05.09.2012 03:36 PM

Searching For A Former Clarity

It is one of the best ten albums ever made, and the song itself ends the darkest Against Me! record.  Regular reader Chris pointed me to the lyrics which I have heard, and thought about, many times:

But you knew all along,
went on pretending nothing was wrong,
you said I will keep my focus, till the end.
And in the journal you kept,
by the side of your bed.
You wrote nightly in aspiration,
of developing as an author.
Confessing childhood secrets,
of dressing up in women’s clothes,
Compulsions you never knew the reasons to,
Will everyone, you ever meet or love,
be just relationship based on a false presumption?
Despite everyone, you ever meet or love,
in the end, will you be all alone?

A few years back, I interviewed Tom Gabel at the Phoenix before a show.  He and other AM members were battling colds. I remember two questions distinctly.  I asked him if he’d rather do something else.  “Yes,” he said, right away.  “Write novels.”

And I asked him who Searching For A Former Clarity was about.  He shook his head, holding a bottle full of chicken soup.  “I’d rather not say.  Sorry.”

Was it about him?  We may never know.  Either way, it’s trite, but I hope she has clarity now.

5 Comments

  1. little_bit_bent says:

    Check out the tattoo on Tom’s right clavicle. He’s been telling us all along.

  2. Jamie says:

    Hey Warren, I just wanted to say I think your writing on this news has been among the best I’ve seen online since the story broke yesterday. Tom/Laura is incredibly brave to tell the world what has been bubbling beneath the surface, and you’ve acknowledged that with great insight in your writing. Against Me! is one of my favourite bands, and all I can do is hope that someone whose work has brought me such happiness will in turn be happy with her life. It’s clear from your writing you feel the same way.

    • Warren says:

      Thank you for that.

      I just think the bravery she has exhibited is extraordinary. I was talking to my nearly-80-year-old Mom today about it, and she said Tom/Laura was fortunate to have this happen in 2012. When she was a teenager, she said, she knew a young man who tried to make a very similar journey, and he was ostracized by everyone – friends, family. He was shattered and disappeared.

      We have a long way to go, of course (cf. Obama taking so long to embrace equal marriage). But the Against Me story, plus the decisive defeat of Wildrose, have made me feel – in the past few days, anyway – that things are better than when my Mom was young.

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