idle crushes.

it seems as though a couple of things have become stagnate as of late: my writing and the fleeting crushes that entertain my heart.

in old english to idel was to be empty and useless (thanks oxford).  in my life, to idle is to suffer from the stop-start effect: to stop finding creative motivation, to start admiring a mate out of pure vanity; to stop a budding crush before it becomes commitment, to start using my words again when inspiration meets.

i forget where i read the term “idle crushes”.  i’ve scrawled it in my journal without any reference, recollection or memory.  but with sufjan stevens’ “impossible soul” lyrics lingering in my mind i visualise the notepaper page and these two words in masquerade.

suddenly, the inspiration is reignited.  my heart churns out its idle crushes.  the stop-start romances that remain exactly that — empty and useless.  empty because they’ve never formed beyond the parameters of my heart; useless because the pinnacle of their affection are unattainable men.  the type that sit over there while i sit over here.  like an awkward high school dance neither boy nor girl take the first step.  the space between … yep, it is exactly that … idle static confusion.  mere lacklustre blank space.  no emotive.

“the lovers” by belgian surrealist, rene magritte (1928). photograph: tate/dacs (sourced from

and then the space is filled with sufjan’s song, impossible souls.  the guardian reinforces that “some anointed [the 25 minute closing epic melody to the age of adz] as genius while others decried its neurotic narcissism.”  aren’t idle crushes love’s neurosis anyway?  yet still nobody asks this lass to dance.

the spectacular ballad is broken into four parts.  part i appears to be about a lovelorn boy pleading for his beloved, his idle crush, to stay; for her not to go:

ooh. woman, tell me what you want
 and i’ll calm down without bleeding out
with a broken heart that you stabbed for an hour
 woman, i was freaking out because i want you to know
my beloved, you are the lover of my impossible soul
woman, too, promise me you’ll stay and put off all your woes
 and i was in a dream, i was gone away without you, but not too slow
 lest i put it off, ‘fore i put it right for the impossible soul
 and all i couldn’t sing, i would say it all my life to you, if i could get you
at all
 don’t be a wreck, trying to be something that i wasn’t at all
 seems i got it wrong, i was chasing after something that was gone
 to the black of night, now i know it’s not what i wanted at all
you said something like, “all you want is all the world for yourself”
 but all i want is the perfect love, though i know it’s small, i want love for
us all
 and all i couldn’t sing, i would say it all my life to you, if i could get you
at all

a couple of choruses later, part iv of the melody possibly sings the sorrow of apology, as the boy (and his love) idles … love’s greatest misery:

i never meant to cause you pain
my burden is the weight of a feather
i never meant to lead you on
i only meant to please me, however

and then you tell me “boy, we can do much more together.”

i’m nothing but a selfish worm?
i’m nothing but a privileged puppet
and did you think I’d stay the night
and did you think I’d love you forever

and then you tell me “boy, we can do much more together.”
i gotta tell you “girl, I want nothing less than pleasure.”
i gotta tell you “boy, we made such a mess together.”

so somewhere in the idle space two impossible souls meet.  i crush on you.  and you, well, you crushed me (my dreams).  had i stayed and put off all my woes — had you maybe stayed the night, even loved me for forever — we could have painted that beautiful mess together.

idle crushes — two stalled lovers — who never did much more together.  i stopped.  even though you had never truly started.

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