He Loves Wilco And I Ask, ‘Who?’


I can’t tell if he rolls his eyes, because I am already rolling mine. As a music snob, I have stuck to my snobbery and refused to give Wilco the time of day. Too much of nothing is enough for me.

Sometimes, in the morning, while we are getting ready for work and being adults, he tells Alexa to play something by Wilco and I pretend to suffer it. He laughs and that’s fair.

A long time ago, Marc Spitz sat next to me in a crowded karaoke bar and his leg touched mine and I wanted to tell him I’ve loved him since I was a teenager, but I didn’t. Instead, he told me my version of a Velvet Underground song was shit. Instead, he told me I seemed like a girl Ryan Adams or Jeff Tweedy would like, and I still don’t know if that was a compliment or an insult. He died before I could ask him.

I have this bad habit of being a bitch over nothing. I find the things that someone loves about themselves and begin to hate them, as though what makes them unique is annoying. My therapist, who I have broken up with eight times in the last 10 years, tells me it’s a defense mechanism. I’m addicted, she shrugs while doodling on a notepad, to self-sabotage.

He tells me to not leave him. He’s the first person who makes eye contact when he says it. He’s the first person who says it when we aren’t having sex. I do my best.

I lay awake in bed alone. I listen to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It makes me sleepy but that’s okay. When I get to “Poor Places,” I wonder what he was like younger. Curious if we met earlier if we’d still like one another. I wish for a few moments he met me then. Maybe when the album came out, before we were both jaded, and difficult, and we could have fallen in love without all the strings attaching to baggage we can’t carry around anymore.

I wake up one morning with Wilco still playing in my earbuds. I feel like I am in an episode of True Detective. It’s like a dream. Maybe it is.

He tells me he loves me, and I am certain it’s too soon. I’ve known him for less than 1,000 hours. He doesn’t care how much time it’s been.

On the way to his house, I tell the windshield how I’m going to break up with him. I string words together like “too much,” “I’m nervous,” “fucked up,” and sentences that end with “I’m sorry.” But when I get there, he’s smiling. He’s happy to see me. He makes me happy that I’m … me. I don’t know what that feels like most of the time. I don’t mention what I’ve told my windshield. He doesn’t need to know those things.

In late June, I dreamt I saw Marc Spitz at Ben and Jerry’s downtown. He was in a black trench coat. He had on sunglasses, but it was dark out, it was snowing. He asked me if I had an umbrella. I don’t know if I answered him, but I told him I met a guy who liked Wilco. He laughed and that’s fair.

“I’ve got reservations about so many things, but not about you.”