Recently, The 1975 released a new album and Phoebe Bridgers, a well-known indie artist, was featured on the song “God Bless America 2005 Jesus Christ.” The song was written from the perspective of two closeted gay people in conservative America and it really struck a deep chord with me, and I couldn’t tell why.
They didn’t see her putting her lip gloss on in the bathroom mirror earlier that morning, her guard down. They didn’t get to see how beautiful she was when the sunshine hit her eyes. They cared less about her and more about her body, and they didn’t try to hide it.
They didn’t get to appreciate anything I understood — that I felt lucky to have unlocked. Her trust. The feeling of my hand running through her hair as I helped her straighten the back. (It always smelled like honeysuckle).
I stood up in her living room not an hour after they arrived, the boys ignoring me. I told her my mom wanted me to do chores, and I had to leave.
Her voice weakly protested, asked when I’d be back.
No one knew the burning feeling in my chest. I didn’t even understand it. Not because I was territorial and wanted me to be her only friend. It was because I wanted to always have her around, her guard down, smiling into my face inches away from hers in her bed.
It became clear that to her, I wasn’t anything special. Not that way. So I let it go and I hoped.