“Love is a losing game” is the title of an Amy Winehouse song that plays very frequently in my playlists. Actually, Winehouse is one of my favourite artists, and that’s why many of her songs sit on many of my playlists. She’s one of my first calls when constructing them.
Her entire repertoire is a gold mine of feelings for me. Her songs swing from hopefulness to disappointment, and often the two contradictory states exist in the same song! When one of her songs starts, it’s difficult to resist the urge to start to belt out the words to that song in the morning traffic.
Sometimes a song pops up at the right moment, and it spreads a higher meaning all over a mundane moment. One looks at the world in a fresh light. It may be a light which is a bit jaded, a bit sad at a lost opportunity, a bit hopeful that this time things won’t turn to shit, or a bit resentful that someone is being a selfish prick.
It’s like finding bitter sweet Nirvana while having your usual mindmorning cuppa in the staff room, or learning the silver lining in a gray life while elbow deep in the dishes after dinner on a Saturday evening, or coming home late in the evening to happy animals only to find they have runny tummies and need to be walked several times.
An lo, so it was that at 3.55 pm on that Saturday, young Colin and his intrepid mate Mark, did arise from their sofa after that afternoon footie game to reach enlightment. Which was all about Stephen not managing his love-life in an appropriate manner so that he ended up dejected and rejected on our doorstep in need of a hug and a friendly shoulder.
Love is, indeed, a losing game for some. Songs will be written about it, and daffodils will be mutilated. And the patience of friends will be tested on a Saturday because the victims of love will strive to involve everyone around them in their sweet misery.
On the stereo, which is always on in this household, song number 13 will fade out, there will be a pause, and song number 14 will start. Which happens to be Amy Winehouse. Which happens to be that song. Which happens when Mark puts a bottle of home brew beer in front of his dispirited friend in our kitchen. And, moments have meaning beyond there mere mundane and the usual – which is Stephen moaning about not having it like Mark and I.
And in that moment, I almost feel for him. At that moment, I almost believe him. At that moment, we’re a contrast which says “Screw Amy and her pessimism” because there’s hope. And in that moment I feel so fiercely protective of what we have. I also feel sorry for him because we, Mark and I, must seem like something out of his reach. And so, we become a loss, to him.