Scroll to the bottom to play the song that this piece concerns.
It was summertime and I was riding the bus to Santa Ana. I was dressed in denim from head to toe, despite the fact that there were ninety degrees of dry heat outside and probably at least a dozen more inside of that bus. I was sweating straight through my denim, but it wasn’t the heat—I was fiending.
Riding the bus to go pick up is a hellish endeavor no matter what the weather: four hours of slow window-gazing, plus a couple of transfers and however long the runner makes you wait when you finally get there. Sing those shaky, sweaty, sickly summertime blues, kid—ain’t no cure but the cause, dig?
Yeah, I dig: unemployable, clothed in rags, carless, and reduced to hunting down highs on a glorified Greyhound bus.
Go to end of entry for soundtrack selection to be played whilst reading.
I recently went through all my old records and zines and show flyers and posters. It brought back a lot of memories for me, some cherished and others rather painful.
Before I met you, my main hobby/vice was collecting records and punk paraphernalia. I was obsessed. I would spend every dime I made at my job on records. I’d scour eBay for hours looking for the ones I wanted, in addition to at least weekly visits to the local records stores.* I was a teenager: I didn’t have any bills or alimony or child support and I hadn’t yet met you, so I had a lot of disposable income. And how I disposed of it, Dionysus.
I had what I like to believe was the most impressive punk rock vinyl library any teenager ever amassed. If I liked a band, I would seek out every last seven inch they ever did, in addition to any compilations they appeared on. One of my favorite compilations was a late 80s ten inch called “Make The Collector Nerd Sweat,”** which had a caricaturist drawing of the proverbial audiophile on the front sweating profusely as he scoured through scores of records.