the philadelphia evening post
in and out of love at the trocadero theatre
Jenny Lewis June 8, 2009 As he was breaking up with me over the phone, Mike said, “I’ll still come next month for the Jenny Lewis concert,” as if that was supposed to somehow soften the blow. He didn’t give me a choice. He said, “I’ll still come,” and even though I spent the next month not counting on it, he emailed me a few days before to confirm the plan. I didn’t know whether or not I even wanted to see him, but I knew it had to happen eventually and I figured at least a concert could be a giant distraction. Plus I had already paid for the tickets. We had fun at the show, of course. We stood near the front, off to the left, where we had a good view of everything. We whispered observations to each other between songs and made jokes. It was the first time either of us visited the Troc, so we spent some time marveling over the architecture and the details of the building. I kept staring up at the ceiling and pointing out little things I noticed in the plaster. We fell back into
our familiar, easy rhythm. If not for the horrible feeling in my stomach, it was almost like nothing was even wrong. The thrill of being in a cool venue, listening to my favorite artist sing my favorite songs did prove to be a good distraction from the fact that I was heartbroken. But then Jenny sang “Acid Tongue,” and it kind of destroyed me. When she sang, we were unlucky in love/but I’d do it all again, I cast a pointed glance at Mike, wondering if hearing those words did the same thing to him as it did to me. But he wasn’t paying close enough attention for the lyrics to register. When the concert ended, a mob of people started immediately rushing toward the exit. I tried to keep Mike within my sight as we made our way to the door. His phone was dead and he wouldn’t know how to get back to my dorm if we were separated. He looked at me and I could tell he was having the same thought. He grabbed my hand. Out of habit, out of necessity. I yanked mine away, hard. I didn’t want him to feel like he had this kind of power over me, like he could do whatever he wanted even though he was no longer my boyfriend. thirty
He looked at my face and understood. He apologized. He was just trying to make sure we wouldn’t lose each other. All I could think was, you did lose me. We made it out of the building and walked from 12th and Arch to 34th and Powelton even though a subway or a cab would have been faster. We were broke and I was still getting used to using SEPTA. And I think we both didn’t want the night to end. I was, despite my best efforts, enjoying his company. It hurt me to be around him, yes, but I knew it would hurt even more after he was gone and I wouldn’t know when I would see him again. When we got back to my dorm, Mike came in for a few minutes to have a glass of water before his drive home. We finally talked about some of the subjects we’d avoided all night. He told me that I looked really pretty. He sat on the opposite side of the room from me, on a couch we once made out on. He didn’t try to kiss me. He told me he was sorry but this was how he thought things had to be. I gave him water in a glass that belonged to one of my roommates because I didn’t want his lips to touch anything of mine.
The Philadelphia Evening Post - Volume 1: Issue 3