I’m going away for a weekend. I have known you three weeks, and already I want to tell you that I love you, but I know enough to know that I cannot tell you that I love you. Instead, I make you a CD, and once you receive it in the mail (because of course I had to post it), you tell me that you can’t remember the last time someone made you a CD.

Eden Sarah Brightman

Love Song For A Vampire Annie Lennox

Boom Anjulie

The Mating Game Bitter:Sweet

In Your Room The Bangles

Bizarre Love Triangle Charlotte Martin

Mandy Goes To Med School The Dresden Dolls

Center Of The Sun (Vocals By Poe) Enigma

Cosmic Love Florence And The Machine

The Only Time Nine Inch Nails

Blue Monday Flunk

Swimming Pool Freezepop

White Rabbit (feat. Esthero) Blue Man Group

I Have The Touch Heather Nova

So Pure (Butch Vig’s Pure Ecstacy Extended Mix) Alanis Morissette

Something I Can Never Have Nine Inch Nails

Here’s where the story ends The Sundays

In return, two weeks later, for Valentine’s Day:

Possibly Maybe Bjork

Eyes on Fire Blue Foundation

Goodnight and Go Imogen Heap

Candyman Aqua

Caring is Creepy The Shins

The Ratio of Freckles to Stars Halou

Speeding Love and eBay Birthday Ani DiFranco

Superhero Ani DiFranco

Te Busque Nelly Furtado

Detroit Annie Ani DiFranco

Slide Ani DiFranco

Fool Boa

Solo Por Un Beso Aventura

Sunday Morning Ani DiFranco

When I Goosestep The Shins

No Hay Igual Nelly Furtado

Smiling Underneath Ani DiFranco

My rules for mixed CDs are simple: No repeating artists. Start with something melodic that may or may not have words. Build to a climax. End quietly. After giving me your Valentine’s CD, you tell me that you love me. And I respond:

The Beginning After the End Stars

Hello Poe

The Drinks We Drank Last Night Azure Ray

Echo Cyndi Lauper

I Miss You (Dobie’s Rub Part Two) Bjork

I’ll Meet You There Owl City

You Again Kate Havnevik

I’m Still Dancing Minuit

Fiction Bella Koshka

Bad Moon Rising Rosa Chance Well

My Superman Santogold

Something Wicked (This Way Comes) Siouxsie And The Banshees

Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics Cover) Bat For Lashes

UK Girls (Physical) Goldfrapp

Deadbeat Club The B-52′s

White Rabbit Shakespeare’s Sister

Temptation Moby

Just Like Heaven Charlotte Martin

Yours Fay Wolf

You figure out my rules, and you apply them to your next CD:

The Tudors (Main Title Theme) Trevor Morris

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me U2

The Little Things Danny Elfman

Bliss Tori Amos

Keep Me In Your Pocket Charlotte Martin

Ghosts Ladytron

Master And Servant Depeche Mode

Halo Beyonce

Spooky Imogen Heap

I Will Follow You into the Dark Amanda Palmer

Samson and Delilah Shirley Manson

Make A Wish (feat. Poe) Conjure One

I Want Candy Bow Wow Wow

Electric Twist A Fine Frenzy

Suddenly I see KT Tunstall

Under Your Spell Amber Benson

Halo/Walking On Sunshine Glee Cast

Flockprinter Buddy Wakefield

Don’t You Forget About Me (Live) Death Cab For Cutie

I am in love with you, and you are in love with me, and we make CDs at an increasing frequency. One a week at least. We hide these made CDs in backpacks and take-out bags. I slide one into your CD player; you e-mail me a photo of mine and make me find it.


Despite the inherent romance in the songs that we pick.


A Light In The AtticThe Best Of Shel Silverstein

Filthy MindAmanda Ghost

I Hear The BellsMike Doughty

Dancing BarefootU2

Anything Martina Topley-Bird

Straight To…Number One (Dreamcatcher’s Mix) Touch & Go

Paris Train Beth Orton

I Melt With You Nouvelle Vague

Get Down Make Love Nine Inch Nails

Lick The Pavement Garbage

Damaged Plumb

Singing In My Sleep (Radio Mix) Semisonic

Crank Catherine Wheel

Boom Trinket

Bonnie And Clyde Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot

32 Flavors Alana Davis

It’s a Fine Day Opus III

Falling (Twin Peaks theme) Angelo Badalamenti

We’re unraveling. No matter the different ways we say I love you, and no matter the different ways we say we don’t want to not love you, we’re unraveling, and I know we’re unraveling, and you know we’re unraveling, and still, somehow, we find songs to somehow bridge the gap between where we are and where we want to be. Forget where we were. We are no longer those men:

Silent All These Years Tori Amos

Unravel Bjork

I’m Yours (Acoustic) Jason Mraz

Break Me Jewel

Fade Into You Mazzy Star

Coffee Shop Landon Pigg

Drive My Soul Lights

Drive Melissa Ferrick

White Boys Donna Summer

I Touch Myself Divinyls

Would You Go To Bed With Me Touch and Go

Come and Get Your Love Real McCoy

Turn Off the Light Nelly Furtado

You’re My Angel Taking Back Sunday

The Remedy Jason Mraz

Over the Rainbow Jewel

You cancel plans with me so you can hang out with your friend. I do not respond when you text me. My heart hurts, and my head hurts, and I do not want to make you another CD, but making you a CD is the only way I know how to tell you how I feel. I even violate my CD rules:

Putting The Damage On Tori Amos

Right Beside You Sophie B. Hawkins

Since U Been Gone Kelly Clarkson

Beds are Burning Midnight Oil

It Must Have Been Love Roxette

Love on the Rocks Sara Bareilles

You’re A Disaster Dragonette

Never Is A Long Time Roxette

Something In The Way Nirvana

Both Hands Ani Difranco

Tear In Your Hand Tori Amos

Last Day of Our Acquaintance Sinead O’Connor

All Good Things (Come To An End) Nelly Furtado

True Romance Sophie B. Hawkins

We break up, of course we break up, and I cry, and you cry, and you tell me you will always love me, and I don’t have to tell you that I will always love you because you know that I will always love you, and.

You do not make me a final CD. Instead, you e-mail me a mp3. You title the e-mail: My Final Song. I do not listen to the song because I do not need to listen to the song to know what the song is.

Long after I’ve let dozens of other men touch me and make me CDs and tell me that they will always love me, I hear a song you gave me, and my heart hurts, briefly, and I cry, sometimes, and I mostly remember you for the good things we shared and not for the bad things we did to each other.

Thing is, I make you CDs still. These playlists are the only way I have to talk to you. And I think about mailing you a postcard from a faraway place, and on this postcard I will make you a tracklist, and instead of signing the postcard I will write: Come Home.