I miss those torn up, worn out ‘90s jeans and black leather pants she used to wear. I miss those old fashioned dresses that she found at thrift shops and wore with round-toed grungy lace-up boots and purple lipstick. I even miss that on-the-verge-of-gothic choker necklace she’d wear almost too tight.
She didn’t know where she was going with her life and she didn’t care. She reasoned that if it made her happy, she’d be fine. She was so free in that way.
She used to hitchhike. She never brushed her hair. She used to steal bikes and ride from town to town with a guitar strapped to her back. She used to take risks. She’d rant nonstop about politics that I didn’t understand at the time and then she wrote upbeat alternative rock ‘n’ roll songs about just that. She’d write songs on long drives, above the coffee shop she once lived in, on the side of the road, anywhere. She played them at coffee shops without pay. She played them at bars, even when she was underage.
I hated her when she stopped writing those songs, and I hated her even more when she stopped singing them.
In short, her life got turned upside down and so she stopped all of that. No one said it would be easy, but she thought a change would do her good. Now she believes she’s right-side-up and headed in a more “positive” direction. She rides in nothing but limousines. She’s an organic herbivore but she doesn’t do her own shopping. She pulled out her mother’s old gospel records and started writing lullabies in that style. She left Las Vegas and bought back her secluded country mansion and started riding horses again. She goes to church every Sunday, and other days too, in disguise. She adopted two children just so she would never be able to go back to that wild and free lifestyle. She sold all of her old albums—the ones she spent twenty-five years of her life writing– to the worst pawnshop in a rural town close to her new home, all of which the owners gladly accepted.
I hate her for that.
I continue to replay those albums plastered with her melancholy expressions on each cover. I play them with my car windows rolled down, letting that grungy sound seep out into the otherwise peaceful nights. I drive, singing those songs about politics that I still don’t understand, wearing old- fashioned dresses from thrift stores and round-toed, lace-up boots. I write songs and sing them in coffee shops and bars that I’m not old enough to be in. I have a Tuesday Night Music Club of my own now. I’m so free in this way. Maybe that’s something.
But she hates me for it.