What it’s like for a writer to love a musician…

And after that I would wake up alone at night, sit straight up in bed sweating, with his voice pounding all through me. All day I felt feverish and wounded.

It got kind of sick. I’ve never wanted anyone that much. But it won’t happen again, I tell myself. He’s as fucked up as I am. Can you imagine the two of us together? Fucking each other up.

But when I see him or hear his voice, even on the tape he gave me, I can’t think clearly. I try to understand how I could feel like this, even after a year. A psychic I went to said “soul mates.” Jacaranda once said “sex,” and then, when it didn’t stop–“voodoo.” But I think it’s what happens when he sings. He touches something–the dream place. The land before it was poisoned. There are untainted fish, unbroken birds, clouds without toxins. Dancing palm trees. Choruses of stargazers. His voice like a god with a lyre carrying us up from the dark tunnel to the edge of the meadow. To the edge of the water. To the edge of the moon.

I try to do that too, but I always feel strangled.

If I could be like Joni filling empty rooms with Wurlitzers and silver, baths of blue roses; scream like Patti with the horses rampaging through her veins; like Sinead with her orbit-blue eyes and perfect skull, bringing the elf-lover back from the dead and burying the demon-mother deeper down. I wish I could wear mercury like Polly Jean–landing on the stage from outer space, moving my hands, a cosmic marionette–and make you feel my voice reverberating deep in your pelvis, making you dance, circling your throat like a rosary of tear-shaped beads to press on the glands, to make you weep.

— From “Orpheus,” a short story by Francesca Lia Block

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