Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours.

day 19 - a song from your favorite album  

Picking my favorite album isn't very hard.  Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, easy peasy lemon squeezy.  Makes me pissed at the world, giddy because I get the joke, longing for romance, relieved at my self-sufficiency, cheated out of peace, serenely relaxed, embarrassed by my capriciousness, guilty for being selfish, impressed by my personal complexity, and giggling at the ridiculousness of everything.  It spoke to me at what, sixteen?  Yeah.  I'm still a bit shocked every time I hear it. 

I was loitering at Record Swap, listening in on those music guys talking music.  Back then, in high school, I was in love with up to seventeen boys simultaneously and most of them never spoke to me, but half of them hung out at Record Swap and I would go there after work at Cock Robin or Bookzellers or wherever I worked that day and just meander and listen to them talk about music.  Then I would walk over towards them with my purchase, and one of them would slip off the counter and ring me up on the register.  We never made eye contact.  They never showed any recognition, not here or at school, and neither did I.    

My shift would end and I would decide to walk over there, thinking, Today.  Today I'm going to talk to them.  And I'm going to say, "Hey, I heard (some band) is playing (somewhere) on Sunday.  I think I saw you at their last show at Off the Alley" or something cool like that but I never did.  

So yeah, I was loitering at Record Swap and browsing when I heard them talking about me.

"Dude, does she ever buy anything?"


"Don't think I've ever seen it.  It's weird."  

"She usually gets like stuff like my dad likes." 

"She's like always here."

"I think she works next door."

"Oh."  There's a pause, and I pretend to be fascinated by the back cover of something, glowing that I am the topic of their conversation.  Do they think I can hear them?  Probably not.  "I think she just comes here because you make her wet."

Okay, that is...the fuck? I crack my jaw a couple of times while he giggles at himself.

"Dude."  Other guy drops his voice.  "I hope not."

My arms tighten up and I lock my knees, just staring straight ahead at the wall, while "dude I hope not" echoes over and over and over again in my mind.  I knew it.  I fucking knew it. I am repulsive.  I blame my mother.  Now I am FURIOUS.  I take a few deep breaths squeeze my fists, which is counterproductive but whatever, and decide I'm going to say something.  I am going to go over there and let them know I can hear them.  I'm going to give them a fucking lashing. 

With a devil grip on whatever's in my hand and the resolve of carpet-stain remover, I make my way towards the register, head high.  I glare at both of them.  They are We could have been friends, I think. We really could.  I was sure they were different. I was sure that they would recognize we had a common interest in music that would last us years in conversations and banter, I was sure that one of them was about to say to the other, "but she's kind of cute, you know?" and I was sure I would get near them and they would laugh and call me over and say, "Come on, we know you heard us.  We've been trying to get your attention for months" and I was sure one of them would say "but my girlfriend would kill me if I talked to another girl" and I was sure I could go over there all coy and smile at them and say, " Just this please.  Doesn't-" I look down at whatever I'm holding "-Bob Dylan get you all wet?"  Bob Dylan?  Where did I pick this up?  Shit.  Come on boys.  Give me something.  Please.  Just help me.  Just a little.  Please.


Nothing, they just pretend they don't see me and I pretend I don't see them and that I'm not buying anything today and I walk right out the door clutching this fucking album that I pulled from the Classics section.  Stolen album.

It's much easier to be brave on behalf of others than on behalf of myself.

Looking back I don't think I could have stolen anything better.  After that I started scooping up Mr. Zimmerman like candy, and I would feel small and I would cry and I would feel overwhelmed and I would laugh.  Sometimes people give me shit for being a huge Bob Dylan fan. Inevitably, someone will just tell me about how much he sucks live, as if seeing an icon growl and sputter at 70 years old (a) makes them an expert on anything and (b) will convince me to reject a musical catalog spanning a full fifty years.

Not gonna lie though, all I want to do after listening to this song is stroll down a sunny street on a weekday, fantasize about guys that don't return my affections, smoke too many cigarettes and throw bottles at abandoned houses, thankful to be alive.



Diary of Why said...

Yes. That is all.

Kono said...

Gulfboot Johnson- Zimmerman expert. Can't go wrong with Bobby D., as for the dudes in the store, hot guys are over-rated, it's us book nerds who are the real studs.

daisyfae said...

i am aching for a time machine. Douche Music and the Dicktards need a good life-lesson from an old broad. 'hot guys' are beyond over-rated. i can assure you it is not much fun to fuck a man who spends more time with his manscaping than i do shaving my legs...

rental elf said...

Very nice, thanks.

formerly fun said...

My husband tells me often that he is such a happy person because he has a blissfully short memory. Sometimes I think he is right. I too remember every nasty, mean, adolescent thing said to me or about me. Those are the voices that should be banned from one's head but you know what? Most of the peeps I know that can really write? It's in part due to an uncanny memory and a beautiful way of layering the past.

I lusted after the record guys who manned the local independant chain too. I also fell in love with an art history professor that looked like a lanky Woody Allen, and I cried to It Aint Me Babe and a host of other Dylan tunes.

Did you ever see the movie Dogfight, I think it was with Martha Plimpton or Lili Taylor and River Phoenix? It's a good story and there's some Bob D in the soundtrack.

renalfailure said...

Fucking stole it... awesome. Take that, ya music store bastards!

JMH said...

Lousy comment screen cuts off the music. I should have known that it would. It's done it before, and the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.

It must be hard to remember that, much less share it. I can't imagine the emotions dull too much with time. I am not much different now than I was as a teenager. I just have a more sophisticated vocabulary and evasion techniques.

M. said...

WHO the fuck gives you shit for liking Dylan? WHO DOES THAT?

love_bites said...

Really great new video from the beasties that I felt was necessary to share with you, just because you are you:

Blues said...

Jesus, that album is fucking amazing. I've been listening to it for 15 years and I cannot get sick of it.

I really liked this post. It took me back to a time of lusting after people I would never have the guts to talk to or would have a tiny purely commercial exchange all full of flusters and then make a huge deal out of it - the dude at 31 flavors, the dude at the bookstore, the waiter at Garcias. Please, I know this too well. I never stole anything though. That's fucking badass.

mntnlover77 said...

I love Bob Dylan and I hate "hot" men.

While not played out in this specific scenario, this perfectly describes about 90% of my interactions with men. Or it would if you blushed, started crying and tripped on your way out.

Rassles said...

Rachel - Thanks.

Kono - But they were hot music guys, and they wore Joy Division t-shirts and read Bukowski. They were just like you. Except assholes.

Daisy - I doubt these guys manscaped. Can't really hate on them for it. I wasn't exactly

FF - I agree with you %100, because I remember goddamn everything, and people are always shocked by it. And I do remember the good things, I really do, but the bad ones affected me so much more.

RF - Suck it, rockers.

JMH - See, now if I want to talk to a guy (I still can't say "man"), I talk to him. I don't loiter and drop eaves. So I've grown.

M. - I know a great deal of music snobs.

LB - seen it, love it.

Blues - It was my rebellion. Look at me. I'm a fucking rebel.

MLover - where you been, girl? I never cry over people that aren't worth it. I get angry. Or I shove my emotions deep inside and build impenetrable fortresses.

Sid said...

Loved this. I'm glad you walked out of their with the album. Fuck em.

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