I was listening to this today as I walked Joe. It was a ridiculously sunny, picturesque morning, and he kept trying to chase white butterflies, and I was watching him, and looking out over the water, and listening to Phil Spector songs. I felt stupidly happy, and sang along with the songs - He's A Rebel, Corrina, Corrina, intermittently peering over my shoulder in case people were approaching. And then it came on, and even though I know it, and I knew it would change how I felt, I let it play.
The opening casts a shadow. Before you're even aware of what they're singing, you feel scared. It brought me down to earth immediately; I knew what was coming, and I felt chilled. And I began to wonder what it might be like for a woman in a relationship like little Eva's. If happy times are always tinged with fear, and sadness. If the adrenalin ever subsides. If the justifying, and the translating, and the forgiving ever becomes too exhausting, or if it's always less exhausting than the alternative. Or if it really is like this sometimes, and what it feels like when a hit feels like a kiss.
I wonder what it felt like for The Crystals to sing these words. I wonder what Carole King and Gerry Goffin meant by writing it; if it was right for them to do so.
Last night, we watched the episode in The Sopranos, season three, with Ralphie and Tracey. I hate it; as soon as I realised which it was (we've seen all of them before), I wanted to turn it off, but I couldn't; just as much as I hated to see it, and felt as if it was wrong to watch, I also felt as if it would be wrong not to watch, but that I had to make it worthwhile, so that it wouldn't merely be entertainment. The thought that it might just be entertainment for somebody is as sickening as what happens.
Being a woman is hard. But for some women, it's beyond hard; it's like trying to win against the house at a casino. I want to remember, and pay tribute, to these women. It's uncomfortable for a weakling like me to be honest about their experience, but it's necessary; I owe it to them. I believe all of us who live charmed lives with people - especially men - who love us in a way that doesn't hurt us, owe it to them. We all owe it to each other to be kind. And to let each other - especially the women in our lives - know that we have the energy to do for them what they might not have the energy to do for themselves, and that they are valuable, and loved.