Friday, March 03, 2006

i like to take up space just because i can

do you ever have one of those days where you listen to a record that brings you back five, ten, fifteen years or more? i'm experiencing that right now.

for some reason i decided to put on an difranco's dilate. i haven't listened to this since 1996. i'm not even a difranco fan. the only albums i own are dilate and not a pretty girl. it's been ten years since i've listened to either. but right now i feel like i'm 21 again.


when i was 17, i left new york for boston. i spent one year at northeastern university, floundering, trying to make sense of myself, all while eating up $18K in tuition. the truth is, i was too young to go to college, especially one in such a huge city with so much to do and see. why spend the day in a classroom when i could spend it at the theater or on newbury street? i never went to classes and at the end of the year i was asked not to return to the university, much to the chagrin of my parents.

now i was almost 19 and had no idea what i was going to do with myself. so i decided to (grudgingly) move back home with my mom, get a job, and take some film classes at the state school. i hated being there. and by "there" i mean at the job, at the school, at my mom's house, and especially in NY. i lasted 9 months. when i turned 20 i decided to get myself accepted to a very private and very expensive college north of boston. when i got the acceptance letter, i loaded up my volkswagen jetta with all my belongings and made my way once again to massachusetts.

after being in MA for a month, i got a job at a bookstore at the mall. i quickly became friends with a girl named Jenne. we had a lot in common. i thought she was so cool and funny and super smart. we'd spend the day at work talking and goofing off more than doing what we were supposed to do. it was a few weeks after Jenne and i fell into a friendship that i met her girlfriend, Melissa.

Jenne and Melissa had their own place two blocks from the beach and i was envious as all hell. i was living in an all women's house, which wasn't all that bad, but it was still a dorm. so i spent the majority of my time outside of school and work at Jenne and Melissa's house. the three of us became fast friends. we did everything together. we all worked at the mall, so we'd see each other there, and then we'd all meet up at their apartment after work and party till we puked. or until we spilled beers all over the carpeting, whichever came first.

Ani was one of Jenne and Melissa's favorites back then. i had heard some ani when i was in high school, but i didn't really like what i heard. but jenne and melissa changed that after dilate came out. we listened to this album over and over and over again. but the thing is, we never got sick of it. we'd listen to it in the apartment, at work (Jenne moved up to assistant manager so she was able to pick the music in the store), and in the car. we knew all the songs by heart and sang them on the top of our lungs. jenne learned to play some of them on her guitar and melissa and i would sing along. i always had so much fun.

this album totally takes me back to when i was young and had nothing to worry about. it reminds me of when i spent a summer sleeping in Jenne and Melissa's livingroom because i didn't have an apartment and i wasn't allowed to stay in the dorm. it reminds me of how broke we were, having to eat ramen noodle and lettuce every night for dinner (although we always had enough money for beer, go figure). it reminds me of how much i miss them and wish we never went our seperate ways.


since then, jenne and melissa split up, but they remain best friends to this day. melissa and i are very close, and i wish i'd kept in touch with jenne. melissa still lives in the town where we all met, jenne moved to connecticut, and i'm here in minneapolis. listening to this album makes me sad because i miss them both so very much, but it also makes me feel blessed and happy that i got to spend so many years with them. in a perfect world i'd have all of us back together again, drinking cheap beer and belting out ani songs. but that can't happen. my memories of those days are worth more than anything, and for that i wouldn't change a thing.

3 comments:

fluffy said...

no offense, but you guys look like a folky version of the dixie chicks in that picture.

Honey Bunny said...

ha! no offense taken :)

bridget said...

what was the expensive college?

i swear, emerson was -so- bankbreaking. ugh. i am glad to have that debt taken care of though.