“My songs know what you did in the daaa-a-aa-aaa-ark!”
Every time I hear this damn song—particularly the delivery of that specific line—I think of you.
How…Why can a song from today remind me of you from 20 years ago?
Yes you were hot and I dreamed of becoming more than we were. Yes we took writing classes together in college which is how we met. Yes I went to a ton of your shows and even bought and listened to your CD.
But that’s the extent of who “we” were.
I was the fat chick who sat across from you in Fiction Writing, whose stories about an alcoholic loser single dad caught your interest. You were Nathan Lunds*, college student and local rock band singer. We both smoked, we both had long curly hair, we both were short. But you were funny and articulate and outgoing—everything I was not.
So I lusted…secretly, of course.
I remember going to one of your shows with my groupie friend Ginger* who enjoyed the company of your drummer when he was in need. She drove, I got drunk. You needed a ride back after the show, Ginger’s drummer wasn’t drumming her, so she offered a ride. I tried not squealing when I learned we would be in the car together. Instead, I sat as rigid and quietly as I could, trying not to think about how drunk I was and about how you, the man I longed for, sat right behind me in the back seat of Ginger’s Chevy Beretta.
Hopefully I wouldn’t puke or fart.
We stopped midway through the drive so you could grab some fries and use the bathroom.
“How could you give him a ride home?” I asked Ginger when you were out of earshot.
She smiled at me.
Just because she was a friggin groupie who’d bang anyone who looked at her, didn’t mean I was…even if I kinda wanted to be.
The rest of the ride to your house, I had lengthy conversations with you and gave you my number and made out with you when we weren’t gazing into each other’s eyes.
…in my head.
“It’s this one,” you sang from the back seat.
Ginger pulled the car to the side of the road of bungalows. I stepped out of the car and watched you climb out from the back, smiling.
“Thanks guys. See you next time.”
There were, of course, plenty of next times.
But other than asking for the number of my best friend Aileen, whom I brought to one your shows, we never really hung out. You’d nod your head and say Hey if you saw me at a show or at school. But that was it.
Yet, here I am, 20 years later, thinking of you, writing about you.
Because of that damn Fall Out Boy song.
“So light ’em up!”