Cut to the Quick

The Story
So there I was, hanging out at U of T, in Diabolo's. I was sitting at a table, avoiding studying, as I often did. Looking across the room, I caught the eye of a girl I slightly knew. I knew her from Fireball, a dance where she broke up with a guy I knew slightly better.

So I looked at her, and found her looking at me. Couldn't handle it, I guess. I looked away. Looked back. Waited to see if she'd look back at me. She did. Then it happened again. And again.

Before that day, we'd been around each other a little. I'd said "hi" or whatever, if our paths crossed. But even though I'd known her, I wasn't infatuated with her. She was pretty, but it was only on that day, that I discovered something that made it impossible not to look at her.

Her smile.

It turned her face from pretty to gorgeous in an instant. I didn't want to stare or leer, but I couldn't help looking at her, especially when she seemed to notice me. So I sat there, kept looking and looking away.

Then another girl showed up. I knew this one from grade eight, when I was a pretty big geek. She'd taunted me. She'd been friends with one of my biggest enemies. I'd had a crush on her. Now she felt bad about how she'd behaved.

A very strange day. I hung out with an old crush; the girl who'd once made fun of me now liked my fashion sense. I developed a sudden lust for a girl I already knew, who kept looking at me. My two-hour lunch felt like ages.

But later that day, I returned to find her sitting in much the same place as she'd been when I originally showed up. I chatted with her briefly, joking that she hadn't moved. To the contrary, she replied that she'd been in the Lit office when I left.

She knew when I left.

The Song
I wrote the song a few days later, deliberately sitting across the table from the girl I couldn't keep my eyes off. Then, I played it for Tony Hightower, and revised it considerably after his comments. The original chorus ran:

"God only knows what makes me tick.
Your smile hits me like a brick (or 'Cause when I see you, I feel sick).
It must be magic, or a real good trick.
You cut me to the quick."

So the image of picking scabs, one of those compulsive acts, was a revision. Many of the verses were revised too. But Tony pointed out that I shouldn't start a song with "Oh, not again", and that's the one thing I haven't been able to revise.

This was among my first songs that I pick-strummed. By that, I mean that I pick one of the low strings, then strum a bit, then pick another low string when I change chords. Doesn't mean a lot now, but then, it was a major evolutionary step.

Although it's one of my most-revised songs, I'm satisfied with the changes, and I think they make it stronger. Now if I could just change the first line. . .

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