This is a day late, but I had to post. Sorry thank you goodbye.
A year ago this weekend, I found myself with a group of friends in Newport Beach, CA.
It was a perfect storm of happy coincidence: our friend Randall was in the southland visiting our friend Fabio, and the beau was already going to be in the same area for a rugby game. My best friend and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, hopped in her car, and drove down on Friday night to help get the party started.
I have to admit I was reluctant to spend the weekend crashing in Fabio’s living room. At the time he was living separately from his fiancée – family pressure made cohabitating before marriage impossible — in an apartment just two blocks from the beach. It was a proper bachelor pad that came furnished with half-broken wicker chairs and nautical-themed wall hangings, such as miniature wooden oars. The fluorescent light flickered in the kitchen and the sink was rusty.
Fabio has a music habit, and he indulges in it loudly. So that weekend, whenever he wasn’t drunkenly playing the keyboard and singing at the top of his voice, he was playing music videos on YouTube for us at top volume. That was the first time I ever listened to Lady Gaga. In fact, it was the first time I ever listened to a number of things.
It’s safe to say that after that weekend I was never the same.
Newport Beach is kind of like a version of Jersey Shore, only in Orange County. Yeah, yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch, but it has its share of touristy tropical-themed bars, bike rental stands, and cheesy t-shirt and trinket shops. One afternoon we rented bikes and rode as far as the beach path would take us, stopping at bars along the way.
I remember that day all tinged in yellow. The surprisingly warm sun on my winter-white skin, the tequila warming my stomach. We’d ridden back to the house for something, I don’t remember what. I was picking the frosting off of a doughnut atop a crumpled white paper sack. Fabio was insisting that we listen to one more song before we left, just another, and honest to god it was the weirdest song I had heard in a long while. [ed. note: it was “Psychic City” by Yacht]
And of course, I loved it immediately. Fabio had it turned up so loud my teeth ached, as usual, but this time I didn’t mind so much. “Again!” I demanded, when the song ended, and Fabio obligingly hit play. I had barely gotten to my feet when I noticed that everyone else was up, too, and we started spontaneously gyrating in the middle of the living room floor, grinning like ridiculous fools. Just a group of half-drunk friends dancing in a crummy apartment on a Sunday afternoon in March for no other reason than the sheer joy of it.
Even then I was keenly aware that we would probably never be back here again. The beau and I were set to be married in September, and Fabio would get married in November. We were moving on, arcing further away from the craziness of our twenties. We were coupling up and settling down. We were all changing.
But for the moment, we just danced.
This playlist, appropriately, is a tribute to the music that became my personal soundtrack for that feeling. May we all have weekends that surprise us this much.
Click through from your reader if you want to listen to the embedded player!
Yacht — Psychic City (Voodoo City)
Empire of the Sun — Standing on the Shore
Lady Gaga — Bad Romance
Empire of the Sun — Tiger By My Side
Pulp — Babies
For more Mixtape Master madness, peep the playlists on these blogs: