“Wow, I lost my voice, singing in the car. I didn’t think I was singing that loud,” I told my cherished housemate friend. My voice was raspy. We were at the dining room table, co-working, closer than we had been.
“What were you singing?” they asked.
I pondered that playlist. There were so many songs that matter to me. “Well, Closer was the last one,” I admitted, giggling.
My housemate did not know that song.
“It’s Nine Inch Nails,” I said. “It’s that song–you know. It says, I wanna fuck you like an animal. Very common song.”
“I don’t think I know that song,” my friend said.
“You gotta know it–you just don’t know the name,” I said.
My housemate-friend is a bdsm person. They’ve been known to wear a black hanky in their pocket, and they have such a lovely aesthetic. Like me, they do kink for deeply nourishing, connecting reasons. It’s not a casual hobby.
“Well, let’s listen to it,” I said. “It’s inappropriate, so I suggest you play it very loud. As loud as possible!”
“I feel like this is the first song on everyone’s kink playlist,” my friend said, as we heard Closer on their laptop.
“Yes!” I said, laughing. “Absolutely. Especially for elders like me.” I’m much older than my housemate; I’m in my mid-40s. They are 21. “It came out when I was a teenager. It was very edgy, to hear this song. My mom would not have approved. If she even paid any attention at all, to what I was doing.”
“Oh my god–my dad listens to Nine Inch Nails. I wonder if he’s heard this song!” my housemate friend said.
“Yes,” I said. “He has to have heard this song. This song is the reason people listen to Nine Inch Nails.”
“Ahhh!” they said, grossed out at their dad’s sexuality.
“It’s their big hit,” I said.
“My dad is a complete person,” my housemate said by way of self-comfort, and something respectful about what I would call the Mystery. Yes, the sexualities of family members can be squicky for sure.
closer to God
I noted that “You get me closer to God” is my favorite line. Of course–I’m a pantheist, and pleasure is my favorite way of experiencing the divine. Pain can be intense pleasure. Deliberate, consensual, purposeful pain transforms me.
Listening to that song over and over again when I was 14 years old left its mark. I needed that. Whether the speaker is an unreliable narrator, a reliable narrator, or gives voice to parts of us that often go silent, I was a bright kid who needed ways to conceptualize sex that were Advanced. Something besides crappy movies, cliche love songs, and the violence I endured in my family.
So thank you, Trent. I imagine him toiling alone, playing all the instruments, freshening Industrial, fueling my bdsm fantasies with a perfect soundtrack song for Wrong. Thank you for helping me understand the deliciousness of Wrong.
As for my friend, I live with them respectfully. They are brilliant, caring, young, and free.
Was I ever that free? I’ve been clinging onto others with incredible force, desperate for safety, for almost the entirety of my life. Getting closer has been my goal, as I seek safety and rest.
Where’s a safe place to sleep, a safe place to pee, pass menstrual fluids, have sex, dream my dreams? Where can I let my guard down because I’m not dodging violence? Deliberate, consensual, collaborative pain heals me from the pain that was non-consent and caused trauma.
Any progress I make toward independence is cheered for by invisible people I wonder about. Probably they are my ancestors.
Or the cheering sound comes from ants under the ground and swarming on dead things or the plant life. Ants glimpse me doing something they could never do and wish to encourage me on that path toward being my own organism.
Independence is a scam, but I’d rather be at choice than glommed onto others out of necessity. Yes, I see what they mean.