The Confrontation  |  Nathaniel Hackmann & Adam Monley 



“You are not,” Carson stated, “the easiest woman to find.”
Miriam had turned on the pavement at the sound of his voice and might have gone right on turning, completely failing to recognize him on a cursory glance. Quite frankly, he looked terrible. He’d always been a thin man. His clothes often didn’t fit, being too loose just to reach the requisite length requirements, and they were usually faded cast-offs dug out of a thrift shop bin. She was used to that.
This was completely different. He wasn’t just thin, he was skeletal. Almost grotesque. His skin was stretched over the bones of his face; his clothes utterly swamped him, and even the layered jackets couldn’t disguise how badly wasted his frame had become. The hollows of his throat and eyes were deeper browns and violets, giving him a battered look. His hair looked rather dull yellow, and it was longer than he usually allowed it to grow, as if he hoped to let it obscure his features. Even his bearing had changed, everything just slightly more contained, slightly more defensive. He looked like his bones were just rattling around in a beaten sack of a body. Everything was sharp angles, right down to his somewhat mocking smile.

Cut Me Farther Than I’ve Ever Been

“But why does she beat him up!?”

This is the question that I keep seeing surface regarding the fight scene in the video  between Tyler and Jenna and there are three key lyrics in Tear In My Heart that we need to refer to in order to answer this question:

“My heart is my armor.”

“Sometimes, you gotta bleed to know that you’re alive and have a soul.”

“She’s the tear in my heart.”

Through his previous lyrics in the whole t|o|p catalog of songs, we can gather that Tyler is someone who naturally tends to put up defenses, walls, masks, and ambiguity when it comes to revealing his real self and emotions. He constantly is surrounding himself with this layer of armor to not let anyone get too close. To get close is to be vulnerable to pain. The only problem with the wearing of constant armor, is that you run the risk of feeling nothing at all.

Tyler sings, “My heart is my armor.” This shows the depth of his defenses. His very core, the most vital and vulnerable part of himself, he has turned into an impenetrable fortress. Yet, somehow, Jenna got past all of these shields, and has become “the tear in (Tyler’s) heart.” I think this explains the look of shock that Tyler has right before Jenna starts to attack him in the video. He was shocked that she got that far past his carefully constructed defenses. He wasn’t expecting anyone to have the power to do that. She “cut [him] farther than [he’s] ever been.”

Once she reached that level—that is, having the ability to have access to the most vulnerable part of his true self—the “tear” is the catalyst for dismantling every line of defense he has toward her. He is powerless to her love, perseverance, and desire to get to know the real him. The fight is nothing more than a highly visual metaphor for the fact that she is battling through his walls and allowing him to be that vulnerable to someone for once in his life. As mentioned before–vulnerability is painful and at times humiliating—so the fight is representative of just how helpless a surrender to another person can feel. However, in the process of making yourself vulnerable–you can truly connect and the result is one of feeling truly alive and aware of having a soul. You are no longer a non-feeling, emotionless, person behind a wall of protective armor.

Jenna is the one to make him finally bleed–the one to make him feel human and to take him “higher than [he’s] ever been.”