I'm terrible at remembering what year something happened. For every year after the time where a grade and teacher could be attached, I basically have to count backwards while flipping through a mental zoetrope of haircuts and boyfriends. I had short bleached blonde hair I cut myself in the bathroom of the North Philly motorcycle garage where I lived with a guy named Ross --so 2003?--when I visited to the Rock and Roll Museum in Cleveland on a road trip.
Our actual destination was the suburbs of Chicago to visit my friend Pete's mom, a gorgeous woman who looks like Debbie Harry and has many stories from working as a nurse in high-security prisons. We spent a night in Chicago of course, and met up with my old friend Dennis at a dive bar that is not a strip club called Deliliah's. After many shots of whiskey, we wound up spending half the night looking for Ross who had wandered off after crossing the rubicon into the glassy-eyed world of Rusty, his drunk alter ego. Ross would hang out with you until sunrise and make you laugh and then get sentimental. Rusty would get pissed, yell and storm off.
After he left, we looked for him for a couple of hours, then started to doze off on a park bench near where we last saw him. Eventually we had to head back to Pete's mom's house. We supposed that we lost Ross forever. Maybe it was inevitable. Some people seem always on the cusp of slipping away, and sometimes I am feel like one of them too. We got back to the house, slept and had some breakfast. Next thing, Ross waltzed in through the front door whistling like nothing happened, and announced he was gonna grab a hot shower. Later, he gave us cassettes the new friends he made under a bridge somewhere gave him. That is not a metaphor. They were country tapes, the kind you still find new in truck stops.
We had to get home to Philadelphia in a hurry because I was throwing Ross and Amy a dual birthday party at the local Ukranian afterhours club we frequented at the time. Eun was making the cupcakes, and Guy was going to DJ. They were virgos. We were all a little in love with each other, I think. The party started at 8pm.
Still, we figured we had to stop at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and when we got there we found ourselves staring at Britney Spears' teeny-tiny shorts and jacket on a mannequin. I skipped hunting down anything to do with d.a. levy for this? So I did. We piled back in the car and peeled out. I had learned to drive stick in a Cracker Barrel parking lot on the way to Chicago and almost killed us all, so I was in the co-pilot seat. Amy was probably driving. We put Jerry Reed on the radio. It might have been one of the tapes. We all sang about having a long way to go and a short time to get there.
We arrived our own party around midnight.
My little book was catalogued in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum this week alongside biographies of Jeff Beck, Lady Gaga and the Beastie Boys, as well as my 33 1/3 twinsie book, Live Through This. Pretty cool.