There were two radically-different versions of this song recorded. The first (May ’84) developed from a piano riff that still makes up the fade at the end of both versions. The lyrics and design of Vers. 2 (Nov. 30, ’87) are more structured, more commercial, and were constructed to achieve an effect somewhere between Bryan Ferry and The Cure.
The original version dated back to when I worked at the clothing store and was dating a very difficult girl whose personal life had so closely intertwined with mine that all of her problems had also become my problems. Effectively she destroyed our future together by painting a very grim picture of what was to become of us. She also insisted that she couldn’t lose my friendship. This had, by a year’s time, made me so miserable that I found no other solace except in writing about it.
Her life was one big disaster and now my role seemed to be that of her personal counselor, even concerning matters of the heart, which for the most part now involved new men that she wanted to date. One thing she did love about me, was my music, claiming that she found me to be one of the few truly happy people she knew. She said my music radiated happiness, and had asked me to give her a cassette of my newest songs. I gave her a copy of Parallel Lines. The song worked; I didn’t hear from her again.