The reason this post is coming to you so far after the last one is because I've been trying to absorb everything that's happened in the last 2 weeks. It's been pretty insane, I must say.
I told myself this year would be the best year ever. Everyone says that on New Year's, but I meant it, damnit! So far so good. It's been kind of a roller coaster though. Lots of improv, back into standup, writing, all that noise - those are ups. Kicked out of my apartment and moved back home with the parents - that's a low. Not having a job for almost a year - that's a low. This has been a pretty great year so far but things started getting awesome about 2 weeks ago.
As some of you may know, my favorite band of all time is R.E.M. (followed by the Monkees as a close second). I got really into them when I was about 13 mostly because my friend was like "ICK, R.E.M. sucks - they're so GAY!" We were 13, ok? And to be fair, Michael Stipe IS gay. Anyway, she hated them so I figured it sounded like something I better check out. Lo and behold, I fell in love with them. This was in the days of AOL Instant Messenger and chat rooms which is where I met my friend Taylor, a fellow 13 year old girl who loved R.E.M. just as much as (if not more than) me. Surprisingly, she turned out to actually be a 13 year old girl and not a 45 year old perv who preys on adolescents with a mature taste in music.
So 2 weeks ago, Taylor tells me that Peter Buck (the guitarist) was coming to the 400 Bar for a show. I says to her I says, "I can't! I'm poor!" and THEN she says to me, "Peter Buck bailed, it's actually Mike Mills! (the bassist)" So I says, "WHAT?! Alright, I'm coming." So I went to the 400 Bar and met Mike Mills of R.E.M.
I did everything I said I would never do when meeting someone I admire:
Mike: Hi, I'm Mike.
Carolyn: I know derpdaderp!
Mike: Uh huh... so do you like Skittles?
Carolyn: Do I like Skittles?! OF COURSE I LIKE SKITTLES!!! (I don't really like Skittles)
Mike: And how about the Monkees? Do you like the Monkees?
So we ate Skittles and talked about the Monkees. It was great.
So that was Awesome Thing #1.
Awesome Thing #2 was going to Lollapalooza to see Die Antwoord! I realized on that trip that I really hate crowds and young people. And being short. I hate being short. I tried to get up front for the concert but all I could see was this:
But nay, I did not fret. I knew I was seeing them AGAIN the next night at First Ave. As much as I felt like I was getting compressed to death, the show was awesome. I got a set list and I was covered in glitter and Ninja crowd surfed THREE TIMES and YoLandi flashed us and then Ninja mooned us! It was cool.
I was gearing up for more awesome times when I got the sad news that one of my former boyfriends had passed away. Not to harsh everyone's buzz or anything, but it happened and it deserves to be talked about. His name was Matt Nelson. He was my guitar teacher in high school (nothing happened then). A few years ago, I had a dream about him and I decided to call him up and see how he was doing. We talked for a long time and then he came out to one of my shows. After that, we hung out almost daily for about a year. He was older but it didn't really get in the way of anything. He was a wonderful man who treated me like a princess. He brought ice cream to my door! Can't beat that. He was an extraordinary musician who could replicate any song on the first or second listen. He had beautiful handwriting and great hair. He loved kung fu movies and muskie fishing. I loved him. I considered marrying him but I was only 22 and there was a lot I wanted to do before settling down. He was a country boy who hated the "shitty." He hated the Beach Boys, too. I never understood that one. He wore Chuck Taylors, blue jeans, a band t-shirt and a flannel just about every day. After we broke up, I heard he wrote a lot of songs about me. I'm supposed to get the CD at his service tomorrow. I'm not sure if I'll be able to listen to it. I hear he loved me more than I'll ever know and he was devastated when we broke up. I can't help but feel awful about that. I always loved him but I was too young and by the time I felt like I could be old enough we had both moved on. I will always remember the smell of his hair pommade and his love of history and science. And that Apocalypse Now was his favorite movie of all time. "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent and "Time Passages" by Al Stewart will remind me of him forever. I'll be eternally thankful to him for introducing me to the music of L.A. Guns, Megadeth, Pantera and so many other bands.
The odd thing is that I had another dream about him on Wednesday night. I woke up with these warm, fuzzy feelings and I half contemplated calling him but I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate. Then, I went on Facebook and saw that someone had posted a picture of him. I thought that was a coincidence since he was never on Facebook. Then I saw all of the R.I.P.s and "I'll miss you"s and it hit me. What a shitty way of finding out someone died. I guess it's kind of cool that it started with a dream and ended with a dream, too. It's weird how when someone dies, you realize how many things remind you of them. This is really hard for me even though we broke up a good three and a half years ago. Things are romanticized when someone dies, I know this, but I really did (and do) love him. Rest in peace, Matt.
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