I’m trying to remember those songs you liked so much. Songs we heard in that room crowded with girls wearing beaded sweaters and guys with shiny hair. Those songs you only played late at night. I’m trying to remember why you liked those songs so much.
I never learned the words.
I never knew how they started.
I never played them more than twice.
But, I’ll tell you what I do know about those songs. What I think about when I think about those songs:
The first guest at a birthday party, sitting in a dining room chair that wobbles if she shifts even slightly. She wears a red button-down with a heart print and a high collar. She doesn’t know anyone.
Another guest drinks bad champagne from a coffee mug.
Another guest asks if anyone has ever seen a pair of glow-in-the-dark-shoes.
Another guest explains a movie about summer on the Moon.
I smoke cigarettes on porches, and I smoke in front yards.
Whiskey tastes like salty gasoline.
Grape soda tastes like cough medicine.
When I drive home, I shoot straight down the highway for an hour. Once, I listened to black metal the whole way.
When I listen to black metal, I can’t think about anything else.
Did you like loud music in high school? Or did you like hushed songs that sound best when you’re curled up under the covers and hiding on a Sunday morning?
Do you still know how to play piano?
Can you still teach me how to play drums?
I bought a copy of Kill the Moonlight when I was 14 or 15, but I only ever listened to “The Way We Get By,” because I’d heard it on The O.C.
I never bought a copy of Apologies to the Queen Mary, and I only heard “Modern World” on a mix CD I received in high school and lost soon afterward.
I should have bought a copy of Apologies to the Queen Mary.
I don’t remember what it felt like to drive an hour down the highway to buy fireworks or what it felt like to swim in the middle of the night.
Did you say something?
Was I saying something?