Deadly Ever After

The Writing Adventures of The Undead Duo–Julie Hutchings and Kristen Strassel

Living For Now

Today’s Brew: All the coffee my keurig can make. And it doesn’t cost 5.19 a pop.

by Kristen

Now I know what I’d take with me if I ever had to evacuate my house.

Monday night started out normal enough. I was sitting on the couch, hanging out with McGee, writing a book, and I heard an emergency vehicle drive by.  If you follow me on Twitter, you know that emergency vehicles aren’t anything remarkable on Whiskey Tango Boulevard.  Other neighborhoods bond over cookouts and block parties, we meet each other when we come out on our porches to see what the frig is happening this time.  It takes a couple of emergency vehicles to get our attention, so when the third fire truck showed up, we started to pay attention.

There had been a very small fire in the building next door. The people’s TV sparked, like from a power surge. The fire was small enough to stomp out, but the spark went back in the walls and shorted out the entire building’s cable and power, and traveled underground and zapped one of the apartments downstairs from me.  That building had been evacuated, and no one was sure if there was actually a fire. The fire department used heat sensors to make sure there weren’t any problems.

Not much later, there was a knock at the door. They want everyone out of the building.

Fuck.

I grabbed Gee, my laptop, a picture of my mom, and my makeup.  I know that sounds really shallow, unless you realize that’s how I keep up the lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to.  I couldn’t go anywhere, a firetruck blocked my car in. Even though I was fairly certain it was just a precaution, it doesn’t make it any less scary.  I stayed near my car because I needed to put Gee there, so I got stuck talking to my drunk neighbor who kept calling me Jen, and getting pissed that I wouldn’t answer her.

Once we were able to go back in, there was still no power. They needed to find where the spark went and replace the wires, which took most of yesterday.  Like you don’t realize how much you use your back until it hurts and you can’t move, dude, electricity makes everything so much easier. I had to go out and get coffee. Then lunch. (And a fifty dollar camping lantern for McGee because he’s afraid of the dark and not spoiled at all.) After showering in the dark, I went to the gym to do my hair. So all I did was eat and take a shower and it required like 4 trips out of the house.

I wouldn’t have bothered with the hair but I had concert tickets for last night. Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails, baby.

The concert, of course, was incredible, but kind of an intense pairing. Even though they go together on paper, they aren’t similar bands at all. They’re both so full throttle in such different ways, that after sitting in a completely quiet house all day, I’m still exhausted.

I love live music, for so many reasons. I realize things that I consider to still be contemporary are now classic rock, and I’m not apologizing for that. The songs stand the test of time, and I think if I heard them for the first time today, I’d love them just as much as I did when they came out.  That’s the great thing about music. It’s timeless, and there to enjoy when anyone is ready for it.

Concerts are always consistent. Especially when you go see an act that’s been around for a while, everything looks just the same as whenever you left it, because they people are all the same.  There’s something extremely comforting about the ritual, this little slice of home that I can’t get any place else.

But it’s not nostalgia. I HATE nostalgia. There’s something apologetic about it, like the person is ashamed to be enjoying Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails in July of 2014. (Can I tell you, my favorite person in the crowd was a dude who was about 55, who looked like a math teacher, his face lit up during March of the Pigs.) I’m not there to relive my youth. I lived my youth quite well, thank you. If you’d like a fictionalized chronicle of that, buy my books. The last thing I’m at a NIN show is for a 1994 redo. The music was perfect. If I need to go back and fix anything about that year, maybe I’d get a gym membership and take school a little more seriously. I’m at a concert because I want to enjoy my 2014.

So if you can learn anything from my week, make it this:  You never know when you’re going to be in your pjs, standing in front of a fire truck, with a traincase full of makeup in one hand and a cockatiel in the other. Get it right the first time. Live for now.

 

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One thought on “Living For Now

  1. Great message, Kristen! Live it now. I really understand about seeing bands who have been around for a bit. It isn’t nostalgia – it’s putting things in the right place, the sounds, the people and make it feel even better than it did twenty years ago. I caught Stone Temple Pilots about a year and a half ago and they blew me away with how good they sounded. Or, I was just listening to the soundtrack in my brain.

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