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I am milk

I remember reading Prozac Nation in bed, while not on Prozac then, while listening to the song Milk, while being depressed (although not clinically, according to the verdict formulated by the female psychiatrist years later : “You have never been depressed on the Axis”, so I should never have been given Effexor, Prozac, Paxil, Wellbutrin, etc. the spam I will attract with that list...!), and, in that moment, the association was cemented for ever. Between the Man of my Life II (who has grown a beard this year!) —, the tune I am milk by the band Garbage, Depression with capital D, and antidepressants.

The song Milk has become my epitome of what depression is like, a perfect definition 'by sound and lyrics' of what it WAS like for me. Someone asks me “What was it like for you to be depressed...” ? I take that Garbage album out and play track no 12. A famous female psychoanalyst in Soleil Noir (Black Sun) has rebaptized the depressive as The Slow[1]. Very fitting. Life is in slow motion when you are depressed. Even fantasies are. And you are waiting, and waiting, for either The Man to Re-enter your life or God to Make it all right, while the latter may entail that The Man will be cursed, because, thankfully, God counts the tears of every woman — so says the Talmud.[2]

Oh God, how I hate my old self. But I know how the pain was real.

How things have changed. Now, I just get physically sick.

It′s not the actual lyrics “I am red hot kitchen″ that I heard in the song, though. Stupid me heard “I am red ketchup″ or “I am ready to catch up″ :

"Milk"

I am milk
I am red ketchup
And I am cool
Cool as the deep blue ocean

I am lost
So I am cruel
But I'd be love and sweetness
If I had you

I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you

I am weak
But I am strong
I can use my tears to
Bring you home

I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you

I am milk
I am red ketchup
I am cool
Cool as the deep blue ocean

I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you
I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you

I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you
I'm aching
I'm aching for you

I'm waiting
I'm waiting
I'm waiting for you.
[3]

When I first got acquainted with the song, I was at work, and it was months before. I was using that Garbage album along with some footage of old olympics to test a non-linear editing system. I recorded the song I am milk over footage of a man making a jump in a pool backwards. So while the man was getting out of the water and in slow motion regaining his position on the springboard, I heard :

I am milk

Or, rather, I was hearing a part of the music that did seem to move backwards. Do you visualize in which direction the music moves in space ? I do, all the time. I see music on a 2D-plane. Anywayzz...

One of the Seven Dwarfs at work found Milk particularly annoying (while he liked the rest of the album [4]). At least a couple of times, he said to me with disdain : “If a chick like that is waiting for ME, she′s gonna wait for the rest of her fucking life.”

Notes

[1] KRISTEVA J., Soleil Noir, Dépression et Mélancolie, Gallimard.

[2] “Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. The woman came out of a man′s rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior. But from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected, and next to the heart to be loved.” This is repeated ad nauseum on the Web. The Talmud says something even more important, that a man (in the context of marriage) is obligated to make love with his wife if his wife wants to, and to do so with all their clothes off, his and hers, meaning that they should make the whole thing as pleasurable as can be. Convenient and funny religious bullshit, ain′t it ? Catherine Breillat (très décevante en personne) a dit : “Vous voyez bien qu’une femme si elle n'est pas baisée elle est déshonorée, si elle est baisée elle est honorée. Sur le moment elle est souillée aussi c’est quand même vrai [...] Et qui possède les hommes? Ce sont les femmes.” I think that we, women, do feel that way, although it′s not true. I think that we, women, feel like we own the men we love, particularly when we make love to them. But we do NOT own them, ever. And guess what ? I think that men feel the same about us.

[3] Shirley Manson, the singer of Garbage, says about the song (and I agree with her) : “To me 'Milk' is the darkest, most hopeless of the songs. People say 'Oh, it′s lovey-dovey, so therefore it′s a love song'. But it′s a very bleak song, it′s about loss and the fear of loss; about things you can′t have and things you will forever wait for.” Melody Maker, Nov 96.

[4] Great lyrics in that album, in every song... “You burned me out but I′m back at your door. Like Joan of Arc coming back for more. I came around to tear your little world apart.” ... guilt here I can relate to... and dark humour... “You thought I was a little mouse. You thought you′d take me by surprise but now I am here... burning down your house. This is not my idea of a good time.” ... and... “Things don′t have to be this way. Catch me on a better day.” :-)

Last edited by Caroline Schnapp about 9 years ago.

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