Nine Inch Nails was the soundtrack to my angst. I would play Pretty Hate Machine at top volume and dance around my apartment, dance with myself, staggering between the cramped spaces between furniture, waltzing to the kitchen, spinning until I was dizzy. I would scream the lyrics to Terrible Lie, giving voice to the maelstrom I felt inside myself. The repetitive chorus at the end; “I need someone to hold onto” begging for something I could not verbalize. Over and over. So much of Trent’s music struck a chord with me, moved me to tears, made me howl in fury, made me want to wreck shit, appreciate beauty where I found it, made me laugh, made me want to savage someone, anyone, to release my pent up emotions.
Broken reflected my anger. The Downward Spiral my damaged psyche and all that had been done to me. The Fragile was more complex. I saw my vulnerability in the title song, while The Wretched was just how things were. During my (2nd?) breakdown, we had to pick a favorite song. I chose Wish. She asked me why and I told her part of the lyrics:
“I’m the one without a soul, I’m the one with this big fucking hole”
She was taken aback. Actually, she looked like I had slapped her, although I was answering honestly.
I love all of Trent’s albums, and have them all, including various remixes. Nine Inch Nails will always be my favorite band. And although I no longer have the fury I once did, when I hear Head Like a Hole, Terrible Like, Reptile… I want to dance, I want to sink into that primal feeling it always gave me. I felt like a sexual dervish, and more than a little dangerous. Sometimes I want to feel like that again, because it was addictive. It is still within me, those feelings, that danger, but it’s been muted. Once in a while I feel it welling up, but it hasn’t been fed in a long time.