A friend recently asked me what to put on a mixed tape she’s making for a girl she’s emotionally ejaculating over. I wasn’t much help, as the only person I’ve ever made a mixed tape for was for my first boyfriend Justin Stephens (1993. Camp Lab Elementary. We kissed behind the batting cages.). No, my method of seduction is only aural in the sense that I find the drunkest girl in the room and tell her that my name is Ajax and I love her. The most heart-swelling (and, later, heartbreaking) mixed tape I’ve ever received is now my default make out soundtrack, both because it’s a really sweet tape and because it’s a symbolic middle finger to the ex who stole my skateboard.
I do, however, have a couple of ideas for a Fuck You, I’m Leaving mix.
The key is to be clear. You don’t want her to think your songs or ironic or playful. You want to leave her with the unmistakable impression that It Is Over. Your mixed tape should say Remember that time the landlord came over to mow the lawn when I was sunbathing nude in the backyard? Well, she turned gay over diesel fumes and grass clippings and now I’m actually YOUR landlord. You have until the end of track nine to vacant the premises. And don’t even think about taking the dog.
Fuck You, I’m Leaving (interpretation in italics):
1. Yr Mangled Heart (Gossip)
You keep building me up only to let me down. You’re letting go of everything that used to be. I just want what I deserve, and that, dear heart, is someone taller.
2. I Think I Need a New Heart (Magnetic Fields)
Seriously, I can’t tell the truth—it’s in my DNA. Remember when we spent Thanksgiving at my parents’ house and my dad told you the mobile over his ficus tree is a Calder? Yeah, I made that. In third grade.
3. Straight to Hell (The Clash)
I do got a photograph of you, but I photoshoped Lindsay Lohan in your place. She and I had a really good time at Machu Piccu.
4. Used to Love Her (Guns ‘N Roses)
Don’t worry. I’d never actually kill you. I might, however, fake my own death so you stop nagging me about my taxes.
5. Love Rears Its Ugly Head (Living Colour)
When I say I always played the fool, I mean I was a fool for agreeing to buy that used Accord with you. Dibs on the spoiler!
6. Cry Me a River (Justin Timberlake)
You might not have been my sun or my earth, but I did cheat on you with a Britney Spears lookalike. Sorry.
7. Date With The Night (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
By “night,” I mean the barista up the street who gives me free cookies. Please stop crying and get out of the bathroom. I need to do my hair.
8. Closing Time (Leonard Cohen)
We’re drinking and we’re dancing and the band is really happening and I can’t take my eyes off the drummer.
This is only the first installation. Expect more when I’m done making Happy Birthday! I Gave You Herpes! cards.