Choices. Chapter 6: 1996.

A lot of us go through a period during our late teens and early twenties where we only seem to fall for people who are not all that good for us. Maybe we become accustomed to the drama and even grow to expect and anticipate it, or maybe we’re just learning how to have an adult relationship and we’ve still a long way to go. But even if those relationships sucked and the people with which we became involved weren’t the best for us — or even the best at all — that does not necessarily mean that we didn’t love them honestly.


Chapter 6: 1996.

She, colorblind, tired eyes
Her hallway aching
She’ll never move him
Likes it that way
He’s just a walker
And he’ll never stop walking away.
-Not Too Soon (Throwing Muses).

Here I am, sitting on the curb surrounded by assorted pieces of wood that, minutes before, had been arranged in the shape of a Spanish guitar I bought for my eighteenth birthday, a couple of years ago.

Feels like rain this afternoon, and I think that it would be fitting to the image that I’d be smoking a cigarette. Too bad I stopped smoking at fourteen, barely days after I’d taken it up. These days I only smoke when very drunk, and only a couple of cigarettes, if any at all.

So, instead of lighting up, I just whistle an old reel I’d seen some guys play on TV a few days before on that Spanish Channel. That makes me feel a bit sad and, of course, next thing I know I am thinking of you, again.

That’s the problem with girls like me in small towns like mine. There’s only so much you can do with your time. Basically just music, thinking or drinking. Or a combination of two, or even the three of them. And you know where that leads me.

It’s already starting to rain and I probably should go back inside or just go someplace else to do something instead of being stuck in-between doing one thing or another.

Just spaced out in my front step. And that fucking song I heard on their new album running a loop in my head: “don’t it make you smile // when the sun don’t shine // I miss you already // I miss you always // this is how I feel.”

It pisses me off because it’s so true and I know I’ll probably end up figuring out how to play it and talking my brother into learning it just so I can get it out of my head through the amplifier.

It’s just like me to second-guess myself like that. Do I miss you this much simply because I know I can’t have you right now? And why do I feel so messed up about it that I just can’t write a love song about this…thing we have?

Fuck, not even a decent song of loss and loneliness that isn’t based around three chords and tons of distortion and screaming. I’m sure as hell no Kurt Cobain to be able to pull that off. No one is.

So I end up feeling like the guy in that British book Gabriel likes because everything I think about brings to mind a damn song lyric. I’m a step away from making Top 5 song lists about every fucking thing in my life.

After a while, I get up and go for a cup of coffee, since caffeine is a socially acceptable substitute for alcohol this early on a Tuesday.

Maybe I’ll fool around with a few songs, or write something new. But of course I run into my teenaged cousin and his little girlfriend at the coffee-shop. There’s young love for you, God seems to say. Which I obviously take for a sign that I should just quit dicking around and go for a few drinks already. Or a tear-jerker of a movie and a shitload of junk food. I may be an artsy girl from a family of drunks but I am a girl after all. Aren’t girls supposed to do that when suffering from heartache?

Eventually, I go back home to play until my fingers bleed or I fall asleep, or both. I end up watching my brother try to pull ollies on our driveway with his old skateboard until he gets it through his head that not being injunior high is way too old for that shit if your name is not Tony Hawk and the last time you rode a board it was practically still eighties. The following day, the doctor will second my opinion of that fact when he has to go in for a broken rib after a bad fall trying the damn stunt.

All in all, a very full day which ends with me using lighter fluid to build a little fire on the sidewalk with all those guitar pieces, and then taking pictures of them as they burn.

I’ll send you one with something nice written on the back, a sort of home-made postcard. But I can’t, really, ‘cause I don’t know your address over there. And because, truth be told, I suck as a photographer. But I won’t all my life.

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