… said the guy driving a luxury SUV.
Anonymous said: 15. 24. 38.
15: Talk about the time you were most content in life.
Content is a good word, because “happy” is a loaded emotion and is almost always fleeting. I’m much like Alvy Singer in the way that “if one person is starving someplace, it puts a crimp in my evening.” So I’ll settle for content.
The easy answer would be any time I visited Rutgers during college. I never felt more at ease than with the Rutgers crew, but being that those visits were only 12 to 24 hours, so those feelings of elation were short lived. I have a terrible memory, but the last time I vividly remember a prolonged sense of content would be February 2006 through January 2007 during which I had a whirlwind romance with a girl named Krista.
Our relationship was short lived and intense, but damn was it fun. To explain how gloriously weird we were together would probably make the average person furrow their brow and slowly back away, so I won’t get into any of that. But what I can say is that we were never bored, she could (and still can) drink anyone under the table, her family was fun as hell, she introduced me to the people who would end up being my future roommates and closest college friends, and she truly gave a shit about me. She had a habit of making excellent funny/disturbing pictures for me throughout the months, and eventually put them all into a handmade book which she gave to me for Christmas.It was a grand testament to our time together.
24: Talk about something someone told you that meant a lot.
Krista and I broke up right after winter break in 2007. See, one thing that became ominously clear in the last six weeks we were together was that she knew exactly what she wanted to do with her life, and I was very much a directionless shmuck. Whenever she asked what I planned to do after college, my de facto answer was that I wanted to “write”, which was bullshit answer and she saw right through it. I was suffering from a life goal deficiency. In some ways I still am, so she definitely dodged a bullet there.
She told me she wanted some time to be single after being in a string of long term relationships, and who the hell was I to tell her she couldn’t? I was sad, but this is how it had to be. So you could only imagine my surprise when two weeks later she started dating someone else. This guy and his friends liked to get fucked up on Robitussin. He had stupid glasses. She had him over all the time. I did not like him.
So my era of content plummeted into feelings of indignation pretty damn quick. I thought, being a young man of great wit, I would write her a letter outlining this injustice, this breach of trust! I submitted to her a one page, double sided diatribe and I can say at the time that I was quite content with what I thought was an airtight explanation about how she was in the wrong. Two days passed and I didn’t hear anything. One afternoon, I believe it was February, she came to my door and handed me her rebuttal and walked away.
I will tell you this, Anonymous, never in my life had I been torn a new asshole as hard as Krista did in her letter. Her four page letter. Apparently she had initially let me down easy, and I would have been smarter to have kept my mouth shut and moved on. But I was such a self righteous bastard that it took four fucking pages, back to back, to explain how I sowed the seeds of our break up. And the kicker was that she was not wrong about anything. I mean she really had me dead to rights. And I learned a lot about myself that I was either not aware of, or was forced to accept. From that day until the end of the semester was without a doubt the most miserable period of my life, for now I knew that I had committed the cardinal sin of taking an amazing person for granted.
Usually when someone tells you something that “means a lot”, you’d sooner assume that it’s some uplifting and encouraging words. But Krista told me what I so desperately needed to hear, and I haven’t been the same since. Her letter forced me out of my comfort zone and made me realize that there were many things I needed to change about myself. How to change was, and still is, up in the air. Though I’ve certainly been far from a saint, whenever I screw up I always think back to that letter to try and get myself back on track. If anyone was going to call me out, I’m glad it was her. Looking back, it probably would not have worked out anyway. She was into creative, artsy types, while all I had going for me back then was being from New Jersey.
Incidentally, a few years ago she did apologize for the way things ended between us. We had been on good terms for a while, so it was an apology she certainly didn’t need to make. But damn did it feel good to hear it anyway, especially when she said the Robotrip guy ended up being the “biggest douchebag she’s ever dated”. So those words meant a lot to me too.
I have the privilege of calling her my friend to this day, and I was elated when she recently informed me that she’ll be marrying her long time boyfriend, who I’ve met on numerous occasions. He plays guitar in a metal band. He’s perfect.
38: Talk about songs that remind you of certain people.
Oh my God, really? We could be here all day with this.
I can be terrible about articulating my feelings to people, which is a pitiful attribute for someone in possession of an English degree. But every Best of compilation that I hand out each year isn’t just what I think are the best songs of the year, but songs that relate to things that happened or my mood during said year. And that’s just scratching the surface. Everyone has a song attached to them. And I’m still under the impression that every song by Pissed Jeans is attached to me. In fact, I’m still unconvinced that their catalog isn’t about my life. But since I’ve spoken at great length about Krista, I’m going to have to go with songs that reminds me of her. And that songs were found exclusively on Straight Outta Compton by NWA.
Imagine a small college town in Amish country. Imagine a singular main street that runs through town with an audacious number of traffic lights (three!!!). Now imagine it’s a beautiful spring day, and there is a car with its windows and sunroof open making its way down the hill. And in that car there are two young people reciting/screaming lyrics about retaliation for being racially profiled. I don’t know why we had such an obsession was with Straight Outta Compton, but it was our shit.
Now I know what you’re thinking, but I can assure you that the irony of two white kids from the suburbs outwardly loving NWA was not lost on us, because we both knew we’d never have to experience anything being depicted in the songs. So yeah, we were ripe for a privilege check. But objectively speaking those songs are so fucking good and are at times unparalleled. I did the Ice Cube parts, she took the Eazy E lines. MC Ren’s bars were up for grabs. However, she made Dr. Dre’s only song on the album, ”Express Yourself”, her own at our dorm’s talent show and ended winning the whole damn thing.
I’ve only listened to the album a few times since I graduated college, but without anyone riding shotgun and singing about being ”tired of the motherfucking jacket,” it doesn’t have the same allure.