Wednesday, June 15, 2005

More like hanging around.

Lately I've been compulsively listening to Aimee Mann's song "Ghost World." Part of the reason: it's a reliably hook-driven Mann composition filled with an instantly hummable melody. Most of the reason: I respond to it because of my pathetic inability to adjust to not having a summer "break" anymore. I miss being an introverted teenage nerd doing little to nothing in suburbia. (As opposed to being an introverted twentysomething nerd, doing little to nothing, but working a 9 to 5 7 in Los Angeles.)
Mann (via Daniel Clowes' graphic novel of the same name*) captures post-High School wasted-summers with typical wit and economy: "Everyone I know is acting weird / Or way too cool / they hang out by the pool / So I just read a lot and ride my bike / around the school."
The chorus is even better: "'Cause I'm bailing this town-- or / Tearing it down-- or / probably more like / hanging around, / hanging around." Ah yes, the age old "Fuck this small, stifling town, I'm leaving. Eh, on second thought, maybe we should go buy cigarettes and get coffee at IHOP and mope and talk about movies and the future (and try to ignore the creepy D&D kids in the corner)."
I can't believe that a song can make me nostalgic for that, but--what can I say?--it does.

* Yes, the same graphic novel that was turned into Terry Zwigoff's excellent film of the same name. But for the record, Ms. Mann's sonic adaptation predates the celluloid one.


At 3:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something about this song strikes a deep chord -- the desperation with a small 'd' -- small because it's not so bad, you can, as you say, always go to the IHOP and read books and... hang around.

That time after school ends, when there's a beginning to an end of the endless possible futures. This is the only time of your life when you have this much future potential, and yet it all feels so out of reach.

So for me the song's about reality starting to hit home... but still feeling somewhat insulated from what you know will come by the habit of living in that small town.

And it's still summer dammit... even if it's apparently past its mid-point. The 12th is not, of course, the shortest day. How clueless we are when we're young (feeling like this doesn't go completely away, but it can get better):

12th of June, a gibbous moon
was this the longest day?
I'll walk down to the bay
and jump off of the dock and watch
the summer waste away


At 3:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

> The 12th is not, of course, the shortest day.

...the longest day, haha... still clueless


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