Some songs are ruined.

Tess knows he thinks of her because she thinks of him, and there’s such a thing as string theory…vibrations of higher energy transfixed in the ether, the power of Celestine Prophecies, etc., etc. And she spends enough time in front of a crucifix, on her knees, praying for an answer and God will deliver it often in the form of prose unfolding in her head, or in the tap tap tap of her fingers against a table (an imaginary piano, that table). So many songs have been gifted to her, so many songs have been forever ruined for her.

To wit: “I will go down with this ship. I won’t put my hands up and surrender. There will be no white flag above my door. I’m in love. And always will be. And when we meet, which I’m sure we will, all that was there, will be there still. I’ll let it pass, and hold my tongue, and you will think that I’ve moved on.” That’s Dido, of course. And here’s Tess: “You coward. Was a time you’d never have let it pass. You’d never have wanted me to hold my tongue.” This ship hit sand, and moored. She’d rather have gone down into the deep–that would have been fitting, romantic. Instead she’s wrecked against some small island, the end coming through base starvation. And there are no pieces of cloth, white or red or any color at all, to wave at him now.