Also refers to both the subculture of female skinheads, and the fringe haircuts some of them wear.

Originally, a "chelsea" was a skinhead's girlfriend, sort of like in West Side Story where the closest that young women could get to the life they wanted was to date gang members.

Chelseas (stereotypically) shave their heads, skinhead-style, but leave the bangs for femininity's sake and/or to show how long they've been "in." Some people with this haircut pair it with anti-racism or anti-nazi buttons to show that they're "not that kind of skinhead;" others leave it up to the casual bystander to understand that there's a difference between style and politics, or even that racism and Nazism are in the minority among skinheads.

I never go to New York City these days
Something about the buildings in Chelsea just kills me


Yeah, I live here, but something about the texture of the sidewalk, the feel of the sandstone buildings underneath the weight of my gaze, no, my glare, has changed. Manhattan doesn't sparkle the way it used to. The diamonds mixed into the concrete outside Macy's only glow under a very particular kind of light. Autumn light. There's no autumn here.


Maybe in a month or two,
Maybe when things are different for me,
Maybe when things are different for you
You know all of this shit, just sticks in my...head


She left me in September. She left me left me, as in, moved out, packed up the Studebaker, strapped the dresser to the roof and high-tailed it out to Brooklyn in February. Five months of being not quite close enough. Five months of puppies reflected in steel. The way things were before she left was unacceptable to both of us, but this...this was so much worse.


There's anything different these days
The light in her eyes goes out


I'm fairly certain that, when she came back from California and started in on this state of the union-type conversation she wanted me to argue with her, to tell her she was crazy and that, baby, we were meant for each other, if only to validate what she was saying and let her go on the defensive. What she didn't realize was that I'd changed while she was away, too. I'd made friends, discovered the wonderous world of New York City nightlife and got myself an identity, of sorts. I was ready to incorporate my new learnings into our life, make us less dependent on each other. I was ready to say

"Darlin'. We're in a rut. But you know what? That's alright. I've got it covered. Trust me. You'll see."
I never got the chance. I'd been arguing for three years, and this time I had somewhere else to go. So I went.


I never had light in my eyes anyway
Maybe things are different these...days


So I started to hate her. No, not true. I started to hate HIM. She was innocent. She was always the innocent. She was being manipulated from multiple sides (including mine) and cornered into doing things she didn't want to do.

She knew exactly what she was doing, and I was a fool to think otherwise. I know this now. Problem is, I didn't know, still don't know, where the old her ended and the new her began. I didn't know when she became so...so cold. It might as well have been years ago. Thinking that made me feel better, so I went on believing it. Phew. Dodged a bullet by gettin' out of THAT one.

Right.

It's good for everybody to hurt somebody once in a while
The things I do to people I love shouldn't be allowed
Something about the buildings in Chelsea just kills me
Something about the buildings in Chelsea just...kills me


We spent five months tearing into each other. We were vicious, cruel and 100% justified in every word we said. Whatever love I held for this girl started to drip out of my fingers the first night she didn't come home. Home. What a word that is, a word that smells like stale cigarette smoke and cat dander and a bio-hazard of a kitchen. This place...she's not here to quiet the nightly murmurings of the walls, the slow syncopation of the dripping faucets.


There's anything different these days
The light in her eyes goes out,
I never had light in my eyes anyway
Maybe things are different these days


With the chorus comes the repetition. Love to hate and back again in smaller and smaller deviations until I'm left dead smack in the middle with apathetic despair. I want to love her as she was. I want to remember the really good stuff, the...

I can't. It's gone.


I dream I'm in New York City some nights
And angels float down from all the buildings


I've always been extremely bad at making eye contact. It's way too revealing for me. I've spent so much time crafting this persona. The good son. The grinning boyfriend. The delicate lover. I really don't know who I am anymore, and looking someone in the eye makes me feel like they know something about me that I don't.

Now, I cling to eye contact like a lifeline. I look for the angel in other people's eyes, desperately trying to find the spark that is all I can remember of her. Something about the way her eyes reflect everything. She was here, there, everywhere and nowhere. In my head, in my life, under our bed tucked behind the spare pillows and erector sets. That...glow is, so far as I can tell, completely and totally unique to her. I can still feel it shining out over Brooklyn when I cradle my head in my hands and, finally, after all this time, let the tears run rampant, pooling on my chest.


Something about an angel that just...kills me
I keep hoping something will
I keep hoping, I keep hoping, (I keep hoping)

(oh, the pleading in his voice is so...)

There's anything different these days
The light in her eyes goes out,
Never had light in my eyes anyways
Maybe things are, maybe maybe maybe
Maybe things are, maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe things are different,
Maybe things are different
Maybe things are different
(The light goes out)
I never had light in my eyes anyways
Maybe things are different......these days.


And it all comes crashing down. Everything held back, everything said and unsaid. The lies, the manipulation, the rampant ego-crushing wish for...something else. Not this. Anything but this.

If she came back to me right now, I mean right now, I'd yell, I'd scream, I'd make her wish she never met me, never lived with me, never shared everything and nothing with the me that I was, then.

And then I'd curl up in bed, and I'd make sure she'd have enough room to try to sleep.


- - -


Lyrics taken from 'Chelsea' by the Counting Crows, off their 1998 live album 'Across a Wire: Live in New York' though as far as I can tell, this is a studio track. It's tacked onto the end of disc one. It's slow and accoustic and sounds like New York City in an almost primal way. As far as I know ONLY exists on this album - there was no real studio album this was covered from. There's no guitar. No drums. No bass. Just a piano, horns (!) and Adam Duritz.

This...is my favorite song. I didn't have one til...nowish. I should also mention that I despise Counting Crows with a deep, pseudo-religious passion. And yet...

This write-up is copyright compliant. Submitted to E2 Quests: Songs and Lyrics

I'm only eleven. I'm in grade seven. I got into a fight with these girls in my grade. I take judo and ju-jitsu; I know how to fight. Still, the odds were more than unfair. I came home bruised and my mother yelled at me like it was my fault. Yesterday, these eight-grade girls tried to light my hair on fire when I cut through the park on the way home.

I'm twelve. I'm in grade eight. I have boobs now, and not all the other girls do. They call me a slut and a whore and write it all over my locker. I have a boyfriend, not my first. I'm doing what everyone else is doing, trying to be cool. Every once in awhile, my older friends will be shocked when I hint at what I've done. I thought everyone had experienced blow jobs. I mean, we're all mature now.

I'm thirteen. I'm finally in high school. I cut my wrists, though I have to be careful so that the girls don't notice at judo. I hate my parents. They push me too hard in everything, and my body is already succumbing to stress fractures and constant pain. They're so perfect in front of everyone else, but the fights are constant at home. They tell me I'm stupid and ugly. No one believes it's that bad.

I'm fourteen. I don't have many friends. My parents are too involved in my activities, and have managed to get into a fight with my best friend's dad. We aren't friends anymore, none of the girls will talk to me now. I quit judo, the ju-jitsu club fought its way into oblivion. I can't go back when they all hate me. I make videos of myself that you wouldn't approve of. I don't respect myself. How can I, when no one else does?

I'm only fifteen. I've moved out of my house. My parents started to hit me, they called me a slut and worthless. My aunt is helping me to officially become independent from my parents. I'm working two jobs to pay for my apartment. I quit doing drugs, I quit drinking. I'm away from my parents and their put-downs. Until the cops drag me home, and stand in the doorway listening to my parents scream.
My brother is only thirteen. He is doing shrooms and binge-drinking and thinks he's so cool.

I'm only fifteen, and I can't go to school because I have to make my own way through life. I have parents, but I can't live with them when they act this way. My brother is heading down the road to self-destruction. I'm not a bad person. I tried to make them happy, I tried to please everyone. I'm not a virgin. I don't know where to go, except where I am now, working to make ends meet and running from the cops because I am afraid to go home. I don't know how I will get on with life.

I'm not a child.

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