How I will cope

I will listen to Wilco. I will post emo indie music on your wall. I am trying to break your heart, like you’re breaking mine just by being yourself. A thousand little pieces all free and floating of their own accord.

I will sniff and rub my red eyes. I will lose it, and pretend not to lose it, and try not to lose it. You will put your hands in mine and kiss my wet eyelids, you will kiss the tip of my nose, and bury your face in my neck. Breathe in, deeply. I will sob miserably, quietly. More a snuffle, really.

I am trying to break your heart.

I will listen to lots of Bob Dylan. Blood on the Tracks is our favourite Dylan album. We discover that we were both listening to Tangled Up In Blue everyday around the same time, two years ago. We did not know each other then. I do not ascribe much significance to this. Fortunate coincidence, that’s  all it is.

We  will lie together quietly, your neck will be bent at an awkward angle as you try to reach my face. My body is limp because I feel like I’m floating. I’m afraid. I don’t know where we’re going from here. I am trying to break your heart.

You have stolen my music, inextricably linked- what will I listen to, to cope? Where do we go from here?

One night I’m having a panic attack and Dylan doesn’t help. I decide that it’s a good idea to listen to ‘Hey that’s no way to say goodbye’ over and over again. It isn’t. I cry quietly. In the next bed, my brother sleeps on. It feels like the first time all over again.

You complicate things, you make things simple. I am trying to break your heart.



  • In an interview with Sing Out! magazine, Dylan said, “The songs are there. They exist all by themselves just waiting for someone to write them down. I just put them down on paper. If I didn’t do it, somebody else would.”
  • “Down the Highway” – Dylan composed this song in the form of a 12-bar blues. In the sleeve notes of Freewheelin’, Dylan explained to Nat Hentoff: “What made the real blues singers so great is that they were able to state all the problems they had; but at the same time, they were standing outside of them and could look at them. And in that way, they had them beat.”[25] Into this song, Dylan injected one explicit mention of an absence that was troubling him: the sojourn of Suze Rotolo in Perugia: “My baby took my heart from me/ She packed it all up in a suitcase/ Lord, she took it away to Italy, Italy.”