I’ve heard that you’re either a Beatles person or a Stones person. The Stones person is outgoing, spur-of-the-moment, ready to love and hurt and fuck and shake hands without stopping to think about it. A Beatles person encompasses a quieter, deeper thinking, more wistful disposition; equally tortured, but still guarding a piece of their soul from the world.
This is not to say that if you consider yourself a Beatles person you don’t like the Stones at all, or vice-versa. It could mean a strong preference for one, not necessarily an aversion to the other. And it’s not necessarily an issue of musical preference - do you believe that murder is just a kiss away, or that love is all you need? Are the Stones realists where the Beatles are dreamers? Answering those questions won’t necessarily define your position, but it certainly sheds some light on your nature.
While I firmly believe that this distinction is a very valid one that can tell you a lot about a person, simply receiving an answer to the question will not tell you everything. For instance – any person under the age of twenty-five will immediately want to respond with Stones after hearing the above prompt. Doesn’t mean they will, but they will *want* to. Everyone would rather be a popular idiot than a lonely genius. Not to imply that this is a division aligned with the Beatles or Stones – Jagger isn’t necessarily an idiot (but who’s going to call him a genius?).
I think I’m a Beatles person trapped in a Stones person’s body. I would be much happier spending the night in with Whitman, but my legs inexplicably carry me out to the bar with Hemingway. I want to be both, all at once, and I’m halving myself trying to do so. Jennifer is definitely a Stones girl, or at least she’s done a good job of convincing us all. She’s wearing a black vest over an MC5 t-shirt and she holds her cigarette as if it were a weapon, smoke exploding from her mouth like steam from a train whistle, signaling her jaded amusement at lesser beings. She knows that you want her, and that makes her infinitely less attractive.
'I fucked Adam last night,' she says, finding something fascinating in her crimson nails.
'Why?' Halfway through swigging my bottle I shake my head and throw up my hand with a grin that causes a little beer to seep from my lips. 'Stupid question…I know exactly why.'
'Clue me in.'
'We’re just animals, right?'
'Exactly…it was just a fuck.'
'Then why are we talking about it?' She loses a little of her smirk and I gain a bit of mine. I’ve drawn the Beatle out of her. She loves him, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Adam is a recurring regret, the type that she will one day look at in distant photographs and feel sad, not just because he’s gone along with her youth, but because she really loved him and has come to realize that he wasn’t worth it. She senses that he isn’t worth it now, and makes wry remarks indicating so, but she rarely admits to herself or anyone else that at the moment it means everything to her.
'He left his watch on my nightstand and I slipped it into the drawer when he wasn’t looking,' she confesses, her palms patching her eyes.
'You pulled a reverse Costanza?' She just emotes what could be considered a groan or a laugh and shakes her head, eyes still shielded from this world.
'How about you?' she asks, flicking her bangs and recomposing her persona. “You still talking to that one girl you said was crazy?” The thought occurs that various friends have referred to current love interests as ‘the one you said was crazy’ for far, far too long. The pitfalls of chasing Stones girls, I suppose.
'Pretty sure she hates me now.'
'Because she's crazy...and so am I, I guess.'
“Right,” she nods, glancing up at me with the smile they always give, the barely perceptible green light to go forward with the smarmy banter until we find ourselves asking for bus times in the harsh light of morning.
When we step out for a smoke, I will plant one on her, because that’s what a Stones man would do and that’s what a Stones girl wants. And it’s been my experience that when two Stones collide, the impact often causes them to shatter, or at least chip away a bit. She will look at me for a silent and momentous moment in a whole new light, a glowing Beatles smile in a Stones world, her eyes saying why and mine saying I don’t know. She will kiss me back, with the lost foolishness of a McCartney melody and the back gripping passion of a Jagger growl, and at that moment neither one us will have the slightest clue as to which camp we’re in.