Emo in 2013

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I heard a word last week that I had not heard in awhile. In Thomasville, Georgia, where they’re apparently about 10 years behind the times. We were in this rinky little movie theater to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. My sister got her ticket and snacks first. The guy, upon seeing her black nail polish, complimented it and told her, “I may not look like it, but I’m a little bit ‘emo’.” I could tell he wanted to do the bunny ear finger motion. He was wearing a hair net. I scoffed.

Later that week, as we were driving home, Camille and I got into a bit of a disagreement about which Copeland album is the best. For her it’s Eat, Sleep, Repeat for me it’s In Motion. It roots me so firmly in 2005, it’s all about the time traveling for me.

A time of skin-tight jeans, black band t-shirts, shaggy bangs, and worn Chuck Taylor’s; of going to shows in big fields and tiny, converted record/skate shops; my teenage years. I was always a sucker for an emo boy. But a particular brand: the emo band boy. I spent a lot of time at shows cleaning up the merch as a boyfriend flirted with the other girls at the show. I stayed later than everyone else, got the last hug goodnight, dropped off after the gear was taken home. It was a moment.

I’ve graduated a bit from boyfriends who ignore me at shows to a great boyfriend who holds my hand in public, tells me he loves me, and generally loves music with me, but he’s not an emo band boy. He was a little behind on the trend, on just the other side of the music and the shows. But he still wears the tight jeans.

I was talking with my friend the other day about a recent Halloween costume her husband put together, himself about 10 years ago. It was a baggy football jersey, loose jeans, and backwards hat kind of look. And she said it still made her heart pound a little to see him like that. It made me smile; we’re already nostalgic.

Speaking of my grown up boyfriend: he’s recently discovered that the entirety of That ‘70’s Show is on Netflix. So, he’s been watching it. (Incidentally, he thinks Copeland’s last album 2008’s You Are My Sunshine is perfect from beginning to end. I’m only just listening to it now.) I watched a couple of episodes with him. It got me to thinking about how they may portray my teenage years as a sitcom in the future. I don’t know that That Millenium Show would go over, or be nearly as iconic, but for me that time was quite a moment.

We made music. Everyone I knew was in a band, or dating someone in a band, or the jock best friend of the drummer in a band. They were everywhere. Most of my high school weekends were peppered with shows and gigs and smelly little rooms filled with teenagers dancing around to rock music. These days kids make vlogs and hope to be internet famous. We had the internet, but it was for Limewire, Homestar, aim, and MySpace. It was still mostly a sidebar to the everyday teenager’s life.

I turned twenty in 2007. I got a twitter account the following year (this was a time of constant twitterwhales). My first tweet is frustratingly vague, but not necessarily stupid. YouTube sensations were still kids I’d had freshmen poli-sci classes with. Before I knew it the moment was over.

But for me it will always be about Never Take Friendship Personal pumping from my speakers as I drove down Bayshore Blvd with my windows down. All the nervous anticipation, angst, hope, fear, and cluelessness bundled up in a steal box hurtling down the road at 50 mph. That kid has no idea what’s in store for her, but she has pretty good taste in music.

Y – a delayed post from 04.15.13

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how I probably answered math questions

When x is me, X + Y = confused, solve for Y

I was never very good at math. Ever. It’s really thanks to Philip and the determination of my high school math teacher to never see me in her class again that I passed. I only had to take one semester in college and I absolutely hated it. I had several tutors, read a couple Math for Dummies books, prayed for divine understanding every time I took an exam. I mostly got C’s. Nothing about algebra makes sense to me.

I get hung up on the letters.

I’ve been a biblio-linguiphile/amateur etymologist for quite some time now and to my not fully formed frontal lobe it did not make sense to see letters (or for that matter “imaginary numbers”) strung together with math symbols.

My high school math teacher tried to make me feel better by telling me about this movie that Barbara Streisand did with Jeff Bridges (The Mirror Has Two Faces). It’s this sort of romance, coming in to her own, kind of movie. Streisand plays an English Lit professor, Bridges is this math professor with strange ideas about how sex ruins relationships, they bond over baseball, and fall in love despite the odds, and I guess because Streisand loses like the equivalent of four dress sizes…

Anyway, I just never held much appreciation for the mathematical arts. The grand irony of my life is that though I’ve pursued things I enjoy to gain employment I spend a large portion of my days dealing with math; math, and budgeting, and numbers. It’s not quite algebra, and I get to make my Excel spreadsheets quite colourful, but a part of me loathes it all a bit. I think the mental block sets in when I imagine my life as the ideal “renaissance” woman: capable of art, math, science, philosophy, and sky diving or whatever, and I know that I fall short in the math area. I mean I have a hard time doing simple multiplication and division. I guess there’s always something to aspire to.

D – a delayed post from 03.31.13

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The first thing he noticed were her hands. The last he’d seen them they were open, lovely, graceful, a warm brown from her time spent in the sun, a little more wrinkled than they should be, but beautiful in their own way. She kept her nails short to play guitar and only wore one ring on the middle finger of her left hand. Her hands were shaped like her mother’s. This he knew from the last time he’d seen her.

Now, there was no softness to them. He noticed white knuckles, a slight tremor, her nails grown long and unkempt. Her hands, tightly clasped, the wrinkles stretched, a sickly pallor. Gone were the grace and loveliness.

He spoke soothing words to her. Whispered, “Peace. Rest. Trust me.”

A fragile thing crumbled in her hands, like the dusty wings of a butterfly, squashed from clinging to a false hope.

She let go.