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"A lot of people have nothing to say, and they say it all the time."

-- Bono

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Like A Song: Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses

@U2, June 24, 2012
By: Jill Marino


Like A Song[Ed. note: This is the 68th in a series of personal essays by the @U2 staff about songs and/or albums that have had great meaning or impact in our lives.]

Let's talk about love, shall we? And we'll use "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses," one of the many gems from U2's Achtung Baby album, as the theme song.

You're dangerous 'cos you're honest

You're dangerous 'cos you don't know what you want

Well, you left my heart empty as a vacant lot

For any spirit to haunt

Hey hey, sha la la, hey hey

It was the fall of 2010. I was living with this massive crush on a guy I worked with. We'll call him Surfer Guy, because he loved surfing and often traveled to faraway islands to go surf. I was smitten beyond belief. I couldn't tell him about it because he was in a different position at work, and I knew that if we dated it would be the hottest gossip around the place. I didn't want my private life public. The only people I could be honest with about it were the people in my department. Even that was a risk because if one of them slipped up and told someone who told him ... I was constantly worried. A year into my crush, two major events happened. I found out SG's girlfriend broke up with him in a horrible way and he was getting transferred out of my store. I thought, "This is my chance to tell him." But I psyched myself out and on his last day all I did was say good-bye and that it was nice working with him. SG left and I was broken.

You're an accident waiting to happen

You're a piece of glass left there on the beach

Well you tell me things I know you're not supposed to

Then you leave me just out of reach

Hey hey, sha la la

Hey hey, sha la la

I'm a Leo, so having a lion be my zodiac mascot means going after someone with courage and boldness. You can call me the Cowardly Lion though, because I am painfully shy and completely accident-prone when it comes to having a crush. But there I was, on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon days after the transfer, wearing courage on me like a designer dress, telling SG how I felt about him. He was that piece of glass. He cut me and I bled my feelings. SG confessed that he was still torn up about his girlfriend breaking up with him. You could see the emotion in his face, which I'm not sure he intended to reveal. He was so flattered that I was brave enough to tell him how I felt. He also didn't want to hurt me and make me his "rebound girl," so he said he wanted to figure out where he and his ex stood. There he was, leaving me just out of reach. But it went so well that I didn't even mind being put on hold. However, the situation was going to play out, I kept thinking of the lyric from the song, "Baby, can we still be friends?"

The deeper I spin

The hunter will sin for your ivory skin

Took a drive in the dirty rain

To a place where the wind calls your name

Under the trees, the river laughing at you and me

Hallelujah, heaven's white rose

The doors you open, I just can't close

Two months passed with no word. I was going crazy not knowing what happened between SG and his ex. I decided to visit him at work again. I literally took a drive in the "dirty rain," as it was pouring outside the day I went. I had a mutual friend go with me for moral support. The visit didn't go too well. We talked for maybe five minutes and it was just small talk. As we talked, his boss walked past us, giving off the most evil look. He then became on edge and suddenly had to go. I felt terrible for being there and bothering him. He looked very sympathetic and apologized for not being able to talk more. I cried my eyes out when we got into the car. My tears pounded down my cheeks like the rain on my windshield. I was upset because I thought I got him in trouble and also because I didn't get the answers I wanted. Maybe this was a sign to let him go? SG was open and honest with me when I confessed my feelings to him. I didn't know if I should close the door on him for good now.

Don't turn around

Don't turn around again

Don't turn around

Your gypsy heart

Don't turn around

Don't turn around again

Don't turn around

And don't look back

Come on now love

Don't you look back

The months that passed from that encounter were a tug of war. Being at work I thought about SG every day because little things would remind me of him. Every time the phone went off at work I always thought it would be him. My coworkers told me to brush him off. If he wanted to talk to me, he would have called already. I started to think they were right. As fate would have it, one of my best friends ended up getting transferred to SG's store. I now had an excuse to go visit again without looking like a crazy stalker. I decided to take a chance. A few days ago, I went. Luckily, my friend's birthday had just passed, so I had the excuse of delivering a present to her.

After chatting with my friend, I walked around the store hoping to "stumble" on SG. I saw him in an aisle and approached him with confidence. He honestly looked thrilled. He said he was happy to see me, then asked if I had time to talk. We stood there next to a display of Goldfish crackers as he apologized for being so awful to me in January. I was floored. He said he wanted to talk longer, but because his boss was so strict he wasn't able to. He didn't want me to feel bad and said he was thinking about it a lot since it happened. I told him not to worry, that I didn't take it personally (obviously I left out my dramatic sobbing in the car), and I understood that it was a tough situation to be in.

SG said I looked good (like a total girl, I made sure I looked smashing for this visit) and asked what I was up to. He even said he was going to try to work in my store again. My eyes just lit up at the possibility! It was getting late and I told him I'd be in again since my friend now works there, and he smiled. We said good-bye and I walked out without any cares in the world. I was no longer going to look back at that terrible day in January. It was a nightmare. What happened last week was a dream that I didn't want to wake up from.

Who's gonna ride your wild horses

Who's gonna drown in your blue sea

Who's gonna taste your salt water kisses

Who's gonna take the place of me

Who's gonna ride your wild horses

Who could tame the heart of thee

What's going to happen now is anyone's guess. Maybe he'll come back to my store or maybe he won't. I do know that I feel a lot better about where we stand. We didn't talk about his ex, which was good because I wasn't concerned with it once he started apologizing to me. If they got back together, then that's great. Everyone deserves to be happy. And perhaps that lyric will come true. The two of us can still be friends. Or he could be the one to tame my wild heart.

© @U2/Marino, 2012.

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