“Sometimes I just love driving around, blasting Fiona Apple, and crying.”
We used to refer to Bella’s car as Goldie Hon. It was a gold Honda. I liked imagining Bella on Lincoln Drive scream-crying along to “Get Gone” or weeping to the tune of “Never Is A Promise.” It made me feel less insane and a little bit nostalgic for pain. Because pain, in some strange way, often meant clarity–or at least the coming of it.
Sometime in winter, I downloaded the Co-star App, and I also began following the company on Instagram. Yesterday, they uploaded a post detailing how each of the signs “reaches out.”
“Cancer,” it read: “With random Fiona Apple lyrics captioned, ‘so us‘”
This is not the first time that astrology has successfully made a caricature of me.
I remembered reaching out to an ex-boyfriend when we were in the process of tearing one another apart at the messy end of our long-distance non-relationship. I opened Facebook messenger and sent him a link to Fiona’s new song “Werewolf.” My following message read: “reminded me of you.”
He replied quickly, as usual. “Aw, you’re thinking of me!”
Later, he actually listened to the song. I knew this because I received another message in which he had written “you’re an asshole.” Breaking up was new for me, and deliciously reptilian.
Fiona Apple’s first album was released when I was six years old. I don’t think I heard it until I was ten. My cool south-Jersey cousin, or perhaps it was even my own mother, introduced my sister, then at the beginning of her own dark pubescence, to Tidal and When the Pawn… I liked the music then, found it mysterious. I imagined the riffs offered some unique meaning for moody teenage girls, as my sister and my cousin were.
When my own middle-school discontent arrived, I often laid in bed at night and listened to “Fast as You Can” on repeat on my discman. I liked that Fiona was both self-deprecating and righteous. It seemed bold to be a woman expressing anger and sadness, to be accusatory and sensitive at the same time.
Fiona accompanied me through middle and high-school and university, off and on, always giving me permission to be confusing and complete. And now she’s here for my adulthood, too, with Fetch the Bolt Cutters. She’s funnier, more confident somehow, but still 100% Fiona Apple. It’s a piece of art, the sort born of necessity and passion. It ignores marketing tactics and says, “easily-digestible narrative? the fuck is that?”
Thanks for this quarantine blessing, Fiona.