With one hand raised innocently in the air, approaching security slowly as if waving a white flag of innocence, I pointed to the EKG monitor attached at my hip and held my scarf to the side to awkwardly display the one, exposed electrode poking out form the corner of my V neck shirt. I had flown like this every weekend since the beginning of October when I moved to Texas and insisted with Sony that I would keep my position as the Utah regional marketing rep by flying on my own dime each week to get the job done. Every week M– drove me to the airport or sent a driver to fetch me in one of their town cars or short limousines. For that, I was grateful in a time where I had little to appreciate.
I approached security each week in the same way – one hand in the air and the other exposing the upper corner of my chest just long enough for everyone around me to get over the panic that I was a human bomb and realize, instead that I was just a shell of a human being trying to get by one sky mile at a time.
By now it was as if they all knew me or perhaps they too no longer cared. The airport security guard waived me around as he yelled for a female pat down. I stood in the proposed and practiced position as the woman gingerly began to maneuver around my body.
“Girrrrl! Am I hurting you? You can tell me if that hurts.”
It was the turn of the century – Y2K and all that jazz. Kendall threw a “Pop Party.” This so-called pop party had only one price for admission – bring pop-something. Popcorn. Popsicles. Pop Rocks. You name it.
We quite literally partied like it was 1999 – for only a few more, short minutes. Everybody who is anybody was going to be there and my best friend had explained to me this kissing tradition I had never heard of before.
I was about to turn 16 years old, which meant by law (almost literally around here) I was going to be allowed to date. The idea of finding that somebody I would spend the rest of my life with during a New Year’s kiss? Best. Idea. Ever. #SoSixteen
🎵 I’m singing too high tonight, I’m gonna lose my voice / I heard her on the radio, don’t want to sing along, but I’ve got no choice! 🎵
At first I was annoyed, “Mom!” I groaned. “Stooooop!” Typical teenager.
Her entire face lit up when she laughed, turning from pink to red with a glow that seemed to prove she was somehow magical – like Mrs. Santa Claus – unable to hide the twinkle in her eye when she was truly happy. She was just a bit mad herself, so it was impossible to stay mad at her as she started to swerve the car back and forth to the beat.
We were listening to a mixtape made by I don’t know who. The creator doesn’t matter as much as this single moment held in time.
My memory is a blur of one concert after another. Were you ever really there?
Over the course of two years I must’ve interviewed Chiodos over half a dozen times. Definitely over half a dozen times. They seemed to be the never-ending assignment and always about you.
Were you there with me that time?
I can’t remember if you were ever there and yet I know you would have had to have been. You would have had to be there in the beginning, at least. You were the reason I was obsessed; the reason why every one of their songs reminded me a time I was dying to get back to.
♫Don’t let this die, we may never fall in love again It’s hard but worth the wait when it’s over… ♫
♫Shredded by state lines Press my face up against the glass With both eyelids shut and Baby, this won’t get any easier♫
I remember laughing out loud, worried that I was laughing incessantly – coming across like more of a flirt than someone who was just a little bit nervous as I fumbled around the microphone extension of my white, iPod Classic. “Test. Test.” I tapped the microphone as if it would give me any reassurance as to whether or not this thing was actually recording. “November 12, 2006…” They told me I’d be interviewing Craigery, and instead, sent me what most music journalists would consider two nobody’s.
Matt and Brad leaned against the back wall of Salt Lake’s Great SaltAir music venue, giving me a cold shoulder and avoiding eye contact as if to say I was just another fan with a press pass. But, I wasn’t and I was determined to let them know that between the fierce echo of another hardcore band warming up on the far away stage of this twice burned down venue.
“Is it true you wrote No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room about a party on Locust Avenue in Provo, Utah?”