This Blog Post Has a Soundtrack - where you got yourself

Kalamazoo now has traffic circles.
why does pain so familiar feel so good? 
I play the same song over & over
opening the same vein over & over
recounting the crossroads where
the path could have been different
mighta been
coulda been
shoulda been
woulda been never matters anyway

It's not regret I'm feeling, no
I'm playing Physical Graffiti to remember a particular permutation of me.

The me who helped break a puppy out of dog jail.
...the one who once took a bunch of the blinky traffic signs and put them in someone's yard like their front door was blocked off...
and then another day did the same thing but blocking off Douglas, one of the main streets in Kalamazoo.
THERE WASN'T ANYTHING ELSE TO DO.

We were kids who didn't want to go home.

I was "raised" by old hippies. I'd given up on traditional life entirely, skipped school, and went downtown to hang in basements on the North Side with musicians who had weed and philosophy. They talked to me like I was normal.

This is where I got my me, my belief in myself and trust that my intellect really wasn't just something that went around bothering busy people. I mean, it is, and I still do that, but the basement hippies let me be real.

I remember my first Rob:  in exchange for rent, he was renovating Charlie's house - Charlie who grew mushrooms in his kitchen and weed in his attic. Rob loved music sung in falsetto and was very influential on my young mind. He spoke frankly, and with love, answering any question I asked - even about gay sex. And three years later, when we reconnected, he didn't remember me. We became friends over again.

This music doesn't hold a live emotional connection for me any longer; also it holds no regret, not at all. But I remember. Rob, I still love and appreciate you, even if you don't know who I am. 

This is a lesson I revisit often - what's formative for you probably has a completely different perspective from the other side. You can't assume everyone at the party had the same experience. That doesn't invalidate what you took away from it, but there are things you didn't feel and those are real for someone else.

This blog post has a soundtrack: The soundtrack to this blog post

Unpopular Opinion: Kashmir is *not* the best Zep song. This is the song most played in my teenage bedroom: Deb's teenage angst

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