In the car, while driving down the interstate at 65 mph, I will listen to Lizzo.
I didn’t used to like her. I had never heard of her a year ago. Then I went to a Pride Festival and thought, this is cool. I dig it.
So now I listen to Lizzo.
I know what you’re thinking. Another white girl saying she loves Lizzo. But it’s not that I love her, or that I am her. We are very different–different body shapes and skin types. But I am afraid to take up space, and I guess that’s what I find amazing about Lizzo. She isn’t afraid. If a backup dancer got in her space, she would just shove her out of the way.
So I begun to appreciate Lizzo.
My boyfriend broke up with me in April. Near Easter, which was ironic considering I’d started going to church to save our relationship. When I first heard Good As Hell, I contemplated crying. Giving up. Being one with my sadness. Why didn’t he love me enough? Had he moved on? How do I leave when a part of me doesn’t feel it’s over?
Sometimes I go faster than 65. Sometimes it’s nice to feel closer to the wind. And thrilling to feel close to chaos.
Then quite casually I discovered Cuz I Love You. I remember going, again ironically, to church at night, where my writer’s group meets, and listening to her belt out “I don’t even wanna ho no mo.” And felt. Fuck. Me neither, Lizzo. I don’t want to be a ho no more. I just want to love him again. Or fall in love with someone else. Anything for that feeling.
It was snowing one night on the drive home. And of course, Lizzo was playing. Probably Truth Hurts, which is actually a pretty positive banger. I don’t feel bad when this song comes on. Which is probably how I ended up in the ditch, my car having hit a patch of snow on the interstate while I was going 30 miles an hour.
I tumbled into the ditch. But the first thought that I had wasn’t for my ex. It was for myself. It was for my family. My mother, whom I hadn’t been speaking to. That gave me hope, because for months, I have played this game where I look for signs while driving.
If this blue car passes me, he will get back with me.
If the light goes green in five seconds, he will call me.
If my favorite song comes on, at this exact second, he’ll love me again.
I waited. In the beginning, the signs didn’t come. My driving bets turned into debt. But as I gave up, I got better at the game. Knowing whether someone would pass me. Etcetera. By that time, he was long gone.
After the ditch incident, I drive slower. And listen to my ‘water songs’, or what I call Lizzo’s self-love songs. Soulmate, Coconut Oil, Fitness, Scuse Me. And yes, Water Me. It’s very hard to love yourself when you’ve been criticized your whole life and women are told that beauty and everything about us is transactional–that we can get things by giving up parts of ourselves.
I am scared on the road, but I have my water songs to keep me company.