No hay mayor complejidad que la que conlleva toda relación humana. Uno no debiera pasar la vida tratando de comprenderla, pues tras una serie de interpretaciones, especulaciones y sobreentendidos, la verdad es que tendemos a entender al otro en función de uno mismo, lo medimos con respecto a nuestra propia visión de mundo. Es, por supuesto, un acto de colonización. El encuentro con el otro, la distinción entre ese otro y yo, la conciencia de que yo también es otro así como los otros también son yos, pueden parecer situaciones muy obvias, tan cotidianas que no las percibimos: las ejecutamos por inercia. Pero si así fuera, si este entendimiento del otro fuera efectivo, nos ahorraríamos los conflictos, las frustraciones, la eterna decepción de que el otro no piense como yo lo hago, que su cuerpo no tienda hacia donde se mueve el mío, que lo que me conmueve no le conmueva. Por eso luego cuestionamos, como si la verdad fuera nuestra, y tratamos de desenmarañar los nudos de las relaciones que nos aprietan. Insisto en que no debieramos ni siquiera intentarlo, porque el enredo es mayúsculo, de proporciones globales. Lo que sí resulta adecuado es el juego de las interpretaciones. Construir narraciones que nos otorguen el panorama de todos los escenarios posibles en los que el otro me afecte.
Aquí es donde entra la literatura.
Las letras de las canciones de Alanis Morissette se caracterizan por manejar el problema del otro desde la perspectiva de las relaciones afectivas. Su intención primera es tratar de observar al otro plenamente, agotarlo, desnudarlo para luego desnudarse, pues en el acto de enfrentarse a este otro, su yo se expone a través de un discurso cargado de visceralidad (como en “You oughta know”, del disco Jagged Little Pill). La segunda intención es comprender la situación del otro pero protegiéndose siempre. Y la tercera es evidenciar la fragilidad y la fuerza de las emociones, el modo en que determinan nuestras percepciones de las personas.
En su segundo disco, Supossed Former Infatuation Junkie, Alanis se concentra mucho en esta temática, y presenta canciones con estructuras narrativas donde el juego de interpretaciones se potencializa. Las narraciones son contadas desde distintas perspectivas, pero detrás de los personajes se encuentra la voz de Alanis quien, valiéndose de este desdoblamiento al convertirse a sí misma en otro, busca la conciliación, el encuentro o reencuentro armónico entre dos sujetos que no se entienden y no tienen porqué hacerlo, pero que pudieran hacerlo si así lo quisieran. Esta posibilidad remota es el hilo narrativo de las canciones de Alanis en este disco. Cada una representa un escenario de reconciliación.
3. The couch
You hadn’t seen your father in such a long time.
He died in the arms of his lover.
How dare he?
Your mother never left the house.
She never married anyone else,
You took it upon yourself to console her.
You reminded her so much of your father,
So you were banished
And you wonder why you’re so hypersensitive.
And why you cant trust anyone but us.
But then how can I begin to forgive her?
So many years under bridges with dirty water.
She was foolish and selfish and cowardly if you ask me.
I don’t know where to begin in all my 50 odd years.
I have been silently suffering and adapting, perpetuating, and enduring.
Who are you younger generation to tell me that I have unresolved problems?
Not many examples of fruits of this type of excruciating labor.
How can you just throw words around like grieve and heal and mourn?
I feel fine, we may not have been born as awake as you were.
It was much harder in those days, we had paper routes uphill both ways.
We went from school to a job to wife to instant parenthood.
I walked into his office, I felt so self-conscious on the couch.
He was sitting down across from me, he was writing down his hypothesis. I don’t know.
I’ve got a loving supportive wife who doesn’t know how involved she should get.
You say his interjecting was him just calling me on my shit?
Just the other day, my sweet daughter, I was driving past 203.
I walked up the stairs in my minds eye.
I remember how they would creak loudly.
She was only responsive with a drink,
He was only responsive by photo.
I was only trying to be the best big brother I could.
I’ve walked sometimes confused sometimes ready to crack open wide.
Sometimes indignant, sometimes raw.
Can you imagine I pay him 75 dollars an hour sometimes?
It feels like highway robbery.
And sometimes its peanuts.
I wish it could last a couple more hours.
So here we both are battling similar demons (not coincidentally)
You see in getting beyond knowing it slowly intellectually,
You’re not relinquishing your majesty.
You are wise, you are warm, you are courageous, you are big.
And I love you more now than I ever have in my whole life.
4. I was hoping
As we were talking outside, it was cold,
We were shivering, yet warmed by the subject matter.
My wife is in the next room, we’ve been having troubles you know,
Please don’t tell her or anyone, but I need to talk to somebody.
You said, wouldnt it be a shame if I knew how great I was five minutes before I died? I’d be filled with such regret before I took my last breath.
And I said, you’re willing to tell me this now, and you’re not going to die anytime soon.
And I said I haven’t been eating chicken, or meat, or anything.
And you said yes, but you’ve been wearing leather and laughed and said we’re at the top of the food chain. And yes you’re still a fine woman, and I cringed.
I was hoping,
I was hoping we could heal each other.
I was hoping,
I was hoping we could be raw together.
We left the restaurant where the head waiter (in his 60s), said
good bye, sir. thank you for your business sir. you’re successful and established, sir, and we like the frequency with which you dine here sir. and your money.
And when I walked by, they said thank you too dear.
I was all pigtails and cords. And there was a day when I would’ve said something like,
hey dude, I could buy and sell this place, so kiss it.
I too once thought I was owed something.
I was hoping,
I was hoping we could challenge each other.
I was hoping,
I was hoping we could crack each other up.
I too thought that when proved wrong, I lost somehow.
I too thought life was cruel.
It’s a cycle, really.
You think I’m withdrawing and guilt tripping you.
I think you’re insensitive and I dont feel heard.
And I said do you believe we are fundamentally judgmental? Fundamentally evil?
And you said yes. And I said do you believe in revenge, in right or wrong, good or bad?
And you said well, what about the man that I saw handcuffed in the emergency room,
Bleeding after beating his kid, and she threw a shoe at his head.
I think what he did was wrong, and I wouldn’t have had a hard time feeling compassion for him. I had to watch my tone for fear of having you feel judged.
I was hoping,
I was hoping we could dance together.
I was hoping,
I was hoping we could be creamy together.
Dear matthew, I like you a lot.
I realize you’re in a relationship with someone right now,
And I respect that.
I would like you to know that if you’re ever single in the future,
And you want to come visit me in california,
I would be open to spending time with you,
And finding out how old you were when you wrote your first song.
Dear jonathan, I liked you too much.
I used to be attracted to boys who would lie to me,
And think solely about themselves,
And you were plenty self-destructive for my taste at the time.
I used to say the more tragic the better.
The truth is, whenever I think of the early 90s,
Your face comes up with a vengeance like it was yesterday.
Dear terrance, I love you muchly.
You’ve been nothing but open hearted,
And emotionally available and supportive,
And nurturing, and consummately there for me.
I kept drawing you in and pushing you away,
I remember how beautiful it was to fall asleep on your couch,
And cry in front of you for the first time.
You were the best platform from which to jump beyond myself.
What was wrong with me?
Dear marcus, you rocked my world.
You had a charismatic way about you with the woman,
And you got me seriously thinking about spirituality.
And you wouldn’t let me get away with kicking my own ass.
But I could never really feel relaxed,
And looked out for around you, though,
And that stopped us from going any further than we did.
And it’s kinda too bad,
Because we could’ve had much more fun.
Dear lou, we learned so much.
I realize we wont be able to talk for some time,
And I understand that as I do you.
The long distance thing was the hardest,
And we did as well as we could.
We were together during a very tumultuous time in our lives.
I will always have your back and be curious about you,
About your career, your whereabouts.