Flash Forward Flash Back

Sometimes, I hate my brain.

After a night on the town, a group of vague, shadowy composites of friends, cousins, and strangers were hanging out at my uncle's house. One particularly cute dark-haired girl kept glancing at me, that rare glance and small smile that makes me wonder if there's a connection. My ex-girlfriend often looked at me that same way. Somehow, I sensed that it was my house, that I had finally purchased it, yet as the hour grew late I withdrew. I don't remember walking out to my car, and it seemed as though I never moved while the scene receded.

When I got home, to my parents' home, I quickly checked the freezer to make sure the bottle of water I'd placed in there had not frozen. I walked out to my living room, which was missing one wall, on the other side of which was a beach and a marvelous sunset. I sat chatting with the girl from the party even as the sun went down and I heard my parents and my uncle arrive home. A glance at the clock on the wall revealed that it was a quarter to nine, and somehow I knew this was a Wednesday night, and Lost would soon be on. It was time for my guest to leave, so I could watch TV with my dad.

I went in to the kitchen and she was suddenly there, standing by the window gazing out into the empty driveway. A light snow was falling, orange in the glow of our outside light, and not yet sticking the ground. “Do you own a car?” I asked, an odd choice of words. “No,” she said, giving me the same demure smile as from the other house.

“Can I take you home?”

“Yes.” Again, I received the same smile. I knew I had an hour's drive ahead of me, though I had no idea who she was. I decided Locke could wait. I did own a VCR. “I'll be with you in a minute.”

I noticed the freezer door was open, a half empty water bottle on the floor before it. I closed the door and put the water in the refrigerator, and headed toward the bathroom where I...

...woke up in my room. I had fallen asleep watching a movie the night before. It was 7 AM. There had been no party, there was no girl, but I did need to use the bathroom. Sometimes, I hate my brain. Adding insult to injury, the first newspaper headline I saw was “Reality Bites”. It referred to a Mets loss but still, what were the odds?

Since I'm up, and haven't written anything for today yet, I might as well answer Janet's ‘80s inquiry. I thought it would be easy, but coming up with ten bands or artists from the 80s that I was actually listening to in the ‘80s is a challenge. Just as I caught bits of movies on television that all my friends saw in theaters, so too did I hear songs on the radio while they somehow bought records. I was in high school by the time I started buying cassettes, at a time when everyone else was buying CDs. Now that I buy CDs, most people download MP3s. I'm always one step behind, as my subconscious is well aware.

To reach ten, I may have to list groups that I discovered in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, along with those I was aware of in the ‘80s. The first song that comes to mind when I think of the 80s is the following:

I used to walk through the halls of my middle school singing Fight for your Right, proud that I'd memorized every word of the iconic Beastie Boys song. Sometimes my friends would dispute certain lyrics. After “...your mom threw away your best porno mag!”, I was certain someone shouts, “...or was it?” It's a good thing there was no internet back there to prove I didn't have a leg to stand on; the actual line is “Busted.”

That may not the video for You Give Love a Bad Name, but it is a fun treatment of the Bon Jovi hit. I was in a now nonexistent department store, TSS, shopping with my parents when I first heard the song. The part that won me over is when the guitars drop out and it's just a drum beat and vocals, right before everyone else comes back in. That may be one of the best sections of any rock song, ever. They were playing it in the gym the other day, and when that part came on, I cranked up the speed on the treadmill.

Remember when Michael Jackson was black and talented? Before plastic surgery, bleached skin, and accusations of child molestation, he was to rock what Michael Jordan was to basketball. Beat It is as good a choice as any from that era, one I liked marginally better than Thriller at the time. I still have a few paperback biographies I bought in 4th grade to impress the cute little blonde girl who introduced me to his music.

In an era when Michael Jackson was king, Madonna was definitely queen. Material Girl was the song everyone was into at the time, but I would say Like a Prayer is a much cooler song and less gay, with fewer pop chords and more epic resonances. Too bad the video is horrendously blasphemous. Yikes, I had forgotten about that.

I didn't buy any Guns N' Roses cassettes until I was in high school, at which point I bought all of their albums. But I definitely knew Paradise City and Welcome to the Jungle within the decade they were released.

These days, it's difficult to distinguish one Aerosmith song from another. I defy anyone to sing the chorus to Crazy and not slip into Cryin' or Amazing. It all became a blur of the same chords in the ‘90s. Prior to that, the group rocked, and their collaboration with Run D.M.C. on Walk This Way was so crazy amazing, it leaves me cryin’ and jaded to think about how formulaic they've become.
Fun fact: Josh Holloway(Sawyer) is the purse snatcher that gets chased down and kicked by Alicia “career peaked during Aerosmith videos” Silverstone.

I'm not sure if I got into Metallica before or after 1990, though I'm pretty sure their fifth album, 1991’s black self-titled Metallica, was my first. Since I loved it and everything that came before it, and was disappointed in subsequent albums, I'm going to cheat and include the epic One here.

Peter Cetera's Glory of Love was a huge geek fan favorite, thanks to its role in The Karate Kid Part II. Though that's among the still shocking list of movies I haven't seen yet, it got a lot of airplay, and was part of my subconscious soundtrack whenever I fantasized about impressing some girl and winning her affections by saving her through a heroic feat.

In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel was a song I'd heard on the radio before, but when, in the late ‘90s, my incredulous girlfriend learned I'd never seen Say Anything, we rented it and I learned the true power of the melody.

In the 80s Genesis, a band Peter Gabriel once fronted, was one of my favorites, ranking as high as Bon Jovi or The Beastie Boys. Phil Collins might be the tired and repetitive voice of Disney movies now, but back then there was a power and energy to songs like Invisible Touch and Land of Confusion that I really dug.

I thought of ten after all, with marginal cheating. I could take a nap and get back to my dream, but my brain doesn't work like the internet. Besides, the sun is shining, so I might visit the world outside my brain. I'll leave you all with this awesome cover of “Land of Confusion” by Disturbed:



Blogger Janet said...

A lot of the artists on your list would make my top ten movie songs of the eighties. See just how specific I can get?:)

Oh and speaking of specific, that is a fun fact about Sawyer. I had never heard that before, but I can still vaguely picture that guy in my mind. He hasn't changed much, huh?

10/15/2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Lyndon said...

Great list MCF, but for some reason the videos never loadeded up. Tried reloading the page, but nothing. Maybe YouTube is down, when I'm reading your post.

Oh and regarding your dream about the girl, maybe it's a vision for something that's yet to happen. Or at least a reminder to watch Heroes on Monday :-)

10/15/2006 7:41 PM  
Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

Don't you hate it when you discover that your own brain hates you?

10/15/2006 9:04 PM  

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