Before we begin, you should probably read this for some historical context, as it covers the span of time between the previous installment and this week’s one.
In hindsight, it was fairly obvious my relationship with the art major was doomed from the start. Once we started to get past the initial flush of googoo-eyed infatuation, a cluster of irreconcilable differences began to manifest themselves. She was a city girl, the self-consciously cutesy product of the insular Boston Latin (or Latin Academy, to be specific) scene. I was (and still am) a child of Boston’s northwestern suburbs who despised those faux bohemian affectations with a passion.
Even worse, I was a poorly socialized little shit prone to indulging in some pretty shitty behaviors, the bulk of which ended up getting directed her way. I was a nasty little piece of work, and it was only a matter of time before the art major realized that she needn’t — and shouldn’t — have to put up with my passive-aggressive mindgames and steady stream of insults.
I wasn’t completely oblivious about this problem. After the Voice of the Beehive incident (mentioned in the above link), I realized that our relationship was spiraling beyond any hope of salvaging and decided to do something about it.
Being a moody nineteen year old manchild meant any attempt at self-improvement was off the table, so I instead opted for a Grand (Guignol) Gesture.
The place I picked up my copy of Joy Division’s Closer had a double record set of the original 1979 stage recording of Sweeney Todd on the wall. The art major loved the musical but lacked both the cash to buy the album and a turntable to play it upon. Sensing an opportunity to win my way back into her good graces, I went back to the shop on the Saturday before Thanksgiving 1991 and bought the records along with some 90 minute tapes to dub them onto.
I stuffed the whole shebang into a plastic grocery bag and brought it with me to school the following Monday. Visions of her unbounded gratitude danced in my head during the long commute to Dorchester.
When I finally arrived, she was nowhere to be seen. None of the other Sci-Fi Club members had seen her and she wasn’t in any of her regular haunts. I eventually found her having coffee with some artist friends in the Wit’s End Café.
“I have something I have to say to you,” she said without shifting from her chair. “You aren’t going to like it. Meet me after my class.”
Dazed and in a state of existential freefall, I wandered into a stairwell and began punching the cinderblock wall. My knuckles still have faint traces of the scars.
The meeting was an act of anti-climax. “It’s not you, it’s me” and “hope to still be friends” and all the other gentle let downs. For my part, I just begged and pleaded for the “one more chance” I didn’t deserve to get.
When we parted, I handed her the bag with the Sweeny Todd album and tapes. She didn’t want them, but I insisted. “Just fucking take them. I don’t want to see the damn things ever again.”
Afterwards I wandered around Chinatown for a while, then bought a bunch of issue of Baker Streets at a comic shop in Harvard Square before going home and crawling under the covers for two days. My pal Leech had somehow fallen off the grid, so it was up to some home-for-the-holiday break high school pals to experience my self-indulgent, self-imposed misery.
In the end, it took a three-day long play session NES port of Pirates to restore me to a semblance of functionality.
There’s no sample track for this one, because I still can’t stand anything to do with that fucking musical.
Fun Fact: It was around this time that Maura shook herself out of the anger over my gross betrayal and contemplated dating a dude from one of her Japanese classes. She reconsidered after the club member who’d introduced me to the art major told her that it looked like I’d soon be single again.