Stina Nordenstam
And She Closed Her Eyes
/eastwest; 1994/

I just came back from the cinema. Angus and I went there to watch Monster. It reminded me of a broken girl i used to know. But I'm not going to tell you about her. I'm going to tell you about an old flame of mine.

Girls never know what they want. Nobody's satisfied anymore these days, so people stay at home and chat with strangers on the internet, fantasizing and turning them into the perfect soulmate. A couple years ago, icq was still popular then, i started chatting with a cute cold-looking girl. I like pale skin and eyes. She thought I were a pretentious fuck -what she was- and it intrigued her. She's a hunter, this girl, unsure of her tastes, her apparent self-confidence showing how insecure she really is.

Oh, by the way, i'm going to tell you about Stina Nordenstam's And She Closed Her Eyes. I dusted it off earlier today cause i was listening to cds to play at our hopefully successful depressing mix, taking place the day after tomorrow in an empty bar. A few seconds into "When Debbie's Back from Texas" it all came back in my face, the waiting, the indecision, the waiting, meeting her in her city, the waiting, meeting her in my city and then the awkwardness of disappointment. 

I used to listen to this cd a lot, she had burnt it for me (yes i'm writing a "forgotten pleasures" thingie about a burnt cd, fuck you all) and i would daydream about her and how perfect she was and what a perfect couple we'd be when she finally dumps her girlfriend and comes here for a break.

Stina Nordenstam is quite popular in the indie lesbian world. Maybe it's the fragile crystal-clear voice. Maybe it's the way she keeps on talking about girls in her songs. At first her voice bothered me, it's really high-pitched, fragile and beautiful but there's also a sharpness to it that renders the first listenings uncomfortable. 

And She Closed her Eyes is is her barest, most simple record. Basically songs and simple, delicate arrangements. Trumpet adds an old-fashioned jazzy feeling on some tracks. "So this is Goodbye" used to make me feel really sad. Now as I listen to it my guts react but the mind just doesn't care. It was a soundtrack to the longing, the endless waiting, chatting and going to bed alone, thinking of her, in love with a bunch of 1 and 0s. 

When we finally met it was a disaster. I decided to go where she lived to spend a few days on holiday. Turned out she was not quite as confident and daring as she was online. We kissed, a shy, 8 year-old's kiss. It was cute but a few seconds later I knew nothing else would happen. With all my expectations deceived all i had left to do was try to find something cool to do in the real world. She came here a few months later but the thrill was gone. It's funny how people can build relationships out of nothing.  

That's how i came to shelf And She Closed her Eyes. I met other girls and moved on, she wrote me letters telling me how bad she felt and how she thought we should give it one more try; I never replied. The girl in my head was still there, but she didn't look like her anymore. 

-Barbara H

/may 15th 2004/