I plug my headphones in and press function play on my Toshiba laptop.
My Immortal’s moody piano greets me and Amy Lee start’s moaning in my ear again.
She hasn’t done it in quite some time.
Frankly, I was worried she’d forgotten how.
God, the memories.
They spiral ethereally out of the vibrating, paper cone and tumble through the meshed metal, finally flowing down my ear canal and into my eardrum. The tiny hair follicles hum and send electrochemical impulses to my brain that make me think back to high school, to hot muggy afternoons laying in the grass, swatting bugs and trying not to fart as my partner helped stretch my hamstring.
Brandon never had that problem. He would fart and laugh about it, a chirping melody that was so infections even the girls would crack a smile.
The strange thing is that I don’t even remember what we did at track practice. I guess we ran. I remember what I did before. Blake and I would always go get ranch snack wraps from McDonalds. We’d consume them like they’d disappear in three minutes if they weren’t already inside our mouths.
I didn’t get heartburn back then because I was sixteen and bodies work better when they’ve only been around for sixteen years.
Well, except for the pores on your face. Those get clogged with oil and then you don’t want to go to school because god forbid somebody sees you suffering through the exact same thing they suffer through every day, too.
Here comes the first bridge and that random cello.
Have you ever wondered how many people you’ve met? I don’t mean seen, I mean met, greeted, spoken with, maybe even touched. A safe estimate is that if you live 78.5 years you meet around 80,000 people. A third of that is roughly 26,000 people.
So I’ve probably met around 26,000.
The first chorus.
I’ve never wondered if other people think about me. I suppose they do. Maybe they see something that reminds them of something stupid I did. Maybe they see a face book post of mine, or I text them, or they text me, or they get an email.
Maybe there’s a song.
Maybe it’s My Immortal by Evanescence.
My Immortal makes me think of a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.
She had a room painted black to match her black nail polish that I’m not even sure she ever even wore it just seems like a nice thing, a what do you call it, well, you get the idea. I’m imagining black eyeliner, too, but I doubt she ever wore that. We’d go over to her house and watch horror movies or shoot of fireworks. I only went over every now and then. I realize now I was mostly reclusive, preferring hanging out with just one person rather than being in a group. Groups are confusing. Singular people seem easier.
He had a house right next to mine and we would make movies and then make other people watch them. He had a dog that died. I remember coming over and asking where Josh went. “He died,” he said. Josh was always wandering off, touring the neighborhood and having sex with all the lady dogs in the area. He was very popular. My family’s dogs were always neutered, and I remember this strange sort of magic I encountered when josh walked up with two other dogs that were, evidently, his children.
She lived behind the Checkers on a road whose name I can’t remember. I recall being somewhat frightened of her mom’s husband because she always called him “my mom’s husband,” which made him seem like some sort of thing masquerading as a father, something with claws and maybe a fang or two.
We’re blowing through the second chorus now, and Amy’s moans have turned into wails.
She lived in a gated community that seemed to me to be populated by rich people. The houses were modest, but her dad was some sort of doctor so I assumed they were loaded. The last time I met her we had gotten sushi. Our appetizer was stilted, awkward conversation. Later, as I drove her home in my mom’s car she asked me to buy her some cigarettes and I remember wondering if this whole thing hadn’t just been a ploy to get cigarettes. Strangely, I can’t remember if I ever bought them or not.
And here comes the band and the guitar, because the band version is the only version worth listening to.
Fast forward to a summer where a group of Canadians and I became fast friends. We’d go out into the tick infested woods of East Hampton and drink Caribou Lou, which is a beverage purportedly invented by the rapper Tech Nine. It’s basically pineapple juice and 151 rum.
We ruled the town, and the beaches, and the waves, and the fields, and the woods. The nights lasted forever, and the days were just breaks in between. We’d flirt with the lifeguards. Kids probably drowned as I chatted that one girl up.
We would tear apart the fences along the beach and use the wood to make bonfires. Signs said it was illegal but no one ever stopped us.
Spencer got his Mom’s land rover buried in the sand and we had get these scary rednecks in giant pickup trucks to push him out. The redneck with the biggest truck was somebody’s boyfriend. We had agreed to pay them fifty, but we ended up paying a hundred dollars because we didn’t want our faces rearranged.
We dumped trash in some businesses dumpster because we didn’t know it was illegal. I freaked out but the Canadians played it cool and we got out of there before the cops showed up.
And the music dies back down and I’m left with memories swirling down the drain of my consciousness.
That’s all we have in the end.
That’s all we really make.
So I scoop some of them up. They trickle through my fingers as I carry them over to my novelty Game of Thrones chalice my friend’s Mom gave me as a graduation gift. I drop them in and let them splash around.
I watch the pictures and the images.
That old, beat up Mercedes with the nice leather seats.
My pair of fake Oakley sunglasses that coach stepped on.
Me and Meyers at cross country camp playing dumb games on our Play Station Portables.
There all there.
They swirl around.
So I dump them out
It stains the carpet seashell pink.
The color of history.
The shade of the past.