As I Want You To Be

I'm walking down the massive corridor with the 30 foot ceilings that always makes me feel like Jack from "Jack and the Beanstalk". The lights haven't timed on yet and the stern red glow of the emergency exit sign turns the long shadows that lay behind me the color of a deep bruise. My footfalls sound like a church bell wrapped in cotton, and rung by a person with little upper body strength. They are tiny and echoless despite the hall's propensity for exactly that sort of hubbub.

The yellow arcs of light fan out at each doorway, from cramped and claustrophobic labs, whose sounds are just as cluttered as their shelves. It's early. The building is almost absent of people noises. I pass the fabrication lab with its thick smell of machine oil and metal chips. Inside,some unseen coworker turns on the radio as they get ready to start their day.

And that's when I hear it.

And then I am 19 again and it's late September and I'm standing outside in the rain waiting to get into the tiny club in the warehouse district. There's a girl in there with dreadlocks and an infectious smile. She invited me to come. Some stupid band from out west I'd never heard of. I don't care about them, I just want to get in out of the deluge.The thick steel doors  advertise the club's sparse, industrial atmosphere and keep the sound muffled as the discarded cigarette butts of the milling crowd, pile like damp amputations in the growing puddles. These are the forgotten whose friends either went in without them or have yet to arrive. I shove my way through to the bouncer, who takes my ticket,and instantly dismisses me, as I am too thin to pose a threat to anyone.

Inside, the band groans to a stop, and there is a smattering of applause. I walk out onto the thinly populated floor and look for the girl. She's in the corner by the amps waving to me. I smile and wave back. I don't listen to what the singer is saying. I am just thinking about how beautiful she looks in the soft warmth of reflected stage light. They start playing. The guitar is heavily distorted and warbling with some weird effect. The singer, a skinny thin kid with long blond hair has this sad gravelly whine that stops me in my tracks. This is something good. This is something new. I turn away from the girl and listen.

"Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be.."

That was 17 years ago.


I realize I've been standing outside the doorway transfixed once again by his voice as the sound echoes mournfully down the hall. I stand there in the shadows and I listen. I listen to it until the song is over and the lathes fire up and footsteps start to come and the day gets under way.

This was a good morning.



Nirvana - Come As You Are

11 comments

Mandy said...

That's pretty sweet.

P.S. I can't believe I wore flannel.

Kurt said...

It was probably Burberry.

Anonymous said...

I was just listening to that!! -But it's never as magical as when it sneaks up. I'm jealous you got to see them live- before it was even *the thing*. That's fuckin rad.

*glad she still has her flannel:p*

Anonymous said...

D'oh! That was me... ~IC

Char said...

still one of my favorite songs of all time.....

a new version of "the day the music died"

Sungodly said...

What an amazing time for music. I remember first hearing Pearl Jam on Rockline one night late in '91 and being blown away. This was not self-parodying hair band shit, this was music that meant something. And it still does.

I pity today's youth. Their music has angst but no soul. Homogenized, corporate-radio schlock.

xo12 said...

Oh man. I got to see them in Springfield, Mass with the Breeders. Good times, my friend. Good times. I have a copy of Insecticide on blue swirl vinyl.

We're still fucking rad -- right???

Kurt said...

@IC: I wore a flannel when I got home last night. It was heavenly.

Kurt said...

@char: It is timeless.

Kurt said...

@sungodly: I was just telling someone about how I walked out on Pearl Jam when they opened for Smashing Pumpkins and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, because I wanted to smoke. I'm dumb.

Kurt said...

@x012: Well YOU are for sure.