Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Living and Dying

Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.

And now, let’s continue.




Screen capture from youtube clip below - Do listen to the song!


It was second day of the new year, and a workday, to boot - when I first heard Joshua Hyslop sing Living & Dying while listening to Noisetrade's Best of What's Next (free download here - warmly recommended!).

Time stopped. I dropped what I was doing and went to see what this absolute awesomeness is.

It is truly a wonderful song featuring vibrant, yet minimalistic arrangements, exquisite singing voice and lyrics with the amount of clarity such that it embodies both all-encompassing and particular. It can be understood just as Joshua himself describes:

“’Living & Dying’ deals with the issues of humanity’s negative impact on the natural world” explains Hyslop. “On a deeper level, it deals with our unwillingness to be involved in making changes or finding a solution, despite how frequently we talk about it.”

… and yet, one can easily understand that it also describes that same rift in the small scale; negative impact one person’s (in)actions can have on dyadic or small social cell level. Escapism, passive aggression, inertia, unwillingness to acknowledge changing environment and one’s role in it - they all write that same story of drifting on the current of change instead of participating actively in building a healthy, homeostatic world.

Let me illustrate through Joshua's lyrics:

Watch as the world falls away, here we are lying
At sunrise the moon starts to wane
Living and dying
And the oceans echo out their deep refrain
And the river answers, “I’ll make you whole again”

Could also be said:

Look, if you stop for a moment and take heed at your surroundings you will see that the world progresses without us
Sun rises and sets
Waters circle between oceans and rivers endlessly

Further on:

Well, come away, come away, there’s no use staying
You’ve been living just for today
But tomorrow’s coming
And the lightning strikes and breaks apart the night
But the sparks will burn out long before they light

Could also be said:

So, let’s go - to just idle is detrimental.
Your unacceptance of your role in the world has been noted
But world does not stop for you, even if you think so
And it is not enough to bask in rare moments of clarity
If you are not translating them into direct action.

This is just the loveliest touch that Joshua has written:

Well the teeth cut the truth from our mouths
Here we are lying


... because there is an English idiom “Lying through your teeth” which means that someone is lying very aptly, so well that it looks like truth...
And, knowing that we then know that the ending really means:

We’re going to lie with great devotion, such that would be indistinguishable from truth even to us liars
And nothing will change




It is the loveliest of songs and heaviest of accusations.

Do not let it be you that Joshua is talking about.





Thursday, January 8, 2015

Can't Do Without You

Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.

And now, let’s continue.




There is, like, six more songs I wanted to write about now, here in this relationship narrative series, but I am in distress now and when I am in distress I wait for perfect solution to present itself.

And it always does.

I do not listen to Caribou much. I have also seen Caribou live in Zagreb (2010, &TD) I went to the show with my then boyfriend and after the dissolution of the relationship I stopped listening to Caribou and also have stopped calling that person boyfriend including syntactic constructions like ex-boyfriend, last boyfriend or partner. At one time I read Žižek’s comment on relationship dissolutions and there he said:

'You don't simply dissolve marriage; divorce means that you retroactively establish that the love was not the true love.' When love goes away, you retroactively establish that it wasn't even true love." Is that what he did? "Yes! I erase it totally. I don't only believe that I'm no longer in love. I believe I never was."

… and I loved it. I mean; I know it is untrue and it is just a nifty trick we humans use to distance ourselves from the pain of our mistakes but it sounded so vibrant it was endearing.

But that does not do it for me.

I want to have my cake and eat it too and I do not mind paying for the cake to be able to do that. I want not only to admit and fully enjoy love, but also want to fully admit and enjoy the subsequent pain - and this is just a perfect song to illustrate that.

(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)
(Can't do without)

“Then boyfriend” is my favorite construction at this time since it admits to the fact of relationship existing at one point in time while at the same time ascertaining degree of separation that is impossible to miss. There was one great post on Killing Time blog back in June 2014 and I commented that:

“It is astounding how many people truly do not understand that after the relationship is over they do not exist in a particular form they inhabited while in the relationship. All this make-believe with “let’s stay friends” is just an attempt to eat shit while using a silver spoon:”


(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
(I can't do without you)
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you


Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without

I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you
I can't do without you

Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without
Can't do without

Can’t (as in “Can’t do without”) is an absolute, a quicksand that slowly devours you while and because you are struggling. Like Master Oogway told Shifu:

"Your mind is like this water my friend, when it is agitated it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear."

So at the end of the song can’t turns into couldn’t. Couldn’t is no absolute. Couldn’t is a place of measurement, of weighing reality against the empty dream, and - maybe - deciding that reality is more valuble to you then fleeting escape from the pain.

I can't do without you
And you're the only thing I think about
(I can't do without you)
It's all that I can still do
(I can't do without you)
And you know you're the one I dream about
(I can't do without you)
I couldn't do without you


You can never go home, never return. You can only try new ways and new roads and try to catch up to the person you care about and walk with them down previously unused pathways.
And there’s only one way to start the journey.



Monday, December 29, 2014

It Must Be Love

Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.

And now, let’s continue.




Illustration taken from http://www.windturbinesyndrome.com

It is not easy to find songs to illustrate relationship narratives before everything has gone awry. One could say that  humans are prone to “not rocking the boat” when things are going well. Objectively, there is, of course, logical explanation of fact that we’re not spending much effort describing time when all is well; predictive value of positive events is a lot smaller than for negative events and also we are 3 times as likely to complain then we are to praise.

And yet, most people do not intentionally, with forethought, enter anything, lest relationship talk. They just find themselves in situations and are directed by winds of change much more then with goal-oriented actions. That is why I love this song - It Must Be Love by Labi Siffre  - so much; because it illustrates rarely cool-headed approach to questions of the heart. Being a psychologist I’m acutely aware of people being extremely poor judges of their own states and desires but still it surprises me how rarely observation is used to access one’s own emotional states.

Like noticing that one could do with much more contact with particular people:

I never thought I'd miss you
Half as much as I do
And I never thought I'd feel this way
The way I feel
About you
As soon as I wake up
Every night, every day
I know that it's you I need
To take the blues away

… and to use this observation to base theory on:

It must be love, love, love
It must be love, love, love
Nothing more, nothing less
Love is the best

To further this pursuit of truth one must only follow scientific method some more; by making predictions based on newly established theory:

How can it be that we can
Say so much without words?
Bless you and bless me
Bless the bees
And the birds
I've got to be near you
Every night, every day
I couldn't be happy
Any other way

It must be love, love, love
It must be love, love, love
Nothing more, nothing less
Love is the best

You only need to evaluate evidence: If person/relationship makes you happy, if motivates you for action and makes you a better person this is a good thing. Good things are to be celebrated and maintained so they continue to give pleasure and happiness. It is that simple. And you need no better gauge to measure this then your own self.

As soon as I wake up
Every night, every day
I know that it's you I need
To take the blues away

It must be love, love, love
It must be love, love, love
Nothing more, nothing less
Love is the best

It must be love, love, love...

Noone is on his/her best behavior every day and "accidents" happen that put us in the doghouse but way out of the doghouse is just as simple; observe, theorize, make predictions, direct actions, evaluate evidence.

I love love.



Sunday, December 21, 2014

It's No Good

Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.

And now, let’s continue.

Photo belongs to Anton Corbijn

I've been Martin L. Gore fan for almost 30 years now because Depeche Mode, to me, is Martin L.Gore. I see him almost as a ventriloquist sometimes, when particularly knurd, and I mean it as a mixture of fascination, admiration and deep respect since I find nothing funny or simple in that fact. Depeche Mode is the first band, and very possibly the only band to which I freely admit being a die-hard fan even though I'm extremely reluctant to ensure that kind of commitment. There are dozens of songs of his I could cover in this post series but most important one unquestionably is It's No Good.

There are a plethora of reasons this song is so important to me spanning from complete visceral enamouredness I feel when hearing it to years and years of dissecting its meaning in context of both my relationships and relationships in general. Just like much of Mr. Gore's work its social and political meanings are no less interesting than its, let's say, trivial interpersonal meaning.

And there is nothing trivial in interpersonal. Interpersonal is the warp of everyday life weave, it sets and defines the frame that all weave must respect and complement.

I'm going to take my time
I have all the time in the world
To make you mine
It is written in the stars above
The gods decree
You'll be right here by my side
Right next to me
You can run, but you cannot hide


It is funny, in a way, to hear so much confidence and even evoking divine providence in what we mostly consider product of hormonal disbalanse - love as human connectedness. It seems so over-the-top confident it comes over as arrogant or downright ridiculous...


Don't say you want me
Don't say you need me
Don't say you love me
It's understood
Don't say you're happy
Out there without me
I know you can't be
'cause it's no good


.. And yet, to my knowledge, this is a lot closer to the reality then most of us would like to admit. It is the person who gives meaning to the world, not the other way around. It is us who let go and spare the effort and as product of that relationships dissolve and disintegrate.

I'll be fine
I'll be waiting patiently
Till you see the signs
And come running to my open arms
When will you realise
Do we have to wait till our worlds collide
Open up your eyes
You can't turn back the tide

We do not always manage to create and maintain the relationships we want when we do invest into them, but by not investing we always manage to destroy them.

I love how this song speaks so openly the things we all think, but do not say out of fear.
I love how it displays truth so stark naked that most of us cannot perceive it as truth.
I love how it spells out the fact that if there ever was love in a relationship there will be nothing, ever, that will fill out the remaining void, nothing to patch it up and hide it, nothing to make us forget even if we had a thousand more lives and lovers. Love stays below, like an open gap into the unknown, inviting and terrifying at the same time, for any and all time to follow the dissolution of a relationship.

Don't say you want me
Don't say you need me
Don't say you love me
It's understood
Don't say you're happy
Out there without me
I know you can't be
'cause it's no good



For years to follow we get the blind itch of anniversaries, of common grounds, of places we visited together and most of us spend our lives running away from that itch.

But not the song protagonist.

The protagonist takes the road less traveled and bares his teeth to oblivion.
There's something deeply satisfying in considering that one can be that brave.


I'm going to take my time
I have all the time in the world
To make you mine
It is written in the stars above

Don't say you want me
Don't say you need me
Don't say you love me
It's understood
Don't say you're happy
Out there without me
I know you can't be
'cause it's no good

Love needs no acceptance. It just is. It is us who need acceptance and someone whose faith and effort will not flicker. And sometimes, it is us who are that someone to other.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Clear History

Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.

And now, let’s continue.


Black Zenith Promo picture. Go visit him on Bandcamp


And then, there are loves that feel like you have been struck by lightning; electrifying, potent, dumbfounding.

Sweet and sticky, like drowning in a pool of awesomeness.

Like this song - Clear History  - by Black Zenith.

I first heard the song on Radio Student and I dropped everything I was doing and went to see which song that is and where I can find MORE. It was such an experience I even got proof of my complete amazement.









It is an amazing song, one presenting the experience of complete immersion into emotions building a relationship, without the need to depict relationship and to overelaborate. Happenings described are here after perceived dissolution of the relationship, but dissolution is only formal (as they always are in this modus of experiencing the world). I love how Davey Oberlin - Black Zenith - presents things rationally, in steady rhythm, using the language of online communication as the norm. And I love how he shows he already knows that he’d been poisoned but still treads bravely through this experience:

I'm not open to say if it's always been this way
I keep looking at the screen
hoping that she'd ring for me, but she's bad for me.
She'd only be bad for me.

I'm not hoping to change
I know how I got this way
I keep freeing up my time, hoping that she'd ring for me but she's bad for me
She'd only be bad for me.

I love how the protagonist asks to be released from service, even if this plea is not actually communicated to the person in question (but more to his own toxic infatuation):

Cuz girl I'm not over you
Please let me get over you

Even though this is one costly experience I’d say that those who never tried this kind of love are missing out bigtime. It is hard to even imagine something so engaging and so motivating (or destructive if you’re that kind of person) without having felt it, at least once.

Our past comes back
I knew I would pay for that
I knew it would never last
I knew it went way to fast
All we got are memories, I start to forget you
Please let me forget you
Girl let me forget you.

I felt broken today
Felt the loneliness and pain
I need you like a needle needs a vein
Girl you're my sanity, I need my insanity

Cuz girl I'm not over you
Please let me get over you

It becomes so sweet to pine, so satisfying to yearn that the pain itself becomes more important than the person who started this chain of events. To overstretched endurance all experiences become so heightened you can live on crumbs of attention for ages, dream in color, use libido as bouncing board for space launch.

Our past comes back
I knew I would pay for that
I knew it would never last
I knew it went way to fast
All we got are memories, I start to forget you
Please let me forget you
Girl let me forget you.

I've never run from it, I've always chased it
I'll never be alone with empty spaces
It's never been enough, I just want to taste it
It wasn't long enough, and now I'm wasted.

And then, just as the song states, we emerge on the other side of pain, reborn. Memories linger a bit more, but it becomes harder and harder to discern your face in them, harder to remember color of your eyes or how it felt to shower together after sex.

Gone. Never to return.

Exactly like clearing history; This action cannot be undone.


Our past comes back
I knew I would pay for that
I knew it would never last
I knew it went way to fast
All we got are memories, I start to forget you
Please let me forget you
Girl let me forget you

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Heartattack In A Layby



Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.

And now, let’s continue.

Photo Credit - Naki Kouyioumtzis - Taken from Steven Wilson press page

 I’m a huge fan of Steven Wilson and all his projects and he is my most listened to artist with almost double number of scrobbles on last.fm then the runner up and three times as frequent than any other. Of all his projects I like Porcupine Tree most and my favorite song of his is  Heartattack in a Layby.  This is unavoidable song whilst on the subject on man’s relationship narratives and maybe just as unavoidable as a window into wonderful territory of musical hyperrealism. It is a song exquisitely imagined and polished  to perfection from both lyrical aspect and impeccably produced. I even spoke about it here on the blog before. That’s because I think about is so often I usually hear it my mind even when it is not playing in the vicinity.

I cannot even begin to describe how absolutely awesome is to hear ambient sounds in the song (cars driving by, idling of the car motor, swishing sounds of air disturbed by passing traffic) and understand that they are there to further the reality of the situation described by the song.
I pull off the road
East of Baldock and Ashford
Feeling for my cell
In the light from the dashboard

Hissing from the road
The smell of rain in the air con
Maybe check the news
Or just put a tape on
And it all sounds so real and feels so intimately close. Creeping sickening feeling of overwhelm-ness, crushing pressure of procrastination long overdue, sensation of lingering sticky smoke bringing calmness to spirit and play to the hand.

Lighting up a smoke
I've got this feeling inside me
Don't feel too good

If I close my eyes
And fell asleep in this layby
Would it all subside
The fever pushing the day by

Motor window wind
I could do with some fresh air
Can't breathe too well
How much time escapes through our fingers while we deliberate if we should accept changes, especially changes we brought on ourselves? How long can we hide the truth from ourselves, deny it and make out stories to cover up for our fuckups? How long can we pretend we do not miss, do not hurt, do not yearn?

(She waits for me)
I guess I should go now
(Home waits for me)
She's waiting to make up
(She waits for me)
To tell me she's sorry
(Home waits for me)
And how much she missed me
(She waits for me)
I guess I'm just burnt out
(Home waits for me)
I really should slow down
(She waits for me)
I'm perfectly fine but
(Home waits for me)
I just need to lie down
I love this part. You should try listening to it through some quality headphones to see how meticulously this is mixed and how wonderfully orchestrated. I love it even though and because I always swallow tears listening to the words he wrote; words spelling waste of time and murder of love. I love how the song progresses into the rhythm of repetitive stroke we use when regressing, to make hurt less prominent, more silent and round-edged. I love how he uses less and less new information and more and more self-consoling.
I love how only the most cherished want disappears last, just as it always does.
(She waits for me)
We'll grow old together
(She waits for me)
We'll grow old together
(She waits for me)
We'll grow old together...
Regret is the true death, even when life formally continues.Stubborn insistence on your own side of the story against available evidence brings only stagnation and pain.

I love this song because it is like fine art painting in a museum; under lovely light source, kept out of harm's way, clean and in warm and dry place, marked with a title. And you read the title and you look at the painting and it is all so much present you also feel the pain, not only see it second-hand.

Heartattack in a layby.

Motor idling continues. Fade to black.



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Happy Days



Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.
And now, let’s continue.

Not all paramount stories will be lengthy and enveloped in indie rock.

Often you can find both truth and sense beneath it all in a place not artificially distanced from emotion. I already wrote about punk and what it means to me, and to shortly summarize I highly appreciate its direct and vivacious nature. What I also often feel, especially listening to Kurve (Hookers), is pure genius of punk lyrics: simple and repetitive enough so even the weakest link can enjoy their energy - any yet filled with profound sense of how the world operates.

Official promotional photo of the first album "Su Bolje Majke"


My favorite Kurve song with relationship narrative is Happy days (Sretni dani) and I have translated it here to illustrate this point even though they sing it in Croatian.

I love how they captured the essence of both contemporary society using formally accepted indicators of politeness (“please, thank you, here you are, excuse me” is a part of school-age rhyme showcasing well brought up and polite person) and common relationship dynamics by which man may be the initiator but women are ones calling the shots and allowing things to progress.


please, thank you
here you are, excuse me
you allow me to gnaw on your
tired bones
they are the feast of this
mongrel dog
please, thank you
here you are, excuse me

It is awesome to see so much commonly overlooked truth displayed in such a short verse. Happy days are the ones propelled with candor and openness, before calculations take center stage in a relationship. Happiness stems from desire, from pleasure, from being able to approach and resolve interpersonal issues directly, without need to base relations on need and interdependence created by shortcomings.


happy days
when we're in heat
happy days
when we fuck
happy days
when we don't give ourselves
to need each other
to eat each other

Part of the second verse with “Happy days when we don’t give ourselves…” refers to later stages in progress of a relationship when people forget that the interdependence relationship rests upon is not obligatory part of a relationship, it is an optional part they themselves have chosen (to progress the relationship, no less!). So to act like a hostage is completely unnecessary and actually rude, especially if you force responsibilities onto someone before even discussing them. I love how they have summed up both pleasure and tedium in a few words, the right words, like an open-ended question that reveals one’s true intentions.

It is possible to stay in this blessed time, in the happy days of fucking and pleasure and good relations indefinitely if your interrelation is based on trust (you can even patch up broken ones if you don’t spare the effort), but only if you preserve and cultivate trust and agree to carry your own responsibility. It boggles my mind to see so few people abiding to these simple rules of conduct.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Rainy Taxy

Last few weeks I have been ruminating on this here blog about man’s  stories, especially relationship narratives (not necessarily romantic in nature) and about self-perceived shortcomings that can be remodeled at will. Many posts are connected to song lyrics and all of them are things I think about when awake, and feel even when asleep. If you’re into this kind of tales go and see other posts with tag “On Relationships”.

And now, let’s continue.

Not all men’s relationship narratives are vanilla, like one would suspect from slew of fear centered stories in previous posts here. That’s because not all men are vanilla (what a boring world that would be).

Far away on the other end of the spectrum some men are rocky road… and they write entirely different stories. It is difficult and sometimes downright useless to try to differentiate between man and his narrator, between creator and character that speaks to the audience. One work of art is never enough to ponder upon where this line can be and sometimes a hundred are also too few. And then, some just keep on recreating same character in every story they write. It may also be that this one is not the creators' doppelganger or even kin, but this is a fact that speaks just as much information as creating a mirror image would.

However it might be I find this completely endearing - to see the consistency layout of some authors.




This is a man with astonishing quantity of wonderful, fierce and full-blooded consistency in lyrics he writes for himself, even when playing in different projects with different people, and yet… consistency does not diminish quality of his work nor it makes his stories predictable. To return to the topic of relationship narratives consider this list (just an example, not opus overview):

Believing Is Art (Girls Can Tell, 2001)
Stay Don’t Go (Kill The Moonlight, 2002)
I Turn My Camera On (Gimme Fiction, 2005)
The Ghost Of You Lingers (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2007)
Got Nuffin (Transference, 2010)
Flaggin’ A Ride (A Thing Called Divine Fits, 2012)
Rainy Taxi (They Want My Soul, 2014)

All of those stories speak of affection and intimacy in such a way it is clear there are no rose-colored glasses anywhere in the scene (note: “Things everybody should know / The end will come slow / And love breaks your heart” in Believing is art back when Daniel was 29 yo) but that does not mean that protagonist does not dive quite passionately into full-blown, not only engaging but also commitment based relationships  (like:” When I'm with you, all my brothers, oh, I feel like a king, It feels like I'm dreaming / When that blood goes rattling through my veins, My ears start to ring, I notice what matters /And I got nothing to lose but darkness and shadows, Got nothing to lose but bitterness and patterns” from Got Nuffin’). There is a noticeable pattern of growth and maturing of the storyteller, but fundamentally - nothing changes. He takes bitter with the sweet and builds as much on his weaknesses as he does on his strengths.

Now, in 2014. 43-year-old Spoon frontman writes stories like Rainy Taxy, cornucopia of emotion, unyielding and luscious stage set for one person to come to all conclusions without even contacting the other side:

You catch everything I never could
You believed when I gave up for good
And when you stand beside me, I could tell I was stronger than I've ever been
But if you're gone, you know you don't come back

That other person is always existing, important and yet the song has a particular feel of trial in absentia. I do not say this as an accusation but more as a familiar, thoroughly and intimately known chain of events that I have seen (myself do) and have felt unfold a million times. I cannot sincerely say I feel any blame or resentment toward this modus operandi, even acknowledging there may be better ways of resolving real-life situations. That being said, in my humble opinion, not many better ways of narrating those situations exist.
I came home last night, I had no good news
I came home last night, I had no good news
And you've been sleeping through the brightest flash of apocalyptic ruin
And if you leave, I'll never sing another tune

There is always this passion, this sex under a thin veil of what “gentleman does not reveal” and this is what I love most in his lyrics; this promise that intimacy present does not stream out of purely spiritual connection. Fuck spiritual connections if there is no butt cheek to grasp behind that spirituality.
Put on your red shoes, sing it to me, lover-girl
When you do, my love, I forget the world
And if you say "run," I may run with you
I've got nothing else, I've got nowhere else

After this orgasmic climax, this promise-turned-carnal-gratification (because this is what both the lyrics and music tell us) story goes on to reemerge in real life, life of pros and cons, of floods and ebbs happening inside people as well as between them.
As the sun goes fading in the west
There's an army east that's rising still
And when you stand beside me, I feel something stronger than I ever could
But if you leave, you better run away for good
Leave, you better run away for good
Leave, you better run, run, run
Leave, you better run away for good
Ooh, run, run, run away
Ooh, run, run, run, run, run

They Want My Soul has a lot of truly excellent songs with great lyrics but I love Rainy Taxi best because it contains this essence of “another flavor” relationship narratives. It is at the same time restrained and passionate, desperate and hopeful, guided by reason and by hormones and it does not turn away from either gentleness or violence of passion. I like that. I like to think that emotion and experience is valuable and that sometimes getting hurt is fair payback for getting emotion and experience. Not putting yourself in a position of vulnerability, of possibility to get hurt, means not putting yourself in a position to be rewarded either.

And I do love my rewards.