Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Here Comes The 21st Century


When Scot moved out, in January of 1990 -no, wait, '91. He moved in 1991. I'm on a new year now. I told you all about my 1990: New York, London, gun shots, being slutty, etc. There are some stories I haven't told you about yet though: Rhineland, Mark, a good Ronnie story, the party I threw for Erin, or the night I almost died buying Boy George records. I'll tell you those sooner or later...
So in 1991, I needed to get a stereo, because Scot took it and his TV with him.
For me, music comes first, so Chris and I went a few months with out TV, til Kathy moved in, now that I think about it, and brought hers. I had somehow managed to trash the stereo system Jody bought for me in the mid-eighties. Too many nights coming home drunk and "accidentally" kicking it, I imagine. It was very compact, like an end table, and I kept it on the floor near the front door. I knew that was a mistake.
I wanted to be a modern, a hip and now, and to buy a CD player, but a whole new stereo system was more than I could manage at the time, so I settled on a CD boom box. I loved it. I had that thing for years.
Erin drove me out to the suburbs to buy it, because she said I could get a better price out there, so I bought it in Elmhurst. My first CD was a Boy George single for One on One, which sadly, I sold on Ebay a few years ago for movin' money. (And oh yea, I hope you like Boy George, because my story is going to get very Boy Georgie for a while, because of Renee.)
I hated to replace that player- all those memories and cool stickers, about to take up space in a landfill. (Where else are you going to put stickers?)
...All those nights coming home from work and turning it on, only to have it blast so loud I jumped out of my skin.
This is how loud Chris plays this thing when I'm not here? I'm surprised we haven't been kicked out of here yet. I thought to myself.
...All those hours spent with my boom box and Listen Without Prejudice, I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got, Kill Uncle, ABC's Up, You Can Dance, Anarchy in the UK, Louder Than Bombs, Def Dumb and Blonde, The White Room, but to name a few.
I bring this up now because I just got my replacement boom box in the mail, for the one I replaced my first one with. I guess a new one every ten years is pretty good. And my new one has an MP3 wire, along with the very necessary cassette and CD players, so I'm still a modern, even though I'm dragging a lot of the 20th century along with me. I happen to like the 20th century. My old one has this great sticker I bought at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin in the nineties, and I hate to part with it, so I will try to pry it off.
(I just saw this sticker story in NY Mag, and it got me on a kick. I lifted this one recently myself, because I passed it for months whenever I ran in the park, so I took it to put on my fridge to remind me to run. I call it A Viking Wants To Blow You.)

When Tony introduced me to Renee one night in Berlin in late 1990, we acted more like we were long lost friends than two who had just met. Almost like we picked up where we left off. We went to Berlin that year for Halloween, the bar, not the city, and she said she was coming in costume. I hadn't made plans to dress up, but when I saw her walk in the door, I wished I had. She drove for an hour from the 'burbs as Laura, the dead girl from Twin Peaks. Plastic wrap and all. Now here's a girl I can relate to! I thought to myself.
"I want to marry you!" I told her. "Right now! Let's drive to Vegas!"

The year before, Scot put a personal ad in the paper, to meet a guy. Back then, people mailed responses with pictures in care of the paper, and they then sent you a big envelope of replies, if you were lucky, a small one if you weren't. At first they had put his 'I'm a skater boy looking for love' in the boy meets girl section. Oops. The best reply, other than the one from the 'I'm a jeans and lace kinda gal', was from this cute Asian girl, Oyster. I begged him to respond to her, just as a friend, but he refused.
When the next batch of replies came, it took us hours to sift through them all. There were dozens. A letter at the bottom of the pile caught my attention most. It was short and to the point, and came with some great photo booth shots.
"Wow Scott, I want this guy!" I said
"You can have him. He's not really my type."
"Alright!" I said
I never did respond to him, for he sent the letter to Scot after all, and I forgot about this event until one night I was sitting in my boyfriend's kitchen, and a light went on.
I remembered back when Scot and I were looking at the letters and pictures from the men who wanted his company, and I saw a guy in a photo booth, I wanted him so much, I felt like I time traveled to the future for a second, just a second, to take a peek to see if I would ever have him, almost like I was cheating at the game of life, and turning to the back for the answers.
"It was you, wasn't it! Last year, did you respond to a Reader ad from a 'blonde skater boy', and send him a photo booth picture?" I asked Mark
"Umm, yes? How did you know!"
The night I met Mark at Berlin, in the winter of 1990, he was leaning against the wall, wearing a black motorcycle jacket with a Soviet t-shirt, tight blue jeans that accentuated his long legs, and his gorgeous ash brown hair tumbled down his forehead, obscuring one eye. He was so beautiful and perfect to me, and I was so afraid of him, so extremely terrified, that I ran right up to him and introduced myself, and not out the door. This is exactly how I initially felt about all the guys I cared about and loved, in my past. Sometimes, in spite of myself, I make the right move.


Debbie the Hobo

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