Friday, May 14, 2010

The Pixies and Me

I'm going to start a new segment (I know I say that often because I fear stagnancy, but I'm dead set on this one) on here that I've been meaning to to do for a long time be it on here or somewhere else, but here would be better. I love music. I live on music. I need it. And I have so many memories built around songs and albums that I love. So I'm kicking off my _________ and Me segment with the Pixies.

I remember the day I was introduced to the Pixies. I can still smell the chlorine in my hair, the juxtaposition of my dry skin (too much chlorine in a pool always drys me out) and my wet swimsuit still clinging to my body. I had just gotten out of my two hour swim practice and my body felt like air, a balloon only weighed down by a hunger built up from non-stop swimming. I walked out the Archer Center's swimming pool and opened the double doors to see the skaters from my school doing their own version of after school practice. Ollies and ill fated jumps off of a ten stair punctuated with cigarette/weed breaks. I knew all of them and chit chatted as I waited for my bus. One of their girlfriends went on to become one of my best friends. She let me read one of her poems/passages five minutes upon meeting her and I was smitten. We were inseparable from then on out.

Sam and I, Graduation 2006

But that's for another day.
The one skater that changed it all was Jorge. He was the most genuine of the lot, the most kind. We became fast friends during those before and after swim practices as I waited for the daily after school bus to take me back home where boys with raging hormones and ripped jeans were forbidden. Broken decks=broken hearts. But not Jorge. Jorge was the older brother I never had or knew I needed. He'd listen to me wax on about my lovelorn ways and he'd remind me after each story to not sweat it. To smile. To live on. And one day after a more brutal beating to my teenage heartstrings, he asked me a question- "have you heard of the Pixies?"
"No, I don't think so."
"Take this home," he said, as he handed me Doolittle.

"Borrow it for as long as you want," He said, as I got on my bus.

I took out the Dashboard Confessional c.d. (not helpful for lovelorn teenagers) that had previously dominated my c.d. player and popped in Doolittle and settled into my seat at the back of the bus waiting for the first song.

"Got me a movie
I want you to know
Slicing up eyeballs
I want you to know
Girly so groovy
I want you to know
Don't know about you
But I am un chien andalusia"

For the first time in a long time the corners of my mouth inched up to more than a smirk. It was crazy, it was nonsense, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. Music to push me out of my hoodie clad wallflower box. Music to shake me up, to get the blood flowing in places other than my heart (I had no problem with that on a daily basis, I was all heart and no guts). An exorcism of my angst.
I listened to that c.d. all day on repeat all weekend. But before I gave it back I made my dad drive me to Borders to pick up my own copy. I didn't want to be without it. I haven't been since then.
"Thank you so much for this," I said as I handed back the over loved disc to Jorge a few days later.
"I'm glad you liked it."
By my junior year I started changing, my music taste started changing, my clothes (partly because of Sam whose fashion eye is awesome, and I should really get her on here), my views, etc. But the Pixies still remained my solid foundation, the gospel I needed at the end of the day to free me up. I kept them faithfully within reach, and years later, as my stomach began to swell with baby ("hey/what do you know/your lovely, tan belly is starting to grow!"), people told me to play him classical music through headphones on my belly. I did, but he kicked and squirmed and wriggled around a lot more when I played "Where Is My Mind" for him. "That's my boy". Kick drum lover, bass line dancer.
Since becoming a mother and moving up to an area where moms in vans reign supreme and I'm on the outskirts of the playground with matching mother-son Converse, I have left many of my friends downtown. Not to say we've forgotten about each other, but we're all in different places and we try and see each other when we can. So imagine my surprise when last Friday, out on the town at the burlesque show, I turned around and there was Jorge. I hadn't seen him since shortly after Jack was born.

"OH MY GOD!!" I squealed. We hugged and laughed and I bought us rounds of gin and tonics and margaritas, tipped the bartender extra hard out of my jubilation, and we got to catching up. We talked about Jack and Greg and family life, about Mexico and the land he's been exploring as a ranch hand, about ex's (we ran in the same circle so I had dated his best friend, he had dated mine, we all remained distant friends, etc) and long lost friends and then I heard something that stopped me mid-sentence, something from the other section of the pub, something faint that grew louder, I knew I knew it and then it became clear.

It was too much. Too coincidental. Too nostalgic. Too amazingly awesome.
We looked at each other and laughed. At life, at where it's lead us and how good everything was in that moment.
"I'm in a good place," I said.
"You showed me these guys and it changed my life."
And just as quickly as the moment came it ended, like all good things do. We made plans to have a barbecue so he could see Jack and Greg again, and said goodbye over the sunrise.
Yesterday, after I had had to much of motherhood (Jack tantruming all day) I took a drive out to the store to pick up some rum and pina colada mix (I was also missing Ixtapa a lot) among other things, though those two were of the utmost importance, and I breathed. I put Doolittle in my c.d. player and everything melted away, only this time I didn't feel so nostalgic for once, I just felt happy in the moment and I drove. And that is exactly what the Pixies will always mean to me.

3 comments:

JLYoungsma said...

Awww... This reminds of a similar experience to mine with Pixies.. However, I played volleyball (not swim) and I went to school in the 90's... <--OLD LADY.

But seriously, how good are the Pixies!??!?!

Amanda said...

How good are the Pixies? Too good! I was writing a whole post based on the song "Hey" but I felt I was getting a tad carried away.

And I wish I had been in high school in the 90's. My husband, cousins, etc did, and they always looked like they had some really fond memories of the time.

Chelsea Robbins said...

OMG-dashboard confessional.....

Makes me think of junior year.

oh the memories!