Across The Universe in Converse

Unless you’ve taken the time to get to know me, you probably don’t know about my deep rooted love for The Beatles. I have a strong appreciation for music. Naturally, I enjoy old music just as much as the current, if not more.

It started in 7th grade. Middle school was a weird time for me. Growing up in general was a weird time for me. I mean hey things still get pretty weird. In the first week of 7th grade, I was clinging to the wall of my friend’s locker during passing period. What, I was just gonna stand by my locker…by my locker mates? Or… or walk in the halls by myself? What if- Oh God what if I was the first one in my classroom?! No. No, no, no. No. Clingy me it was.

There was something different about this situation. I wasn’t the only leech. There was another. She had short hair, dark. But not as dark as her makeup. It’s typical for middle school girls to wear heavy eyeliner because they’re children trying to be adults but without the knowledge as of how to actually achieve that look. This was the most extreme case my young, timid self had ever stumbled upon. Her clothes were just as weird. She wore all these chains and studs and wait- safety pins? Ok, this girl is wearing safety pins. Her jeans were covered in ink. I don’t mean there was some sort of spontaneous pen explosion, it was most certainly intentional.

The first thing I noticed were the words. Were they song lyrics? Or maybe, poems? All upside down. She had written them while she was wearing the jeans. Then there were the drawings. Weird, deranged, and demented sketches of seemingly atheist humans and dying animals. She wore shiny, black combat boots. Now I realize combat boots are crazy hot in today’s fashion world. I have two pairs sitting on my floor as I write this. But this was 2008. As in, long before the craze. I thought for sure, if this girl kicked me, I’d have some broken bones.

Perhaps the most noticeable thing about this girl was her stature. She was very frail, under her layers of clothes you could still tell that this girl was extremely skinny. She stood with her feet together, and both hands drawn up to her neck. She constantly flipped her hair out of her eyes and tugged at her shirt and sleeves, making sure they were always pulled down enough. I had never met anyone so pale.

In case you can’t place yourself into the developing mind of a 12-year-old, this girl was weird. W-E-I-R-D, weird. “Emoooooo” I thought in my head. She scared me.

My fear of this girl faded quickly, well, it just lessened. I was always slightly afraid of her, but I accepted her existence. She soon became apart of the group. Walking with us in the halls, whispering to us during class, sitting with us at lunch. One thing I noticed about her, was that she listened to old music. This was something I could appreciate. She wore a bag with the With The Beatles album cover on it. Once in the science hall I asked her, “What are their names again?” She looked down and pointed to each one, “John, Paul, George, and Ringo.” Then she tugged her sleeve and flipped her hair.

One day when I came home from school, I set down my bag and went straight to the basement. I knew I had seen some Beatles CD in my house before. Rifling though my parent’s enormity of an album collection, I found what I was searching for. 1.

The rest is really history. I listened to The Beatles’ #1 hits, loved it, needed more, got every album, loved them all, and listened to them religiously. Some call it strange for a person born in the mid 90’s to want to listen to a band that began at the start of their parents’s existence, but I don’t see how anyone who truly loves music could ever dislike these four men who grew up in Liverpool.

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