Tuesday, May 01, 2007

put out the fire, boys, don't stop, don't stop

So, just as predicted, the feelings of imminent madness did descend upon me today. I am not sure how much each factor contributes to this, because look at all the variables here:
  • I just packed up shop and left the city I adored. (I'm not even bothering to include the whole FTLOG-I-just-quit-my-job bit as a separate bullet because that's, like, so last year at this point)

  • For all intents and purposes, I have gone from living alone to currently living with my parents.

  • Living with my parents also means living in EBF, suburbia central.

  • I'm going to Europe at the end of the week, and everyone who has agreed to join me has taken this attitude of "dude, just tell me where to be and I'll split the bill with you." And while that's well and good, that means all the planning falls to me.

  • Family, friends, and other people keep asking me about various weekends in June, as if I could possibly think that far in advance at the moment.

  • My grandparents are visiting this week, which means there are now four people in the house who think what's for lunch and what's for dinner are perfectly acceptable conversation topics to occupy the entire day.

On the other hand. On the other hand. Yes, there is another hand, I have to tell myself. On the other hand, the weather went from dreary and dull to bright and temperate today. My grandfather and I went on a walk around the neighborhood. He is no longer allowed to walk alone, and until today, no one has accompanied him. I can tell that a part of him absolutely loathed the fact that I was taking a turn around the block with him. And I kind of like him all the more for that, because I totally understand that grumpiness. I can tell his walks were his quiet time, his time that could not be disturbed. Because those walks were part of a routine, it was impossible for anyone to interfere with his daily rituals. Even though it's curmudgeonly and rigid, I can tell I would behave exactly the same way if I was forced to live amongst this many people on a regular basis.

Anyways, I temporarily forgot that this was all temporary. When I remember all of these circumstances are temporary, I can shrug off any annoyances, because whatevs, yo, it's not for very long. But it's easy to let the feeling of a permanent noose start to strangle you, especially when you're back in your old hometown. So, to act out, to rebel, to invent a way to cope with all those old, unresolved issues, I did something so thoroughly unoriginal, I was kind of amazed by the Pavlovian aspect of it all.

Straight to the record store.

Not just that. Even upon jumping in the car, the radio stations in EBF induce the return to adolescence. I don't know if it's something about the Northeast, or whichever radio station I happen to turn on when I'm driving here, but inevitably, some really throwback tune shows up. The first song playing on the radio when I pulled out of the driveway was Elderly Woman by Pearl Jam, and it was like immediately rewinding the clock over a decade. And juxtaposed on these blurs of familiarity, roads that I remember driving on, even though I hardly remember who I was then and the roads themselves look different, strange, strange brews of feelings come over me.

Instead of dealing with any of those feelings, though, instead of analyzing them, I just let them push me wherever they pleased. I am not in a position to spend time dissecting the past right now (which is probably why I figured it was safe to go home). And the autopilot took me to the record store. The old, beat-up record store that used to be independent, where my classmate L and I would go when we were feeling a bit decadent about the manner in which we might spend our paycheck. I saw old friends like L in the little punks that were loitering outside the store, which has long since been bought out by Newbury Comics, though it still retains that High Fidelity air of no-you-may-not-buy-I-just-called-to-say-I-love-you. Back then, it didn't matter that I was always dressed like a straight-laced nerd and L was wearing oversized concert t-shirts and dying her hair three different colors: the bigger misfit was still a toss-up. Today, I probably seemed ridiculous to the little punks, but then again, today, I didn't care.

I grabbed a few CDs I'd been meaning to pick up (maisnon, the Rod Y Gab CD is worth shelling out the cash for, since the liner notes are equally hilarious as their live ramblings), I felt dissatisfied. The CDs felt a little wimpy. The 15-year old version of myself would not abide by these CDs, not without something else with significant bite. And then it was quite simple.

So I came home with a Cold War Kids CD, and you know, f*** it, I know it's not age-appropriate or anything. I know everyone else in the world has probably already heard of them and is already over them. I know it's probably derivative of some other sound. I know I'm supposed to be past this kind of angst and bite and awesomeness, but oh the f*** well. I brought it home like a trophy, and stole up to my room to listen to the whole thing. Then I turned down dinner with the family to listen to it again.

If this keeps up, I might stay forever young, I suppose.

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