I wrecked someone’s love of James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful”. By one, I mean at least two and that doesn’t count anyone who reads this and never hears the song the same way. I’m almost sorry, but the manner in which I destroyed the song is too funny for me to be fully repentant. Most people have heard this song, even if they don’t know the title or artist. It’s been around since my freshman year of high school. I remember distinctly that everyone thought it was this super romantic song.
I don’t get that.
He clearly states that he’ll never be with the girl. I don’t know when people started saying it was about his ex-girlfriend, but I don’t think it was very long after the song came out. I’ve always been a little angry towards anyone who says the song is sweet. I’ve always maintained it wasn’t. I had no extreme feelings about the song though until the past couple of years. I blame shows like Criminal Minds and CSI for showing me that (even though good guys catch the bad guys) really twisted people live in the world and horrifying things can happen to you.
I’m going to super casually drop the song into this post right here. I picked a video that gives you the lyrics. Read them. Absorb them into your gray matter. Then I will begin.
Sure, the guy could be some really average dude riding the subway and he happens to see his ex with her new boyfriend. Plausible.
But what if this was an episode of CSI?
That girl is probably fresh out of college, working hard at her first job. She met her boyfriend at NYU. They’ll probably get engaged within the year. He’s given her a small but expensive necklace with a heart pendant that she wears proudly. They ride the subway together one night when they’re out for a date. She happens to smile at a homeless guy. She smiles at everyone because she was raised in a small town. She doesn’t shy away from him because he hasn’t showered in weeks or because he’s missing two teeth. She also doesn’t ignore him like her boyfriend or the hundreds of other people that pass him throughout the hour because she remembers he’s human too. But after she smiles at him, her boyfriend says something funny. Her attention returns to him. They laugh. She doesn’t see that the homeless man’s gaze doesn’t turn away. He keeps staring.
She does notice that she begins to see him every morning in her commute. She says hi. Occasionally she drops a few dollars in his cup as she rushes to work. She doesn’t catch how his eyes follow her, never losing her in the crowd.
Until, one night, she’s walking along the street. She was kept late at work, and is rushing home to her boyfriend who’s cooking dinner for them both. She sees him. He passes by, his eyes bloodshot, but boring into her. He’s messed up, drunk and definitely on some sort of drug. For the first time her heartbeat skyrockets. She can’t quite complete her smile. She’s happy to let him pass, but he grabs her from behind in that one sweet moment of relief where she actually thought it was over – that she was safe.
He drags her into the alley, saying all the things she’s done to him. His words are garbled nonsense, and realistically about every woman he’s ever had contact with that he’s channeling into her, his angel. The sweet girl who smiled at him. He loves her so much he’s angry. He doesn’t want her to smile at anyone other than him ever again, so he makes sure she doesn’t. He doesn’t see it as killing her. He’skeeping her his. He lays her on the ground, feet together, arms out a little like she’s ready to rise up to heaven. His angel.
Every day after, he sits at that station. He sees the faces pass by and they are all the same, and none of them are his angel. He rarely looks up. He stares at the small silver heart in his hand and thinks of her, and how he’ll never be with her.
Now arguably, this is messed up, and maybe I’ve missed my calling as a TV show writer for Criminal Minds. But I told a condensed version of this to a coworker and my boss overheard. She was marginally upset that I wrecked the song for her. When she told me that I ruined the song, she said it in front of one of the new workers. I felt obliged to explain what I’d done, to which the girl responded, “Oh no! You… you did ruin it.” I shouldn’t laugh. I am laughing, but I shouldn’t.
Life is more interesting when you have an imagination. Even if it’s warped.