I used to write a lot of “free love” type songs, because I had just gotten divorced and had a lot of personal experience with the opposite of free love. I had learned that being married to someone meant they could pretty much treat you anyway they wanted, without consequences. My husband liked to give me what he called “Ego Bats” which were basically insults that he would randomly scream out in public, designed to keep my ego in check for the purpose of spiritual growth.
But the ego bats were not all that bad, because at least they were swift and merciful. Usually, the screamings would go on for hours, beginning in a public place until I would leave to escape the humiliation and he would follow me. It would always be the most bizarre and inconsequential things that would set him off, like whether fruit punch tasted like grape juice, or could I wear white socks with a black dress. The yelling was unbearable. Once I managed to climb into his car and lock the doors before he could get in. I sat in the car for a couple hours while he screamed and threw himself against the windows. Those hours are burned into my memory because they were so safe and peaceful, like watching a polar bear in the zoo.
But normally, I didn’t dare to lock him out. I didn’t know what to do. I started painting a giant black eagle on my face every morning. I don’t know why, it was my way of protesting against him, I guess. It stretched all the way from my forehead to my chin and across my face. Maybe it was a cry for help, but if so, it didn’t work. I don’t recall anyone asking me, “Hey, why did you decide to start painting a giant black eagle on your face?” even though I kept it up for a whole semester.
Besides the screaming, the other horrible part was the brain twistings… he would require me to believe the most ridiculous things– that the moon was just 20 miles from the earth, that classy ladies wore “cutaway tops” (shirts with the center part cut out, leaving their chests exposed), that he had just traveled through a space-time warp (space-time warps came up a lot). If I didn’t accept these truths, well, then it was back to the screaming part.
Which is all to say that free love seemed like a pretty good deal to me, considering what I knew to be the alternative.
Download MP3: Love It Ain’t No Real Estate