Breaking In Two

Joe Jackson at the El Macombo, Toronto, May 21...
Joe Jackson

Obviously I can’t keep using this space to go on about my personal feelings. There are issues to discuss, wrongs to right. I have made up my mind to be strong, put all this behind me, move on.

Only not yet. Not just yet.

It’s the little things. Problem is, life is made up almost entirely of little things. In the middle of the simplest task it will hit me – we’ll never do this together again. I will never spread butter with her, never dry the dishes. Loss is moments.

I should have seen it coming? I did see it coming. It’s funny, how one part of your mind can know perfectly well something is going to happen, but another part will refuse to be told. I know I knew, because for several days before the break-up I couldn’t get one song out of my head. Breaking Us In Two, by Joe Jackson. Remember it? “You and I could never live alone. But don’t you feel like breaking out just one day on your own?”

It had been haunting me. I even learned the lyrics, those lines that I had never been sure of. I wanted to sing it to her, though I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it justice. A beautiful song about a relationship slipping away. It said a lot, I realise, of what I was barely aware of myself. My fears. But it spoke about my hopes as well. That last verse is the killer.

In direct contravention of copyright law, I reproduce it here in its entirety:

Don’t you feel like trying something new
Don’t you feel like breaking out
Or breaking us in two
You don’t do the things that I do
You want to do things I can’t do
Always something breaking us in two

You and I could never live alone
But don’t you feel like breaking out
Just one day on your own
Why does what I’m saying hurt you
I didn’t say that we were through
Always something breaking us in two

They say two hearts should beat as one for us
We’ll fight it out to see it through
I say that won’t be too much fun for us
Though it’s oh so nice to get advice
It’s oh so hard to do

Could we be much closer if we tried
We could stay at home and stare
Into each other’s eyes
Maybe we could last an hour
Maybe then we’d see right through
Always something breaking us in two


©Joe Jackson

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