Wednesday, August 05, 2009

the 80s: rellik

The summer after my freshman year wasn't the best of my life. I spent it in Elkhart, Indiana, living mostly with my grandparents on my dad's side of the family. I guess I hadn't yet fully accepted Denver as my new home, and I wanted to take one last run at being a big fish in the little Indiana pond.

That's the only time in my life that I've been in a band. And we were only a real, full band for one night.

Andy was the guitarist and I was the singer, or yeller, or whatever. And it took most of the summer to find a decent drummer and bass player.

We finally found them a little after the Fourth of July, and Andy's parents were out, so we had the place to ourselves, so we celebrated and jammed all night.

Well, they did anyway. I got distracted by my reflection in a sliding glass door.

Not being a mirror, the image wasn't precise, so my imagination painted details into it. I watched my face shift across the years, appearing at one moment to be five or six years old and the next wrinkly and old, as if I were eighty. In rapid succession I turned 25, 12, 56 and back to 16, my actual age at the time. And at each stage I saw myself to be a pathetic fool.

I went upstairs to the room where the band was practicing and sat down on the floor with my back against a wall, lowering my head between my knees, with my eyes closed, and I started spinning, head over foot, through deep, black space, at a horrifying velocity.

I'm pretty sure that was my last day with the band. I don't recall ever picking up the mic.

For the next several days I slept nearly around the clock. Then one day I got up and went for a run, not sure how far I'd go. Before I knew it, I was sprinting all out. I kept sprinting until I collapsed and I laid there in the grass, feeling my heart pump blood through my body as quickly as it could. The sky above me was brilliant blue. I felt so alive.

From there, I embarked on one of the most interesting and creative periods in my life -- back in Colorado, where a new school year awaited, and I was eager to start over again.


Col. Hector Bravado - Denver Six Shooter said...

Fantastic post. I remember you talking about Rellik, but I never got more of the story until now.

Chuck said...

I remember this story. Rellik is actually a great name for a band.

You did rock the mic one other time, Joe. At that Ill Repute show you brought down the house.