Forgot Myself - Jen Cloher

from the album Jen Cloher (2017)

I was nearing the gruesome end of a long relationship.  It was just a matter of time before one of us had the guts to put the final dagger in the other one's heart.  Needing to hit that big, red hyperspace button, I signed up for a three-month stint on the other side of the planet.

After a month in Sydney, I was still a zombie.  Walking the streets, alone in the night.  Standing in the corner of the bar, slamming VB's, smoking cigarettes, interacting with no one.  Going back to my room.  Waking up, heading to work, coming home, and stepping back into the night.

In some ways it was cathartic.  Endlessly writing the next great American novel in a dark corner of my mind.  Henry Miller meets Arthur Nersesian.  Nostrand Avenue.  Niagara Falls.  The Velvet Elvis.

So, one night, I'm standing at a crowded bar in King's Cross, chain smoking nasty sticks and drinking Jack on the rocks.  This chick across the room is making eyes at me, but, in this place, I can't be positive she's a chick.  The room starts spinning.  I step outside and sit on a bench.

She comes out and plops beside me.  I say, "Hey" and light her cigarette.  She put her hand on my forearm.  It was the first time anyone had touched me in over a year.  My body trembled.  The power of touch.  Holy shit.

After some chit-chat, she stood up and said, "When you finish that ciggie, come back inside and buy me a drink."  Soon after, I got up and walked home.

In the months - and years - that followed, I reinvented myself.  Built a new world.  That moment was the turning point.

This story is in the front of my mind as I listen to Forgot Myself by Jen Cloher.  It is a song about being so deep in a relationship that you lose your sense of self.

The tune takes a surreal swirl in that her partner - the incredible Courtney Barnett - is playing guitar on the song, her unmistakable tone ringing through in a mesmerizing two-note riff.  Further tripping me out, Jen Cloher starts paraphrasing Mick Jagger on Satisfaction, singing:

You're riding around the world
You're doing this and signing that
I'm driving in my car
Your song comes on the radio
And I remember what I always forget...

Jen Cloher is a master singer-songwriter.  I hope you devour her music.

Click Here to watch the official video to Forgot Myself.