There are former crushes, drinking buddies, and college roommates left to touch upon. However, there is one past character who – even if she doesn’t come up too often these days in blog or in life – had a major impact on your humble singer/songwriter.
She is known as the Queen of Darkness. QoD for short.
Hilariously, I had nothing to do with the creation of this moniker; at the time of our breakup I had another, much kinder pseudonym in place for her on the blog. However, due to her prolonged bad behavior and general insanity my friends collectively coined her nickname, which is used and recognized by dozens of people to this day (her real name has sort of reached “(S)He Who Shall Not Be Named” proportions).
It’s convenient that we have this familiar nickname in place, because I’m about to commit some serious libel.
It was Sophomore year, and I had still never had a girlfriend. It has been a year since I had even kissed anyone. I was living in my first college apartment, and feeling super-isolated from many of my theatre friends. Enter QoD, who I peripherally knew from parties, but who was mostly introduced to when she starred in a small studio show whose set I helped to strike.
To be entirely truthful, QoD was a uniquely pretty, intelligent, and talented human being. At first glance these traits popped out at you like a neon sign. However, at the time she also happened to be a mentally troubled, hypochondriac, sociopathic, faux-insomniac, compulsive liar. And a very possessive girlfriend.
Unfortunately, the latter traits were not lit up in neon. They were blacklight personality traits, visible only with special light bulbs or CSI equipment.
How possessive was she? In exactly two months of dating I spent the night away from her three, maybe four times. She inexplicably eschewed my apartment, which meant that in total I spent about 50 nights sleeping in her cramped, stuffy dorm room along with her long-suffering roommate, who I am friends with to this day.
I was only allowed to attend parties with her express permission, and i was not allowed to sing along to the radio because my pitch wasn’t good enough.
Those two months happen to correspond to almost an entire quarter of college – my lowest-GPA quarter of all time. They also correspond to the time I got bronchitis and pneumonia and was almost hospitalized. And the time when I was almost fired from the coffee shop while simultaneously almost missing out on getting an internship. Oh, and the time I stopped talking to Gina, Rabi, Laurel, Amy, and all of my other female friends.
It basically corresponds to the two worst months of my entire life. Mentally, physically, socially, scholastically, occupationally – in all respects I have never hit a lower point.
So, finally, and with much cajoling from concerned friends (and my mother, embarrassingly enough), I very gingerly broke it off. And, I was very upset – this was my first and only breakup, ever! I actually manged to turn it around on me, saying that maybe we could work when I was a little older and… Looking to be possessed more? I don’t know how I phrased it, exactly.
Well, the ginger break didn’t go over so well; starting from a party that night QoD salted my wounds every chance she got. She knew more about me than any other person, other than maybe Gina, and she used it to her advantage in every encounter. She was like my comic-book nemesis … Krisis vs the Queen of Darkness!
She grilled Gina to see if I had broken up with her because of someone else. She accused me of plagiarizing my new songs from my favorite records. And, when I tried to warn others about her tacit instability she hid behind a screen of “poor me” so that I got labeled as jealous and bitter.
Really the worst two months didn’t wear off until two or three months afterwards, when I was finally safely re-ensconced in my social scene and she was distracted by getting her hooks deep into another poor fool (who I tried to warn, only to again get the jealous/bitter stamp).
Did any good come out of the situation? Sure. I learned a lot about my limits in a relationship. And, i had my highest amount of website hits ever as I documented the messy aftermath.
The most good that came out of my interlude of Darkness was the songs. I had always written messy breakup sorts of songs, just because they’re so easy to write. Now I finally had a messy breakup to write about! I became a songwriting machine – writing angry songs, sad songs, regretful songs, and wistful songs.
(It lasted for a full three months – the first songs were the siamese twins of “Hold On Me” & “Splinter.” Disturbingly, these nasty ditties were written during our relationship. The last song was the recently posted “This Long (Angry Song).”)
Hilariously, the Queen of Darkness is the only thing I have to compare Elise to, which makes Elise a sort of perfectly untouchable goddess in almost every respect (especially since she is galactically more gorgeous, intelligent, and talented than QoD in her tip-toppest form).
QoD doesn’t really come up that much, other than in war stories about her at parties. We hear some news from time to time – at one point she obviously confronted some of her issues, and got a little more positive as a result. The new word is that she is across the country, and may be pregnant.
I don’t really have anything to say about that. The Queen of Darkness she was in 2001 remains a separate character from whoever she has become now, and I hope for everyone’s sake the persona and all of the problems part and parcel with it have been laid to rest.
As for me, my problems were exorcised in song long ago.