A Memory

I had a very strong memory hit me while I was driving yesterday, and it was so much fun to just sit there for a bit and linger in it that I decided to bring it to the blog and share it with you all. 

Let me set the scene: Last week, I stumbled upon an old book of CDs, and I put a couple of them in my CD changer. Yesterday, after finishing the last song on one of my favorite indie bands’ albums, the changer clicks over to one of the forgotten albums I’d fed it the week before.

The band is Incubus.

Muscle memory kicks in and I immediately advance to track 8: Drive. This is the song that caused me to seek out the album and beg my parents for the money to buy it. I enjoy this revisit of the song. I mean, it’s got acoustic guitar, brooding lyrics, and soothing vocals. What’s not to love?

But then, I remember the rest of the album. If you were one of the teenaged girls who did not purchase Incucbus’ album “Make Yourself” in 2001 then let me just tell you: the rest of the album is not like “Drive.” It is a strange, and in retrospect, very cheesy, attempt at new wave rock. Lyrics, embarrassingly, include such gems as “If I hadn’t made me, I would’ve been made somehow” and “The consequence that you see will be stranger than a gang of drunken mimes.”

And yet, the message behind many of the songs was “it’s okay to be weird. If you’re not conforming, you’re thinking for yourself, and that’s cool.” I also liked that, to my young ears, the music sounded kind of angry. And that just spoke to angsty me, you know?

Okay, so here’s the specific memory that invited me in to stay for awhile: Just when I had become completely obsessed with the album, a friend invites me over to her house. This friend and I were pretty close when we were younger, and even though we had grown apart as soon as high school hit, we still shared a pretty special bond and were able to sort of pick up where we left off (a rare thing when you’re not in the same high school clique, I think). This friend is cool. Like, not only is she actually cool, but she’s also in a cool clique in high school. So, of course, I can’t wait to show her my new music obsession.

We pop the CD into the top of her boom box. The lid clicks shut, and I advance to song #5, an angry(ish) song which contains the world “bullshit” in Verse 1. I wait for my friend to be impressed and see me for how incredibly cool I have become.

She laughs.

Oh, she’s not laughing at me. She just thinks it’s funny! She’s actually about 10 years ahead of me, music-taste-wise. She suggests I try Cypress Hill if I like “weird stuff.” 

And that’s the story of the first time I got mad at someone for not liking my music. 

This feeling would come to define my teenage years. 

At the time, I was sort of fuming, even though, as I remember, the rest of the evening went really well. We weren’t the kind of friends that got in fights. Now, I’m giggling with her. 


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