My friend, Gerda Hovius, who has a YouTube channel you should check out, on which she posts videos of herself strumming a guitar and singing covers of various pop songs, recently showed me her new poem, which I’d like to show you here and do a brief analysis of. Here’s the poem, in italics to distinguish her words from mine:
We were in a spontaneous situationship,
I am still lingering in an imaginationship,
But these ships don’t really sail,
Any further than on my mental curtain rail.
Although you specifically told me,
you see me more as a friend,
I have not released my projection on you because i was not ready to blend,
Reality in my fantasies i spun around us in my mind,
That is why i need space so i can unwind,
The mental tunnel longing for a lover that i made you out to be,
Instead of just accepting what is and allow us both to explore it freely.
The friendzone Oasis,
In which lies the basis,
Of exploring ourselves together in time and space…
And being in touch with a reality that is right in my face.
And now, for my analysis.
She invents two words in the first verse, “situationship” and “imaginationship,” whose falsity as words express the falsity of the relationship she found herself in, not the romantic relationship she’d been hoping for. After all, “these ships don’t really sail.” One’s “mental curtain rail” doesn’t go very far, either.
What words are more painful to hear from someone you have romantic, sexual feelings for than that “you see me more as a friend”? She “was not ready to blend,” that is, reconcile herself with such a rejecting feeling.
So often, reality is confused with one’s fantasies that are “spun around.” First she felt as a ship lost at sea, not going farther than a “mental curtain rail,” and now she’s lost in a “mental tunnel longing for a lover” that she can’t have in the man who has friendzoned her, which brings me to my next point.
Normally, we think of women friendzoning men, who in their heartbreak often react angrily, or even violently; one thinks of those disturbed incels. In her case, however, she in her heartbreak only “need[s] space so [she] can unwind.” This “friendzone Oasis” that he has put her in is one inside a dry, hot desert of disappointment and loneliness. This loneliness and heartbreak are a “reality that is right in [her] face,” that is, abruptly shoved in her space, imposed on her against her will.
As unhappy as she is, though, and however diminished she feels from losing the guy (note how she refers to herself as “i” in lower case), at least she isn’t violent or hateful about it, which is something those incels should learn from. Back in the 1990s, I went through an angry phase in my life similar to the incels, but however my dark thoughts may have been, I never acted on them, just as I’m sure she has had her dark thoughts (don’t we all?).
And that not acting on dark thoughts makes all the difference, doesn’t it?