Arguably, 2007 was our best year. Sylvia had thrown herself into the arms of some other butch broad, and I know it made Christina want to eat her arm out of jealousy even though she herself had been trying to date other women (upon my encouragement!), especially when her friend Steve thought he heard Sylvia on the radio, prompting Christina to send me this email:
ok so get this- steve just texted me and said he
thinks he heard sylvia on the radio the other day. i
was like, oh what was she requesting some heartbreak
song or something? and he said that no, he missed the
very first part, but he is pretty sure it was her
voice and that she was saying something about being in
love with a woman, but that she thinks she is PREGNANT
by some guy! after i told her about my date with that
chick because i was like… i want to not have to lie
to anyone about anything anymore.. she just told me
yesterday that about christmas time, she had sex with
this black dude terrance- it all makes sense.
she just can’t stop making herself look horrible and
like a lying piece of shit. also a whore… and a
slut, and a trashy skank. among other things.
i feel really sorry for that kid if she is.
god knows i’m not gonna play daddy for her…
even IF the kid is gonna be nigbino.
“i want to not have to lie to anyone about anything anymore” – Oh, if you could hear my laughter right now at this moment!
Whether or not that was actually Sylvia on the radio, we never found out (though it’s plausible considering Sylvia’s vagina was an Ohio hot spot; who the hell knows why though), but her preoccupied affections for this new girl was like a motherfucking Cheerios diet for the stress levels and dramatic episodes of our friendship. And since Sylvia was doing the domestic thing elsewhere, Christina was actually able to spend more time in Pittsburgh. She even bought a car so she didn’t have to rely on the Greyhound anymore. The memories we made that year are the only ones I can look back upon without regret or disgust burning a hole through my stomach like so much battery acid.
I didn’t give Christina her Christmas present until the following March, when I visited for a weekend of coconut cream pie milkshakes (for real, this is not some lesbian innuendo) and the Taste of Chaos show in Dayton. I wanted to get her something that had meaning, like the memory box she made me, but also something obnoxious that we could joke about because our friendship had had too many serious moments up to that point. This was the year we would find our roots again and go back to being two grown-up children, causing a commotion in public, being assholes on the Internet, and laughing until we cried.
Liberace Would Have Loved It
March 25, 2007
As she readied herself to go out to dinner before the concert, I thrust it at her, in all of its unwrapped glory.
“Oh cool! A Used necklace!” The Used is her favorite band, so what would make a better present than a large pendant to help proclaim her love for the band without her ever having to open her mouth?
“Aren’t you going to wear it?” I asked, as Christina started to toss it onto her nightstand. Because really, what would be even more super than wearing the band’s t-shirt to the show? A crystal-encrusted pendant with dangling things on it!
I noticed a slight flush spreading across Christina’s cheeks. I’m sure she had other plans for the necklace, like say, as car ornamentation, and she nervously fingered the chain in her palm.
“I mean, it’s a great gift, Erin. Really, it is. But um, I’m afraid I might lose it there.” She once again started to discard it.
“Oh, so you don’t like it.” I was prepared to turn on the tears. “That’s cool.” I hung my head. “I guess I could always give it to Janna.”
“Fine, I’ll wear it.”
Another victory for me!
“Oh yay, and look at that heart, dangling from a chain. Wow, that is…so….cool,” she sang in drawn-out monotone torrents. I imagine Christina was envisioning getting jumped by all the scene kids at the show and having every epithet for “gay” flung at her every time she utilized the restroom with the 16-year-olds who were way more scene than she was with her hokey necklace.
“I thought you said you wore necklaces when I asked you!” I whined.
“Well, yeah…because I thought you meant a chain. Not a big—” She stopped when she noticed my protruding lip. “—but COOL, pendant.” She raised a finger to the heavens to emphasize the fact that she had not forgotten how cool it was.
We ate dinner at Hyde’s, where we were waited on by a chatty fellow named Lawrence, who likes Elvis and found it odd that I’m from Pittsburgh and don’t like football. When he asked us what show we were going to, Christina started listing the bands on her fingers. “And the Used is headlining,” she finished. When he said he hadn’t heard of them, I nearly smashed my grilled cheese into my chest when I lunged across the table and yelled, “Like her necklace, see!”
Maybe it’s just me, but if I were Christina, I’d be more self-conscious of the misuse of that apostrophe on my shirt. (Figures that the shirt was a gift from Sylvia, who is not known for her punctuation prowess.)
When we arrived at the Ohare Arena for a night of exploding nodes and boys in skinny jeans, I gleefully looked around to see if anyone had noticed her necklace. I kept reaching over and jiggling it, which made her angry. She was like the Flava Flav of the screamo set with her large, buoyant medallion flopping against her chest with every step.
“Oh good, thanks for reminding me!” she would sardonically enthuse. Then she would murmur things like, “Oh he definitely saw it, and her too” as we shoved our way inside the arena, past the amassment of confiscated studded white belts. I laughed.
Throughout the evening, I would be sure to yell things like, “Geez, your pendant is so cool! I bet you are the Used’s number one fan!” and she would cower inside herself.
Once the bands started playing, I momentarily forgot about Christina’s plight and enjoyed my night of not being a mom. I was doing really well, blending in with the undulating crowd, until Evaline took the stage. The singer summoned the mom in me back to the surface as he twirled around the stage wildly and did a daunting flip over his keyboard. Unable to control it, I found my hand slapping across my chest and intense pleas of “Oh honey, watch yourself!” swam maniacally through my hand. But that was quickly overshadowed by a roaring, “Fuck yeah! Do it again, motherfucker!”
It was fun watching the stage lights reflect and shimmer off the crystals of Christina’s pendant. But I kind of felt like I was its bodyguard, having to perpetually check its safety.
I should have bought one for myself, too. My love for it blossomed throughout the night.
In between sets, my eyes would travel back to Christina’s chest, frantically ensuring that her amulet was still securely fastened.
“Would you stop calling it an amulet?!” she yelled, with just a tiny undertone of amusement. “I feel like it’s getting bigger.”
But it kind of looks like something sought after by Dracula, am I right?
At one point, I feared that I was having a stroke. Chiodos was introduced by a man in a rabbit suit, which pleased me greatly as it added a Wonderland aura to the show. When I tried to ask Christina if she thought the rabbit was going to come back out, my brain and mouth were at odds.
“Rabbot…robbit….rabbi….FUCK! Bunny!” This probably wouldn’t have happened if the amulet had been around my neck.
30 Seconds to Mars was the second-to-last band to play, and Jared Leto yakked through 80% of every song. It was ridiculous. At one point, Christina leaned over and said, “I feel like he’s giving a Grammy speech.” I kind of felt like he was some crazy religious leader trying to get us to follow him on a pilgrimage, and it didn’t set well with me. Just because of that, I wouldn’t do anything he said, not even a half-hearted fist-raise. Their set was so long, and I felt like we never even got to hear an entire song. When they left the stage, a good 25% of the crowd left as well. As a horde of young girls filed past Christina, she screamed, “You saw your boyfriend, now get the fuck out!” A young guy in front of us turned around and nodded his approval at her outburst, inspiring her to lean forward and talk to him and about the Used. When she sat back, I said, “Wow, that guy probably wished he had an amulet just like yours!” She slapped her hand over it and sighed. “Damn, I forgot I was wearing this! He probably thinks I’m an idiot.” She started to catch herself. “I mean, I think it’s a great present, Erin. It really is. I guess I just kind of wish it wasn’t so…big.”
“I wish it was bigger.”
“If it was any bigger, it would be an outfit.”
I did manage to have her hold it up high when the Used were playing though. I think at that point, she had finally accepted its brilliance and bore it proudly. I mean, it was probably the most ambitious piece of fan flair there that night. We probably could have used it to get back stage. Hindsight, I suppose.
After the show, she stopped at a gas station for direction, and while she was inside, I noticed that she somehow managed to remove it and hang it on her rear view mirror without me even noticing. She claimed it was because we were in a seedy area and she didn’t want to get mugged for it.
I was appeased.
It was broken in the box when she returned it to me during the spring of 2009, as if that was the instrument she used to fuck our friendship up the ass, and not her selfishness and inability to be honest. I threw it away, along with everything else associated with her.