May 18, 2011
A love that fits-tape, by Sean Mahoney

On long drives to france we’d listen to Bobby Womack in the car

My father didn’t get every parenting trick right but he gave me an ear.

I’d watch him prepare for the summer by standing over the stereo

slowly lowering the recording dial with the precision of a professional safe cracker.

He put care into it, because caring and sharing was hard for him

so he’d let Womack and Womack and the Neville brothers speak for him.

Maybe that’s why when tere are girls i like i have to make them.


I mean,

If i had given a mixed tape to every girl i liked,

I’d have given four mixed tapes.

I have given four mixed tapes.

The first was made on the last night of two thousand and seven

and given to my first love on the first day of two thousand and eight.

We met a month before at a party of a mutual friend of ours

While they were talking to her as if water was in their mouths

She decided to help me find my missing comics.

from that moment in every time they saw her it was followed by

"why’s she with him?" hard to blame them

they were too self-involved to see the attraction-

A good hearted nineteen year old virgin

going with a flow he’s too scared to question

because she truly was a dream woman

I mean even the street lights would stare and get lost in her hair.

Hair. Fair, long and blonde, light never bounced off but absorbed like a sponge

and was gently released through the glow that came from her skin

and always warmed me no matter what condition i was in.


I can’t tell you what all the songs were, but i knew the first.

It was Jack White and Loretta Lynn- “Portland Oregon and slow gin fizz

If that ain’t love then tell me what is”

I thought that’s the type of love that fits, but other than that,

there was nothing overtly love-like or proposing for anything

It was more what i was feeling and for her than feelings for her.

Thin Lizzy, led zeppelin, black sabbath, dexy’s midnight runners, Bob dylan

and of course and for always and for all reasons forever, Neil Young.

I had the ten minute cowgirl in the sand song at the beginning

and then ended it with the acoustic version. I felt so fucking cool.

She took it at the end of the night with delight and little surprise.

it gave me what felt like a lifelong lifeline.

as the months passed we’d laugh for forevers,

drunk for hours, i was for her forever, forever hers for

taking my first time, for the first time

with delight and a little surprise

Then at another party she took me to she, met a guy.

a guy that she’d date. And like. More. Than. Me.

and he didn’t want her to be friends with me.

I guess I learnt a lesson to go with a blessing I didn’t question

because she stopped and cut me off and left me lost

while we were supposed to be in a play together

I was getting blanked stage left, right and centre.

and before long this forced rehearsal time would be over

and after that i’d never see her again. So I made a decision

to make my second mixed tape. recreate the magic.

evidently my first tape wasn’t enough, not enough love

I worked so hard to tell her, about her, how i felt

looking back it was a desperate mess of messages

like, heard it through the grape vine by Gaye.

My girl, the temptations. Acapella

and on the last day I saw her with him and I couldn’t do it.

I stared at her with all my lover for her in my back pocket

but to of give- it’d make it awkward,

and that’s not what i wanted my love to be.

I wanted the type of love that fits.

that portland oregon slow gin fizz.

It that ain’t love then tell me what is.


A year later I’m telling myself I’m grown up and wiser

I had since had sex and fucked around and fucked up

enough to know i had forgotten her. Mixed tapes no more.

Though in terms of mixed tapes I had made one more.

To get with a friend and nearly lost her because

my romantic gesture was little more than an attempt to be with her.

and then i got off with her. and her friends (it wasn’t okay)

point made i had grown and made mistakes of my own

and was over the girl that nineteen year old had fallen for

until one night I get an email. An apology.

Saying i was a good friend to her and she was sorry.

I remember looking at that facebook message

like it was yesterday. I didn’t know what to say.

So i answered through nothing more than links

to how i feel through youtube music videos

She was grateful. I was scared. I had fallen again.

She cam back and became more than a friend

spent a lot of time in my bed

we put lots of kisses on the end of texts

and gave each other a couple kisses i’ll never forget

then, one night she left.


She left with my words and hers unsaid and hate i put it on the page

and never said to her face, she never even got to hear that second mixed tape

but it still got played, with women that weren’t her,

role playing a happy ending with one-night stands,

a night of romance as if she had finally come back.

I couldn’t make love if i didn’t hear those tracks.

and when the music stopped to play, come the next day, I changed

I would see them for who they were, nothing more than not her.

For half a year of more i was a complete whore that would build a safe rapport

with girls that i’d convince myself are my loretta

and they’d be convinced that I love them, then i’d never answer their calls

fucking play i got called, i wonder if that’s how players are born.


One night I brought one of the prettiest women i had seen back to mine.

She was approaching thirty and actually approached me before, I would’ve.

On the bus ride back we made out and when we got in i didn’t get to hit play

I didn’t get to play the mixed tape and i saw someone else in my bed

Someone i wanted to sleep with without that music.

Someone new who knew what they wanted. Me. I was wanted

That night i gave her the tape and she left with it.

She took my words unsaid without me having to say them.


Another year later I’m telling myself I’m grown up and wiser.

When in fact for some reason my freedom has left me numb

In lacking in any wants I find solace in rhythmic thoughts

dulling emotion through mediocre pop and shit hip hop

now i don’t pretend anymore, I don’t trick women

or trick myself out, now my love is in the craft or a poem.

I don’t see women, or see myself being with them

and I’m happier now, because I am now, myself now.

Without a need to feel or a feel to need and i’ve met someone new

who in a lot of was is just like me, she, walks aimlessly

due to lost loves and losing loved ones we bonded and,

I’ve lost my old tape recording equipment, so I i’ve made her a CD

Of all my favourite songs for sad situations.

It’s not about her, but for her. Because no ones fought and

No one’s ever made her a mixed tape before

sometimes I’m scared of her, because this mixed tape legacy

seems to always end in a curse for me, and i freak out

at little things like hand holding like hand holding like

she’ll take the songs and take me away from my ptah

and leave me lost and cut off because we’ve snogged a lot

and told each other to stop because we mean a lot to each other

and i don’t know who could help me the way we help each other

and feelings take over because we get close when near each other

and i’d give more if i could, and i give more than i want

and i’ve just given so much in my past i can’t make love

like it’s too much, to the point where I resist what fits

i feel sick whenever I think of portland oregan and slow gin fizz

two and a half years and my initial thoughts of what romance is

has completely fallen to shit. Yet here i am.

Outside another bar with a mixed tape in my hand

to another woman who may take me for all i am

After all this, knowing all the risks i still do it.

I can’t resist.

It that ain’t love…