a hatred of clubbing that transcends generations

[liberally adapted from reality]

The house was silent save for the flickering of some distant infomercial blasting through the two am airwaves: a direct transmission of nothingness from the autocorrected perfection of the studio right into Dad’s vacant, tired eyes.

He heard me stagger in, heels clicking away across the linoleum. Each clacking step came with the dissatisfied ache of dance floor blisters. Each clacking step betrayed my feigned innocence. Each clacking step cut through the “Three! Easy! Payments!”

“And if you buy now–!” CLACK.

“You’ll also receive–!” CLACK.

“The Blenderific–!” CLACK.

“Free. Of. Charge!” CLACK.

The clacking stopped as my heels hit the carpeted floor of the living room. Were I any other nineteen-year-old and were this perhaps any time other than 2003, I might fear a reprimand.

But no. Dad and I looked at each other, both internally equivocating who sat in the worse light: me, eyes smeared with make-up, hair stringy with sweat, blood thin with alcohol; or him, nearly fifty years old and watching an infomercial for a blender at two am on a Saturday night.

“So,” he finally spoke, “How was your night out?”

He asked honestly, as if the fluorescent glow convinced him he could not be one to judge.

“Oh,” I finally spoke, “I don’t know if this whole clubbing thing is for me.”

I answered honestly, as if suddenly remembering I had once been the only kid in my junior high to own a copy of Highway 61 Revisited.

“I just don’t think I like any of this music. I hate hip hop and dance, and whatever else it’s called. It’s just….”

The night came filtering back like a distant memory. Moments picked themselves out of the fog. But everyone else seemed to be having so much fun. The realization hit bitterly. Is something wrong with me, or were they all faking it too?

“It’s just… I had a crap time. God, I hated it. So full of fake people and fake smiles, fake… everything! Overpriced drinks, sweaty assholes!”

I peeled those horrid shoes from my feet and tossed them across the living room. For just a moment, the violence felt nice.

I ranted for a while, thinking of the dreaded club as a scene from a terrible movie: poorly lit with a horrible soundtrack.

“It was terrible, Dad. Just terrible.”

Dad’s eyes rolled back to the infomercial. I could hear the years of frustration bottled beneath the surface.

He pulled the remote from between the couch cushions as if it had been lost all night and only now he remembered where it was.

“Now you know what I went through with disco.”

With that, he changed the channel.

archie… out of context and into the fire

So, The Commune is full of Archie comics.

The explanation is thus:

When Dr. Roommate, Ex-Roommate, and myself all moved in together, Dr. Roommate found a couple of Archie comics in a box of random shit she had. Naturally, we indulged in some gleeful nostalgia and read them cover to cover.

One day my thirteen-year-old cousin mentioned that she had a bunch of Archie comics, as all thirteen-year-old girls seem to do. She said she could give me any of her “doubles.” (If you were once a thirteen-year-old girl you know what this means.)

Apparently, she had a LOT of doubles. We got a garbage bag full of Archie comics. We lined the walls of the bathroom with them like some strange cornball Americana wallpaper.

But one day, we found, discarded adrift in the middle of the living room floor, this single page:

Immediately, it was posted on our house bulletin board and became a conversation piece for the various dignitaries and ne’er-do-wells who came to visit.

The thing is, once you find one strange out-of-context panel in an Archie comic, you start seeing them everywhere:

After I brought home some Post-It flags, Dr. Roommate and I went to town. Our wall of Archie was marked by endless flags and dog-ears.

But we didn’t know what to do with them. I tried a WordPress blog, but somehow the format didn’t seem conducive to my inherent laziness. Having to program when to post things was a little too much work for one so lacklustre in technological capabilities as myself.

And then we discovered Tumblr. Oh Tumblr, you are the Twitter of blogging. So short and sweet. I love how you can get “Followers.” It makes me want to do a post commanding everyone to just trust me and drink the Kool-Aid.

Anyway, something weird has happened in the last twenty-four hours. Somehow people have discovered Archie Out of Context and my number of followers has gone from a hundred (which it just slowly pushed up to over three months) to nearly six hundred in a matter of hours. Wow.

That’s it, people!

Send me your cheques now and you too will be saved!

UPDATE (Sept 18):

Okay, so apparently it’s been posted in a lot of places. Nice. I am eternally grateful. 🙂

why I don’t answer my phone in the morning

I got to work this morning with two missed calls from Mum.

Two.

Two missed calls within half an hour of each other. Surely, some strange contrivances of fate are afoot which have rendered her helpless and lame and in desperate need of my assistance.

I called her back right away even as the clock ticked over and co-workers were chirping happily around me: “Mum? Mum, what’s happened? What’s up?!”

“Oh!” she trills brightly as though she completely missed the shellack of concern in my tone, “Hey, honey!”

“You called? Twice.”

“Oh, yes. I was just wondering if you have heard that Star Wars is coming out on Blu-ray.”

Oh Jesus.

“Yes, I’ve heard.”

“Oh,” she takes on that not-so-subtle glint of secrecy, “Well, your birthday is coming up.”

“I don’t have a Blu-ray player.”

“But we do.”

“And…?”

“You could watch it over here. That’s all I’m saying.”

My coffee has not even kicked in yet. I rub my temples. My desk seems to collapse in around me. Co-workers are still chirping in the background.

“Mum. Did you call me twice this morning just to say that you and Dad want to buy yourselves Star Wars on my birthday?”

“Well, when you put it like that…”

And that’s why I usually ignore all callls before noon.

re:moved

I’ve recently had the chance to join an interesting project by Allison Lasorda.

The Re:moved Project is “an interactive visual narrative project that features individuals’ experiences with home. by examining unique perspectives on homes that have been “lost” (whether through relocation, demolition, or (re)construction) this project aims to remove the stigma associated with nostalgia and, possibly, to provide comfort by allowing constructive participation in it.”

It’s something I’ve found myself relating quite well to. Re:moved is publishing The Duende’s in the Details as well as “Ashleigh’s Story,” a brief chronicle of my experience of home… and whatever meaning we’ve attached to that word.