it was years and years ago, before i moved out of my hometown.
it was at a show at one of the dirty shithole house venues hometowns always have.
it was centered on a band, as most random encounters at shithole venues are.
for a long time we talked about the band, it probably amounted to about 20 minutes in real time, but in the meantime a hundred thousand things happened, a PA failed and a band launched into their first song prematurely and without amplification (i've never done anything with rock and roll, if it's as closely intertwined with sex there have to be hundreds of false starts). the whole time, she sat on the washer in the room in the back and i think i was convinced to show interest when she disrupted me, lurking about the fridge, waiting for a handout, by commenting on my shirt. it is my absolute favorite shirt, and i know having announced that aloud, it will burn tomorrow. anyways, it's a replacements shirt with the cover for the "let it be" album on the front. the band looks like most of my friends with their bullshit meaningless in-jokes and propensity for alcoholism and she told me a long adorable story about having been into the replacements when she was 13 and having been dragged to vegas by her folks and quasi-stalking a guy who looked exactly like paul westerberg as he wandered in and out of arcades, most likely as bored as she was. i had no story to compare, i only fed her interest and desire with nods and short spoken assents. i was sure we'd make out fairly soon and continued on my quest for beers to stuff my pockets with. i don't remember why i left or whom i was supposed to meet, most likely it was a good friend made better through drunken cameraderie, but i remember her asking me if i wanted to go for a walk, and me saying i had to take off.
now, i feel like i might be one to overburden certain moments with a meaning they may not have ever been meant to convey but it's not too often that someone decides to commiserate with me when it comes to the replacements. one ex girlfriend, a longtime regret, had a soft spot for them, especially the "tim" album. the only other true conversation struck over the band itself was one that i had with a woman who came into the bookshop that i used to work at in palo alto. it was in the stanford mall next to a linen store that sold thousand dollar sheets and i felt as out of place as a 24 year old can. she had the look of a woman who, to her great relief, had bagged a rich one. somewhat beat up as she neared the good side of her 30's , but still in expensive enough clothes to give one pause. after i had rang her up and she gave a glance at my shirt she looked me square in the eyes, as an equal (age-wise) in her eyes, it was worthwhile to get a sound opinion from me.
"you like the replacements"
"yeah, yeah i do"
(here is where i figured out that she had a good 6-8 years on me)
"do you ever still listen to them?"
i didn't know what to say, truly. it was a ridiculous question from my standpoint, i had only just heard half of their songs, of course i still...
but what would it have been like to have been a fan in the 80's, when they were still around? this is a band that made it huge, despite their best attempts to remain otherwise, their saturday night live appearance is still talked about for their absolute shit-facedneess. now that is something to be proud of, if snl thinks you are too fucked up to go on, that's a new level.
but back to the girl i never made out with. or not. i spend too much time thinking about when the next time someone will recognize my favorite shirt in the world, and not enough thinking about what i'm going to do in the next six months. fuck.