It's easy to forget, you know? To forget the life you lived, the lives you led, before all of...this (waves hands dramatically, for effect.)
You were once something before you were mother, wife, girlfriend, woman.
Once, you were a girl who thought The Red Hot Chili Peppers were THE sexiest rock n' roll.
Beebopping along corduroy corridors. All curly hair and thunderous Doc Marten three-hole-steel-toe shoes.
Much later in this story the leather wears through and you proudly wear that patch of steel on your toe like a badge of honor. Fuck. Yeah.
You were once a girl who memorized the soundtrack to, and most of the dialogue from The Commitments AND Singles almost simultaneously. They are interwoven in your head and sometimes overlapping.
You were subversive by singing NIN songs aloud on the bus. But, sneaking off to Brooklyn for your first tattoo was set to a Beastie Boys soundtrack because of course it was.
And you WAITED IN L.I.N.E to see bands. Good bands. Bands who played instruments and then sometimes wrecked those instruments. Or also maybe just were awesome and loud. And sometimes you weren't, maybe, too sure who they were. But they had that one really cool song and, well, everyone else was there. Plus, you know, in like a week that cute guy is totally going to mention he was here and it would be sew kewl if, you know, you could say you were here too. Also? These shirts are pretty dope. I think I'll hang on to this one for, like, fifteen years.
You remember every painstaking second of intense timing it took to create The Best Mix Tape Ever. Hours of cigarettes and package-store beer bought on the way home from another night of night shift. It must have taken two weeks to get it just right. Because, see, you have to be very precise in the songs you chose and when you chose to play them. Then you have to edit them together like stitching quilt squares, on that janky, old dual-cassette boom box you used in the living room. That was back in the day you didn't have a TV. Before it was cool not to have a TV. You made everyone listen to that damn thing, over and over again. It was The Best Mix Tape Ever, for sure.
Once you were a girl and you took walks, on purpose, in the rain. You ate pints of ice cream on the porch steps after prom. And you felt a million feet tall singing along in the living room's full length mirror. Rock on with your awkward white girl dance skills.
You were that girl and then that woman who loved a man, became a mom and found this box of cassette tapes in the closet.