I have blown my voice out a number of times singing this song at the top of my lungs. It was in a sketch we did for about a year, where I was pleading through song to stop a break-up in the front seat of a car. It was the only sketch I wrote that my troupe did for a length of time.
We even performed it in front thousands of people, at the Austin Music Awards. Yeah, take that, Lucinda. I’d never been so nervous to sing, by the way.
There’s something about this song that always brings up this one memory, when I had recently moved from Jackson to Houston, and it was soon after my birthday, maybe getting closer to the summer, and I was really missing my best friend from back home. I’d play this song and sit on my bed and stare at the posters on the one wall my mom would let me put them. The posters had to be on the wall she didn’t see when she poked her head into my room. In this particular room the wall was covered in that crappy stucco popcorn stuff, so all of my posters got little holes in them.
I remember staring at this picture on my wall of Uma Thurman (ripped from the Rolling Stone It list), listening to this song, trying to imagine what my life would be like when I got older, when I didn’t have to move all the time because my dad had to change jobs. I thought about how cool it would be when I’d find a place and make a lot of friends and never leave and we’d all get a house together, like a mansion, and some of us would be famous and some of us would be good at cooking and some of us would take care of lots of animals, and we’d all live together in this huge house with a big yard and a gigantic pool and we’d play all day, listening to music, hanging out with Axl as he wrote a new album and everybody would be tan. I thought it would be in California, probably Los Angeles, and everybody would get along so well that nobody would ever want to leave, nothing would ever change. My life would finally, finally, stay the same forever.
I just needed a little patience.
It’s interesting to see how much of that happened, and how much of that I’d never want now. Even when I got old enough to stay in one place forever I still haven’t had the same address for more than two years. I work in an industry where there’s absolutely no predictability. While I might live in the city I thought I’d be, the nature of this place means the great friends I make sometimes leave, disappear, fade away, or decide to pack up and go home.
But if I look at the entire city as the house I imagined when I was little, filled with funny, silly people, some of them famous, all of them having fun, with pools and music and suntans, where I can run into old friends when I least expect it and something exciting can happen in any moment, that’s when I realize I must have decided something for myself all those years ago when I was sitting on my bed listening to this song. Something inside of me made a plan, and this is the end result.
I wouldn’t call myself a patient person, but maybe when I was thirteen, horribly lonely, and had absolutely no control over my life and what would happen to it, the only thing I could count on was the fact that time passes, even if it was at an excruciatingly slow pace.