Posted 20 April 2009 - 07:50 PM
When I was young -- middle school aged I'd guess it started, but I remember owning Ten in 4th grade -- I was a big Pearl Jam fan. I'm 25 now, so I guess everyone my age liked Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc. back then. In 7th grade I fell in love with a girl named Sarah, and I made her listen to Pearl Jam a lot. We had a handful of favorite songs, and the night before I moved back to Michigan after my freshman year of highschool, we lost our virginity while listening to a collection of Pearl Jam songs. After, when "Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town" started playing, I told her that I loved her, and that I couldn't wait until the lyrics were about us. "But won't that mean we forgot each other?" Yup. Life lasts a long time, and we're young, but one day we'll be old, and maybe we'll remember each other. I listened to a lot of Pearl Jam after I moved away. When Yield came out the next year, I bought a copy and mailed it to her with the note: "**** it. We'll disappear." Later that year, when they released Live on Two Legs, I heard the untitled track, and immediately called her and made her listen to it. I told her I had decided it was going to be our song, even though she had a boyfriend and I thought I might kinda have a girlfriend. For years, I identified that band so completely with this girl. When we inevitably lost contact my sophomore year of college (after a few secret trips to meet in Indiana or Chicago, hundreds of hours on the telephone when we thought nobody was listening, and thousands of hours talking on instant messenger) when I decided I couldn't deal with it anymore, I also lost Pearl Jam. It was my decision to stop talking to Sarah, but it was still kinda painful, and -- even after months and months -- Pearl Jam made me feel heavy and anxious. I downloaded their entire discography today, and am going through it song-by-song. It's interesting. I am back in my youth. It is 7th grade and I can see the house across the street. I am in 10th grade, awkward and silent and clueless. I am 18, in my dorm room, rocking with Tommy, listening to the bootlegs. I am a sophomore in college, drunk, alone in my living room after my housemates have gone to bed at 2AM on a Thursday night, listening to a voicemail from a girl who says she still loves me. I am on my couch, 2 weeks later, trying to figure out how I could have finished the whole bottle, and wondering if I have the courage to say what I want to say, and whether I want her to answer or for it to go straight to voicemail, because: my voice won't crack if I'm leaving a message. I'm 22, telling my friend to change the fucking station right fucking now, because I fucking said so.I'm 25, in my bedroom, halfway through an email I'm never going to send, to an email address that probably doesn't get used anymore, wondering: "If she invited me to her wedding this summer, would I go" and: "I wonder if she knows I've kept tabs on her for the last 6 years" and: "I wonder if she would recognize my face."I love music. It ties me to to people and places. It's like an external harddrive for memories.
I mean, RAAAAAAWWWR!