as they, wish for the day they get home, and vicariously follow every rough night, every violent storm, every tumultuous wave they at sea endure. We, as women, are just as abused in this sense, for we are stripped our ability to coddle & nurture the abused, just as they are made to face it all without the coddling of a woman, which all men will deny a real need for, yet crave regardless.
Indeed, musicians today are not married to the sea, but to the road, and their guitars their boats. Their job is to chase something just out of reach, and to suffer the obstacles. The love they hold for something which primarily yields irritation is something they may never really understand; the need to leave, the urge to return, and the desire to repeat it all over is foreign to this species. Yet, we women are born with an understanding of emotional contradiction; we are made of it. That is why we can kiss them goodbye and kiss them welcome, time and time again. Though, I think it still takes a certain kind of woman to tolerate it all, don’t you think?