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This is from A General Theory of Love (2000) by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon (M.D.s all). They are talking about how memory stores and shapes love, guiding our romantic choices in mystifying ways:

A scientific theory of memory is therefore a map of the soul. Every such diagram must attempt to delineate the mind’s Dark Continent: why do people possess emotional knowledge that leaves no conscious trace?

Since time’s beginning, romantic partners have searched for each other with exquisite but obscure deliberation. “In literature, as in love,” wrote AndrĂ© Maurois, “we are astonished at what is chosen by others.” And they are every bit as amazed at us. The very concept of “compatibility” discloses that no all-purpose template for loving predominates. Sexual attractiveness contributes only a minor filter to this selectivity. The number of couples who marry is only a miniscule fraction of the many who fiind each other physically interesting. Not just anyone will do; in fact, to any one person looking for a mate, almost nobody will.

A lover tests the combination of himself plus serial others like a child juxtaposing jigsaw pieces until a pair snaps home. Love’s puzzle work is done in the dark: prospective partners hunt blindly; they cannot describe the person they seek. Most do not even realize, as they grope for the geographical outline of a potential piece, that their own heart is a similar marvel of specificity.

So, what makes your little heart go pitter-pat? Me, I’ve always been a voice man.

Which brings us to the forever incomparable Chrissie Hynde, standing steadfast and unblinking in the midst of this blazing conflagration from the Pretenders’ shamefully underrated second album. This particular song, incidentally, also makes a good answer to the question (should it ever come up), “Was James Honeyman-Scott really that good?” (The sheet music might even read: “Duet for girl and electric guitar.”)

The English Roses (Chrissie Hynde)

The Pretenders

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[Click to play, right-click to download MP3. Doesn't always work with Mac/Safari.]

Just before it rains
And the wind whips ’round the balcony
And the sky closes
On the English roses

And she’ll be pacing
‘Round and ’round and ’round and ’round her room
But these storms always find her
To remind her

To the endless sky
Of pink over grey
She looks for an answer
But it’s too late

Maybe it’s true
Some things were just never meant to be
Maybe not

This is a story
Of fruit cut from the vine
Forgotten, left to rot
Long before its time

This is a story
About the girl who lived next door
Looking for someone to hold

A wish made on a star
Brought her here tonight
In the courtyard she waits
A thousand broken dates

But she holds the hymnal
Where so carefully pressed
Is the English rose
She laid to rest

It’s only a story
Flowers in full bloom
Bouquets in every room

This is a story
Of fruit cut from the vine
Looking for someone to hold

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