There is a depressing genre of rock ballad I call “The One That Got Away” song, which has a narrator speaking wistfully about an old lover that he sees again, long after the affair, and how fucked up everything has been since they once held each other oh-so tight. The prime example of this is Same Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg, where he meets his old lover at the grocery store (the “frozen foods” section, we are told) and then they drink a six-pack in the car as they wax morose about their dreary lives (“she said she’d married her an architect who kept her warm and safe and dry she would have liked to say she loved the man, but she didn’t like to lie”).
A more depressing example is Harry Chapin’s Taxi, which tells the fairly identical tale of a taxi driver who recognizes his passenger as his teenage love, then drives her to a fancy house, where she leaves, and he gets stoned. It’s better written than “Lang Syne” and came out a decade earlier, but the mind-searing depression both of these songs deliver can turn an innocent car trip into a death march.
I made a pact with myself long ago that I would stay in touch with all my old friends, even ones that could barely stand me, just so I never have to go through those depressing moments. I still talk to every girl I ever dated (except for one, because she too damn mean). Kendall, Jane, Tracy, Susan you are all amazing, and I’m so happy we’ll never “run into each other” at the “frozen foods” section, because we’d be all be going to same party anyway. And with the heavenly fortune of being with Tessa now (and for as long as Providence deems it cool) I can truly say that despite my whining, lunacy and sleeping habits, No One Ever Got Away.