Music in the car is a big part of suburban life.
Fine Young Cannibals - “She Drives Me Crazy”
I am in my mother’s blue Astro van driving to Kelowna for a figure skating competition. It’s just her, and me, and the 8 AM fog crusted all around the windows. It’s weird to be in the van with just my mother. Usually the back two rows of seats of our family van are filled up with my brother and sisters, sometimes even my father, or our friends my mother volunteers to drive home from school. However, my mother and I get a lot of extra alone time together now that my competitive sport has taken me out of town for pageant-like competitions. It’s really cold, but my mother has the heat cranked up and we are listening to Fine Young Cannibals on the cassette player. My mom sings along to only the chorus and the first few lines of each verse. She never truly sings either, but instead she mouths the words and lets little whispers of her voice come out. I like this song. It’s catchy and when you are 12 years old, catchy is all you want in a song. My mother doesn’t take her eyes off the road, or talk to me that much, but we do not need to speak. She’s my mother. She stands by the rink when I skate. She makes my costumes. She helps me apply lipstick and blush before competitions. She tells me I’m too young to shave my legs. She helps me with my schoolwork. She drives me to and from skating practice without a complaint. She’s there for me. She knows everything about me. We’re almost friends in this moment, sitting in the van, humming to the catchy tune on the way to my competition. In a few years, I will turn into a teenager, keep secrets from her and create a gap between us like a moat. I will feel terrible about it later.
Necro - "Light My Fire"
The back of the truck stinks like stale cigarettes because my friends Sean and Phil have been smoking the entire two-hour drive to a small ski town. I’m crammed in the back of the truck in those makeshift, half-seats that force you sit sideways. Sean and Phil are teenage boys, so they are blasting some awful song by Necro. Totally sexist, misogynistic shit about Mariah Carey having a rotten pussy or whatever garbage it is. They listen to this because they think it’s cool, not because they actually like it. Who would actually like this? “Come on baby light my fire, suck my dick.” Necro is trying his best Jim Morrison impression but he is failing miserably by making it all about his penis. Plus, his voice sounds like a male Fran Drescher. Hardly badass in any way. I hate this fucking song more than anything. I start thinking about the double standard of oral sex. Why is there so much pressure for girls to give boys head but the thought of going down on a girl is never even discussed? It’s a sexual double standard but I don’t understand what a double standard is yet. No one has taught me. I also do not know that eventually this intense pressure and sexual double standard will fuck up so many women I know, and their relationship to giving head.
“Suck my dick!”
How many times have I heard some idiot yell that at a party, in the hallway at school, or on the street?
“Suck my dick!”
The thought of sucking a dick actually repulses me, mostly because all the dicks at my school are repulsive. High school dick. Disgusting.
Sean and Phil crank up the song and open the windows just enough to ash their cigarettes out of the crack. We are going snowboarding for the weekend. I wonder if I will be pressured to suck some dick. Even more so, I question how I will get out of it without being called a "freeze."
High on Fire - “Devilution”
I wake up around 1 PM next to my boyfriend, but we are not sleeping on our bed. We are both lying on our bedroom floor. This makes no sense, for a minute, until I remember that we had sex last night and had to pull our mattress off the bedframe and onto the hardwood. We live in a house with a few of his bandmates, and other friends. The house is very old and every time someone has sex the entire street hears it. We think we have triumphed the noise issue, but we’ve probably just brought ourselves closer to the ears of those kids hanging out in the living room.
After I figure out the mattress thing I remember that it’s my birthday. I’m 23 years old. My boyfriend promised he would take me to the beach. I just want to go for a swim. That’s all I really want. I try to wake him up, but doing drugs all night has made him angry and tired. I shake him again, trying to be sweet and wake him up. It’s hopeless.
When I go downstairs, the guitarist and lead singer of his band is hanging out. He lives in the house too. In fact, he’s kind of the king of the house. We argue a lot because he’s salty and old, and I’m salty and young, and we like to battle. We get high on drugs and he tells me that “Courtney killed Kurt” to get a rise out of me and we get in these really stupid battles. Our bickering is ridiculous. He makes me mad, but I have a soft spot for him (which is why I don’t hit him when he steals the remote control from me and changes the channel when I’m watching a program).
I tell him that my boyfriend won’t wake up and that he promised to take me to the beach. I pretend to act “whatever” about it.
He rolls his eyes and smiles, “Come on. I was thinking of going down there anyways. Let’s go.”
So, we get in the band van and he takes me to the beach. He’s not happy about it, but that just makes the gesture mean that much more.
Previously — Part Four