There is no pain greater than that caused by a relationship’s dead future.
The agony is nearly unspeakable. All the best hopes and promises that a person could possibly have — dashed. Irretrievable. Yet the memories of sweetness linger and haunt, ever out of reach.
With “Sluttering (May 4th),” the band Jawbreaker ink around the outlines of what it is like to feel this specific pain and the particular interpersonal agonies that go along with it: the machinations that can occur, the sheer hurt, the recriminations, the kissoffs (both real and imagined), and where hope goes after all that.
Defined by the writer of the lyrics, Blake Schwarzenbach, the word itself means “pontification under duress and/or a kind of drunk muttering.”
And as the song’s chorus whipsaws in, Blake’s voice climbs meticulously across the syllables of what it sounds like to know that the person who was once with you is now with someone else:
slow dance alone with no one to the sound of four hands clapping / congratulations to you both I hope somewhere you’re happy / if there’s a moral to this story, then I wish you’d show me
Today is May 4. It is Sluttering Day. Listen to the song. And if you can help it, don’t break anyone’s heart.