I was looking at show listings
for my summer in Vermont
and thought, wow, you’d love Vermont,
it’s like The Dave Matthews Band
plays every other day.
I hate The Dave Matthews Band
I remember when you told me
you liked The Dave Matthews Band
all those years ago. You even used one of those
fandom terms, like Deadhead or Juggalo,
but for you
and the goddamn Dave Matthews Band.
You looked at me like I was supposed to
laugh and say, oh, well I do like that one song,
or something similar. I felt the reply, insipid
on my tongue, gurgling up like an old burp.
I remember feeling gross, like that time in middle school
a really weird guy from academic team
gave me a giant stained valentines gorilla
on a random Tuesday
and I had to carry it around, splotchy and
smelling like cigarettes
You laughed and were self-depreciating.
Yeah, the thing is,
and I will freely admit, Dave fans
are kind of douchey. I surprised myself, as
much as I wanted to sleep with you, saying flatly:
No, the thing really is, everything
about that band
is tasteless, bland, and
terrible. You looked
sad and surprised and something else —
not positive or negative or even neutral —
but something flinty and personal
I can’t quite put my finger on
even seven years later.
Looking through the concert listings, it
occurs to me, simple and obvious;
I like you so much these days
I would probably go with you to see
The Dave Matthews Band, if the opportunity
arose. I would even enjoy myself
being with you
enjoying yourself. I would still, if pressed,
admit I found them abhorrent,
but would you ever press me so, these days?
Don’t we know better by now?
There is no longer any presumption
that we need to have the same tastes
in order to have a taste
for each other. You are a whole thing,
reacting to each and every thing with nothing
but yourself to guide you.
You experience this thing, you feel happy
and good. How could I blame you?
If you were The Dave Matthews Band, I guess
I would just have to learn
how to accept myself and my
objectively terrible taste.
That’s just how these things go.