Matt’s amp is buzzing. To get any kind of volume out of it you have to turn up the Gain knob, which distorts the signal a little and leaves you with this constant amplifier hum. It feels expectant, as thought some rock band’s big sound is going to come crashing out of the amp any second in a tidal wash of big guitars and growling bass, but really it’s just me sitting on the floor trying desperately to read sheet music from the Bass Cleff of a Tori Amos book.
The apartment is otherwise empty. I did a lot of wash yesterday, so the bedroom looks somewhat organized. In here is another story … everything scattered – papers, cds, jackets, shoes. It’s really the fault of this weekend; i didn’t spend much quality time with the apartment this weekend. Saturday night Drexel had their homecoming dance and i have this single glowing picture of me with a tie tied around my head as though i was some kind of savage, sweating like a horse and smiling madly. I love to dance, that’s all there is to it.
It took me fifteen years to learn how to do the mashed potato correctly. I’m not sure that the learning curve is so steep … i think instead i had to spend time learning all sorts of other little rhythmic pieces of the puzzle before i could put it all together. A decade and a half is a long time to have spent doing anything. I’ve been in school for fifteen years now… i’ve been out of my first house for fifteen years… i’ve had my Thundercats for fifteen years. it’s funny, i only have a decade on my closest cousin and he won’t ever know the same things i knew as a child. Thundercats, GI Joes, Madonna, George Michael, Casey Kasem’s countdown, Johnny Carson, Ronald Regan, the Gulf War … all of those things are vivid emotional and psychological building blocks of my life.
I’m the only one of my cousins that will remember my Grandmother. My nine-year-old cousin Dale wouldn’t have any memories of her active and laughing since he was five or younger, and all of my other cousins are only four. I’m the youngest person in the family to know her; we spent hours sitting at her kitchen table playing solitaire, lying on her living room floor watching Golden Girls every week, eating Golden Grahams before i got picked up by my carpool on the way to middle school. Last night i was on the phone to my mother and she reminded me how long my father’s mother had been in a managed care facility … time had shrunk it down to only a year, but she was out of her own home months before we left my home of sixteen years in SouthWest Philly (which she owned).
That was almost three years ago. It’s been a long time since i’ve sat and played solitaire with her, but to me it doesn’t really seem so expansive. She’d always get up and dance when she won… singing “Let the Good Times Roll” and dancing around the kitchen. I eventually learned to jitterbug so i could join her, but by then it was too late.