I read the crudely written title written on the disc: “And Thus I Was Confused.” Why the heck did I come up with such bizarre names for mixed CDs? I was such an odd high schooler. What had I been confused about when I made this? Was it confusion at all or did I just come up with weird titles? I couldn’t even recall what was on the CD. I never put track names on these things. Made it a kind of Russian roulette. I shrugged and loaded the CD into my car stereo system and quickly pushed through the mix to hear clips of each song. I sat for a moment after my first push through. Why was “Milkshake” on here? I didn’t recognize most of the songs outside of that one. PerhpS that was why I titled the CD what I did, because it would make my older self go WTF. That made sense. The kind of thing my high school self would totally do.
I removed the CD wondering if people in my building were looking outside their windows wondering why I hadn’t pulled out of the parking lot yet and why I was blasting “Milkshake” only moments before with heavy base. I turned my speakers down a bit and then after just a second of thinking, made the speakers almost inaudible, but for my own ears. I hated hearing other people blasting their country music and rap music as they entered and exited the parking lots. I figured someone probably would feel the same if I blasted some My Chemical Romance or Coheed and Cambria. I took out another CD out of my CD wallet, as I chuckled at a comment my friend had made last weekend as we drove to the art museum.
“How do you listen to music? I don’t see an AUX cord!”
“Um, the old fashioned way dude…CDs.
“Really? Shit girl.”
I unloaded “And Thus I was Confused” and found another titled “For Everything I’m Not” and dove into another listening adventure. Determined to listen to this one as I drove because I still had to get to my parents place and get laundry done. They were waiting for my visit. As the music began playing I threw my SUV into reverse and began the trek out to my childhood home.
As MCR began playing “I’m Not Okay” I felt my heart have emotional flashbacks to high school. As John Denver sang “You Fill Up My Senses” I recalled a boy I had a crush on in high school, who had been much older than me, but he showed interest and my sudden turn form interest to feeling unsure and jaded about him after seeing his collection of 40 shot guns….which I had figured was a bit excessive…and pretty typical of the kind of home schooling culture he had come from. A very different culture than what I had been through while home schooling. That whole summer was a combination of crazy weird and jaded. So many emotions about it. So many events I’m sure I wasn’t fully recalling right. So many misunderstandings. So much. That had been a beautiful and miserable year.
Not much has really changed since then. I still title playlists on my iTunes weird names. I still listen to CDs in my car. I still cry about weird things like dropping spoons on the floor while PMSing. I still eat animal crackers. I still find myself shopping at Hot Topic, though I find I like less and less stuff. I still go in there though just to reminisce about the days when Hot Topic wasn’t main stream. At least I don’t “file share” on Limewire anymore. Now I just pay exuberant amounts of money to make sure I don’t download a virus and have a plethora of music at my immediate use. Thanks Apple. You made me an ideal consumer in my college hipsterdom. Now I’m in too deep.
I’m still that jaded and confused girl in some cases. Still trying to figure it out. Trying to figure out how my parents can look like they have it all together. Trying to figure out how to stop having people treat me like a child because of how youthful my face looks. Trying to figure out how to do this whole adult thing. Navigate life. Some days I feel like I’m just trying to figure out how to human.