The Insane Asylum


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I need an outlet to rant about the Tortured Poet’s Department bc I’m obsessed, and maybe after putting my words to paper I can think of something else.

Because this album dropped after the end of a six year relationship, everyone naturally assumed it would be a break up album examining the bad aspects about her relationship with Joe Alwyn. After writing 5 albuns with him as a muse but always blaming herself for every single turbulation it makes sense, but here is the explanation to why Matty Healy IS the primary muse of the TTPD even though there are some tracks that explore Joe's faults as well.

Starting with the prologue. She starts out by calling a hearing to examine her case of temporary insanity after a case of restricted humanity, that could either be a reference to her being physically restricted for being in a private relationship, where they both decided to shield themselves from the outside world starting with her cancelation era and going all the way through a pandemic, or restricted because Joe was closed off and didn’t let her “drill into the safe” (So long, London). The caged beast (herself) lived in denial that the relationship was failing for a good portion of those six years, after proclaiming to the entire world she wanted it to be the Endgame (Reputation) and that she'd marry him with paper rings (Lover), a marriage that never happened despite her wishes. AFTER ending it all with a conversation, a crash from the skylight burst through, so she was “out of the slammer” and into a tidal wave, that is the beginning of the two years in which she worked on this album.

“In summation, it was not a love affair!” I screamed while bringing my fists to my coffee ringed desk. It was a mutual manic phase. (Prologue to the TTPD)

Taylor claims it’s the worst men she writes best, and that includes the smallest man who ever lived. That man isn’t Joe Alwyn, a person she still seems to respect despite losing him to his own immaturity, depression and inactivity.

And so I enter into evidence (Prologue of the TTPD)

When I was writing the fortnight music video, I wanted to show you the worlds I saw in my head that served as the backdrop for making this music. Pretty much everything in it is a metaphor or reference to one corner of the album or another. (Taylor Swift via instagram)

One of the three final tracks of Midnights, Hits Different, ends with Taylor asking if the key turn in the door means they’ve come to take her away, and on Fortnight she begins saying she was supposed to be sent away but they forgot to get her. In the music video for her first single of TTPD, featuring Post Malone, Taylor is already at an insane asylum, suggesting they didn’t forget to get her, she just didn’t notice she was already locked away before proceeding to speak about the Fortnight, a metaphor for the short period of time her relationship with Matty Healy lasted for before it crashed and burned due to his “quiet treason” (Fortnight).

Later in the album in a song called Guilty as Sin? We find out Swift and Healy’s feelings started long before they acted on it. It’s been reported that despite none of the songs they worked on making it into the album, Matty Healy was present on a few of the studio sessions for Midnights where they grew closer. Matty could have been involved with other people during that period while Swift certainly was, which is who I believe the figures of Wife and Husband in the song represent. Because it’s a very metaphorical song, I don’t feel secure to affirm Joe Alwyn cheated, perhaps he was as guilty as sin as Taylor was.

Later in the song she mentions taking the miracle move-on-drug to get out of the numbness of her dying relationship. Swift is no stranger to jumping from a relationship into the next (Getaway Car, Reputation) and Matty was that drug with temporary effects, the period of temporary insanity, that lasted only a fortnight.

I love you, It’s ruining my life. I touched you for only a fortnight. (Fortnight)

At the bridge, after the Fortnight had passed, Taylor called Matty but he didn’t pick up. ‘ghosting’ was how the relationship was brought to an end, as explained in the song The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.” She moved to the next drug, Florida!!! (feat. Florence and the Machine) But the car(herself) wouldn’t pick up until the end of this cycle and beginning of this next phase of her life, her current relationship with Travis Kelce.

Buy the car you want but it won't start up 'til you touch, touch, touch [down] you. (Fortnight)