Thursday, January 11, 2007

1989 (Blog-o-rrhea warning)

Last night while AB was trying to put Leif to sleep I decided I needed some new music on my iPod. I headed to the iTunes store and downloaded a few songs I had in mind the last week. I downloaded a few songs from Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill (which I cannot believe I no longer have on cd) and then indulged my 80’s teenage girl side and got a few songs from the Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club and Dirty Dancing soundtracks. I had planned on downloading whole cds, but then took a look at the few that were available and realized I didn’t really want all those songs. In my browsing I came across a song that struck my heart, The Church, Under the Milky Way.

So at this point, if you dislike blogorrhea, bye bye. (Of course I am not sure why you would be reading my blog since I frequently become afflicted with this long rambling, spilling of words in a self important way.) I am just warning you.

I know you have experienced it before. You encounter a song, a smell, or anything out there that takes you back in a nearly time traveling manner to a particular timeframe. It isn’t just a memory that pops up, it is the whole experience of the time. If you close your eyes, you could be there. I sat for a few minutes, nearly dumbfounded by this song as I was transported back in time to 1989.

It was my junior year in high school, right after my first real boyfriend and I had broken up. I had dated other guys, but this was my first real boyfriend, the one where I knew his family, we kissed in the hallways at school and each weekend it was a given that we would spend it together, along with our other best friends, who were also conveniently a couple. His name was Greg. Vargas Girl was dating his close friend, Brian, and we were a foursome always hanging out together.

For me, Greg was that monumental first love. I cringe now saying that. But he was one of the first people I felt like I had a real impact on, as he did me. We registered for our classes together, he was driven to excel academically at that point, I believe (maybe falsely), encouraged by me. I truly doubt, he would have ever registered for Chemistry if it weren’t for me. We also signed up to share a locker the next year.

It was a short lived thing, looking back. Four months or so? One day I went out to the park across the street from the school and he was distant with me. He finally asked me to go talk at my car. We got there and he dumped me. No reason why, just it wasn’t working. I was heartbroken.

It almost seemed like a mini-divorce of sorts. The next day at school he had a new younger (by a whole year) girlfriend on his arm, a girl named Cari. And I had our friends. Nearly all of them. Over the next 6 months or so Greg’s life changed drastically for reasons unknown to me. Cari was not a bad influence on him, she was a great girl and smart too. But rumors abound that Greg was using cocaine (which was nearly unheard of in my group, at least to me) and shortly into our senior year or late in our junior year he dropped out. I eventually looked at him as one of the biggest losers out there and counted myself lucky we had parted ways.

My life over those next six months stayed on the same course it had been. Things didn’t change much for me. I didn’t date a lot during that time, but instead I spent a lot of time with my friends. I hung out with Vargas Girl and Brian still, and my circle expanded. One person I started spending a lot of time hanging out with at that time was a friend of ours named Chip.

Chip had, and from the sounds of it still has, an aura about him that attracts people, girls and guys alike. People like being his friend. Truthfully, I don’t know what it is. It could be his smile, his goofy laugh, or just his friendly nature. Or from my perspective at the time, it was just that he made you feel good. He made me feel as though I was no longer “Greg’s ex he dumped for Cari”, I was “a cool chick”.

One thing that characterized Chip was his chronic lateness. We all knew that if he told you he was going to be there to pick you up at 7pm, you could probably expect him at 9pm. He never forgot you, but he was never on time. Looking back I wonder why it was Chip who was always picking us up? I had a quality, functioning car, but for some reason I was always waiting for a ride from Chip. And of all of us, he had the least likely to survive car! It was an old baby blue VW bug with the floor so rotted away from rust you could see the asphalt racing by if you looked down in spots. It caught on fire a few times, but the thing plodded on.

I spent that late spring, early summer hanging out with Chip a lot. I loved his company and it made me feel special when he called and would ask me to come over and hang out or when he would come and pick me up and take me up the Poudre Canyon or Horsetooth Reservoir to walk around. I remember frantic phone calls from our friends calling and asking where he was, he was supposed to meet to skateboard at 3pm and he wasn’t there yet and it was 5pm. I felt special knowing he was with me. He was never in a rush to leave and always brushed the calls off as “they will still be there when I get there”. He made me feel more special than my ex-boyfriend had. Yet we were never a couple.

Remember how when you were in high school and you could listen to a single song over and over? Vargas Girl and I had our list, a certain song about a Long Haired “Guy” by The Vandals jumps out. (Remember driving Brian UP THE WALL with that song… now we know why he hated it so much, don’t we?) With Chip, it was The Church, Under the Milky Way.

Our “relationship” slowed down that summer between our junior and senior years. One day he was 2 hours late to pick me up to go hang out. I knew then that I had been replaced as the one he was spending his down time with. He wasn’t just “late”; I knew he had likely been with someone. For some reason, it truly didn’t hurt. I don’t know if he did it all on purpose, like part of his master plan. Or if it is just the affect he has on people. But I got over my first real love with his help.

Chip and I remained friends through high school. He set me up with a friend of his from out of town at one point. We went to see the Chili Peppers in a neighboring town together. (Here’s dating myself… we paid $4 for tickets.) We were close, but when I graduated from high school (not sure why he didn’t, he was in my class), we grew apart.

Years later when I was living in Reno, I reconnected with Vargas Girl and I also reconnected with Chip. I don’t remember if it was through her or how I got in touch with him again. We e-mailed back and forth about a friend of ours from high school who committed suicide that year. Then Chip told me he wanted to come out and visit me for awhile. I reminded him I had a boyfriend (AB) I lived with and our e-mails dwindled. No regrets whatsoever.

I follow him on his MySpace page, yet haven’t actually added him to My Friends (so don’t go to my page looking for him, you won’t find him there). Vargas Girl spent a weekend partying with he and a few others from high school in a mini-reunion of sorts and I relished in seeing the pictures of them all. Chip looked older, tired and like he has dabbled a little much with drugs over the last 20 years. Still I wasn’t overly surprised to hear from Vargas Girl that he has the same affect on people. Young girls look up to him and swoon over him and I am sure he treats them like little princesses, for a few months at least. I loved what she said to me about that though, “we’ve been there, done that, 20 years ago”. It makes me smile to think about us all as kids. But what I really hope is that he has continued his knack at making women feel their worth, without breaking their hearts in the process.

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