There’s songs you like and enjoy and songs you love, and there’s songs that get inside your head and affect your life. This is one of the latter kind, rare as they are. There are only a handful of songs that I heard as a child and internalized as life instructions. There may be more but the ones that come to mind are Bob Dylan’s She Belongs To Me, in which the subject clearly does no such thing as belong to anyone, and Joe Jackson’s Is She Really Going Out With Him? which has been the basis of my entire romantic life. And Femme Fatale, supposedly an ode to Warhol’s shooting star Edie Sedgwick. I guess I’ve always thought a femme fatale was the ultimate thing to be. Though I don’t want to be cruel like the woman in the song, Edie or whoever she may be. She sounds like a bitch. I don’t try to bring anyone down. But I’ve secretly always wanted to be that one woman who turns all the heads and makes the boys turn on each other and cuts a swath, so to speak. Which is a pretty universal desire, I think. Every woman wants to be wanted, and plenty go about creating as much drama as they can to reinforce that self-image. Now, I’m not one to make drama just to entertain myself, but I’ll confess I do relish those times when drama springs up with no bidding from me. But being a femme fatale is just a generic female fantasy that everyone indulges in every once in a while. What really got into my head was the line “You’re written in her book, you’re number 37, have a look.” Not only is Edie eating men for breakfast, she’s also keeping score in a book. Whether 37 refers to chronological position or is a performance-based score is unclear, but either way, the number’s not good. I decided, as a kid with no clear understanding of the implications, that I would grow up and keep tabs in a book of the lovers I had. And I do, only not in a book but the modern way, with photos on my hard drive. You can tell me that’s a very cavalier attitude to have towards romance. I know. That’s kind of the meaning of femme fatality. Then you can tell me I’m an idiot for having habits that are based on words I heard in a song. Maybe I’m crazy, but wait till I tell you the damage Joe Jackson has wrought. If it’s something Lou Reed thinks Edie Sedgwick would do, then it must be impeccably cool. Guide to life; one, make conquests; two, keep track of them. And isn’t it interesting the random and seemingly innocuous places that our adult neuroses and idiosyncrasies spring from? Who knows what will stick to a young mind and put roots there and keep driving them for the rest of their lives?