Writer-turned-not-lawyer-turned-lawyer-turned-writer Elizabeth Wurtzel has been on something of a musical jag lately. Last month, she wrote in the Daily Beast about her fraught relationship with Paul Westerberg, and how he wrote a song about her. Today in Thought Catalog (which is just really, really odd placement), she writes about how she fucked a pseudonymous married musician, who likewise wrote a song about her. Next up: Dave Pirner in the BuzzFeed Community Forums!
The thrust of Wurtzel's catalogued thought, which, like all her thoughts, is a lovely and gauzy and sometimes startling but ever meandering flow of words, is that it's fun to have sex and even more fun to have sex with people you've seen on television (also: any woman walking into a hotel room with a man is automatically consenting to have sex with that man in that hotel room, a rule that a lot of women unfortunately aren't familiar with.)
Once, Wurtzel tells us, back before 9/11, she met this dude, a musician, whom she had seen performing on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno. She calls this musician "Clark." They ended up speaking on the phone, for two hours, shortly after the attacks. It was an intense conversation.
What did we talk about? Being displaced, I am sure. And lots else. I cannot remember, which means it must have been incredible. Of course it was.
At the end Clark told me he was getting married and moving to Los Angeles, but talking to me made him wonder if both those things were not a mistake. Of course they were.
Flash forward a decade. Wurtzel goes to see Clark play at the Bowery Ballroom. They hang out backstage. Clark is still married. They go to his hotel and hang out in the lobby. Wurtzel asks him, "Wanna start?" The rest of the story, she says, is "not worth telling." Then she tells it: They have sex, she raids the minibar for "Milky Ways and Pinot Noir...between blow jobs," Clark feels guilty on account of his marriage, but he writes her a song, she continues to write "sentences so pellucid, someone who does not speak English would understand," they stop talking, she apologizes years later for being "not a good person to get mixed up with."
So who is Clark? Here are some of the data points Wurtzel provides:
• "I saw Clark on Jay Leno’s show in 2001...."
• He was "handsome with blue eyes that looked blue on a bad TV."
• He lived in New York City in 2001.
• He moved to Los Angeles shortly after 9/11.
• He got married at some point after 2001.
• "As 2010 was turning to 2011 in the beginning of the cold dark season," Clark performed at the Bowery Ballroom.
• "Somebody posted on Twitter that Clark was playing at the Bowery Ballroom. I retweeted it and said it would be fun to go."
• As of late 2010/early 2011, Clark had "just turned 40."
• He wrote a "beautiful song" about her that "said something about how he would never forget the night we met" and appeared "on his most recent album."
Wurtzel's portrait of Clark screams low-wattage indie troubadour, and there really aren't too many of those guys left. We know she's a Westerberg fan (or was until she met him), which limits the pool even more: Jesse Malin, maybe? Pirner? Clark read to me at first like Rhett Miller, the frontman of country-rock forebears the Old '97s. Let's run him down:
• The Old '97s performed on the Tonight Show on July 18, 2001.
• Rhett Miller has very blue eyes.
• According to public records, Miller has lived in New York City.
• According to public records, he has also lived in Southern California.
• He married model Erica Ihan in 2002.
• The Old '97s performed at the Bowery Ballroom on December 8, 2010.
• While I found no evidence of Wurtzel re-tweeting anything about the Old '97s, there is this Twitter post from December 2010 encouraging Dallas clubgoers to see them. (Wurtzel is not what you would call a reliable narrator.)
• Miller turned 40 on September 6, 2010.
• Miller's latest solo record, The Dreamer, was released last year. Its first track, "Lost Without You," describes a brief love affair: "I was working on a bottle of wine when she pulled up outside / She was glowing like an Open sign on a place I'd never tried / So I told her my life on the course of the night / She was not like the rest until she left."
I emailed Wurtzel to ask if Clark was Rhett Miller. Her response:
Not saying. But I am glad you are interested. It is an interesting theory.
How are things at Gawker?
So there you have it: Elizabeth Wurtzel will not say whether she fucked Rhett Miller and later wrote about the affair in a thinly veiled recollection for Thought Catalog. But it's an interesting theory. Things are OK here, I guess, Elizabeth.
[Images via Getty]