"Once she told him a story about a white knight, and a princess that didn't need saving. "Am I the knight?" he asked her. No, she answered. You're the person I'm telling the story to."The list, I think, tries to be 99 scenes from various love-lives summed up in the pithiest way an Internet micro-celebrity could manage. As the above example shows, this often seems to be in the form of weird passive-aggressive digs at some ex, real or imagined, for a past slight or transgression. Past the weird icky feeling that, boy, did Carl have some issues, it's sometimes funny and sometimes poignant and occasionally both at the same time. Item 3 is:
Stay, he asked her, not meaning forever.Carl, you might think, is a bit of a dick, isn't he? But it's a good line and it's almost the first line of 99 Secrets Blues.
When I said you could stay, I never meant forever.I think I made it more of an argument than the inner monologue of some constantly monologuing self-loathing hipster, but the passive-aggressive spirit of Carl's 99 Secrets is still there.
When I said you could stay, I never meant forever.
Now it's no secret we can't be together.
I often introduce 99 Secrets as a journey in to my little black heart, so I can't be too disapproving of Carl. I feel I wrote this at a very different time in my life, but it was my heart, even if the structure was from someone else. It's interesting to me now that, in order to make the words to flow as a blues, I changed the meaning, or perhaps just the setting. Carl's 99 seems to be a lot of private thoughts, whereas I seem to recast those as all out fights, in just about all the ones I took.
9 When he told her that he needed her, he meant that he needed her to desire him.
When I told you I needed you, you know I spoke the truth31 I think I love you, he said. Is that what you think, she said.
When I told you I needed you, you know I spoke the truth
I needed you to want me like I wanted you
I think I love you that's all I had to say37. She knew him, because she knew his failings.
I said I think I love you that's all I had to say
She told me to think a little harder, boy, as she walked away.
She said she knew me, she knew me all too well77. I suppose I should have known that when you told me you needed your space, that you'd find it in somebody else's closet, he said.
Oh yeah she knew me, she knew me all too well
She knew all those little ways that she could make me fail
When you asked me for space I tried to give you that85. You've made all those promises before, she said. The least you could do is come up with some new ones.
You asked me for space I tried to give you that
How was I supposed to know it'd be in my best friends flat
I made all of these promises so many times beforeLooking at it now it was a much greater theft than I remember... Of course I only have 6 secrets, the others would really make the song too long and I'm not sure if I can truly say that I've lived all of the 99 like I have these 6.
All these empty promises so many times before
If I really loved you, girl, I'd come up with one or two more
As I say at concerts "As for the other 93 secrets... It's a secret."