Monday, January 29, 2007

We Can Get Together

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I forgot to tell you a story. In the summer of '86 I went to Little Rock with Jody to visit my family. I hadn't officially 'come out' to my parents, but I never hid anything from them, either. I wanted Jody to be with me on that trip, and she said she would be glad to go. I told my parents I was bringing a dear friend with me, who I happened to live with, and left it at that. They instantly hit it off. I'm sure they read more into that statement, for my year-long relationship with my high school girl friend, Amy, was only a two year old memory.
We dragged my parents all over town, forcing them to listen to our Cramps and Bauhaus tapes, looking for good thrift stores, and to my favorite 'punk store', Armadillo's Hand. There Jody found an amazing black pencil skirt, marblized with pink. It looked great with her combat boots.
During that trip, I was in an all black wearing, dyed-black hair and whitened skin and black eyeliner phase, but they took my extreme look in stride. Try as I might, I could never shock my parents. When I first got into the 'alternative' look, in 1980, there were a few rumblings, but not many. I guess they still saw the golden-tanned, brown feathered-hair boy I was in the 70's. And I think that they thought I took wearing a dozen rosaries a little more seriously than I had actually meant, and were happy to see me embracing 'religion'.
My mom told me Amy heard I was coming to town, and wanted to see me. She and I dated my senior year; she a few years younger than me. Back then, we talked everyday on the phone, and spent every weekend together at her house, eating Ro-tel and drinking Sprite and me smoking a million ciggs, renting movies and watching MTV.
"I've never seen two people drink so much soda in my life! And light a candle! It smells like a dive bar in here!" Her mother would chide us.
Amy's and my relationship never really got past the make-out phase, but I loved every moment I spent with her. My sophomore and junior years at school in Wisconsin were very rough, and I grew up really fast during those summers in between. My last year of high school in Arkansas was so wonderful, it was as if those two years had never happened, and Amy was a big part of that.
Walking back into Amy's home with Jody was bizarre. She had a boyfriend, and gave me We have SEX! looks whenever she sat near him, and the look on his face, the whole night, was What a fag!. I guessed he hadn't watched any MTV in a while. Needless to say, the night was very long and uncomfortable. But I was glad to see her happy, and with a guy who was obviously nuts about her. I can only imagine what was going through Jody's mind that night.

Early in 1987, I was spending the weekends with Erin. She had moved into Donny's apartment on Belle Plain and Broadway, with their friend Kelli down the hall. This was also my 'glamour pill' phase. They were just some speedy diet pills you could order from the back of trashy magazines. On the way to her place, I would stop by the liquor store by her house (it's still there) and buy some wine or beer, take some pills, and we would spend a couple hours in her room, getting ready for the night out, and laughing our asses off and blasting music. Usually Debbie Harry, (I requested Rush Rush or Feel the Spin so many times at Limelight, the DJ's would play Debbie whenever we walked onto the dance floor) or Duran Duran. I put her in wigs, did her make-up, and dressed her up in kooky out-fits.
"You're wearing it!"
"But I look like an idiot!"
"That's what's cool!"
After about an hour, the pills would kick in, and things got crazier.
"You're like a psycho girl at a slumber party." Erin said, as I put on a dress of hers and all her jewelry and rolled on the floor screaming like an extra from The Poseidon Adventure.
"What does that mean?" I asked, as I tried to pull her dresser on top of me.
"At slumber parties, when I was a kid, there was always a 'psycho girl' that would be bouncing off the walls, freaking everyone out, because she couldn't handle the freedom away from her parents for a night."
"Hey! I like that! Psycho Girl! That's the name of our band! I'll have t-shirts done up!"
Driving to Limelight or Berlin was always awful, because the speed would start to over-ride the alcohol, and I felt like I had just drank ten pots of coffee.
"Erin, I need a drink NOW! Drive faster!" I yelled as I rocked back and forth in my seat.
"God I hate those pills you take. STOP TAKING THEM!"
"No. They're fun. DRIVE FASTER!"
At Limelight, Tony knew my number, and usually had a Long Island waiting for me, and held it up when he saw me racing up to his bar.
Sunday mornings I would crawl over to her house again, and we'd order some food and draw all the curtains and watch movies. Usually old ones, like Pandora's Box, Mildred Pierce, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, or The Bad and the Beautiful. And sometimes new ones like Blue Velvet, Blood Simple, Crimes of Passion, or a John Hughes movie.

"So when are we gonna start this band?" She asked.
"I already did. I wrote two songs."

So the perfect theme song for this post was We Can Get Together, from Icehouse's eponymous titled 1980 release, but someone from youtube yanked it off, so I put Hey Little Girl in it's stead. I love that song, too, but I felt you should know my first choice. In reguard to that song referring directly to the girls I wrote about, or to myself as the 'girl', draw your own conclusions....

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