Thursday, March 23, 2006

1996 Wasn't That Cool. And Neither Was I.

Two days ago the age of 25 warmly and somewhat recklessly greeted, accepted, and then fondled me in a series of Lower East Side bars. Reaching quarter of a century status has particularly resonated with me for several reasons--the most notable of which is that I'm several years older than the characters portrayed in the movie "Reality Bites," and I still make substantially less income per week than protagonist Leliana Pierce's (portrayed by the lascivious Winona Ryder) $500 a week. Amidst this stark realization, and the forty glamorous hours I spend at The Strand per week, I managed to allot some time to sit down with myself at the tenderly depressing age of 15 for a Q and A. What follows is a lovingly transcribed account of a wholly revealing dialogue with myself ten years removed from, well, myself:

Tedd Now: So Tedd thanks for taking the time to meet with me. What have you been up to?
Tedd Then: Nothing. I don't do anything. Life sucks.
Tedd Now: Provocative. Surely there's some news you like to share with me.
Tedd Then: Not unless you consider sitting around the basement and watching VH1 and listening to hours of music "news."
Tedd Now: I see. Well, there's a lot of good stuff coming up for you. Believe me I know, I am you.
Tedd Then: Yeah, like what? More school? Fantastic.
Tedd Now: Well you get to start driving next year. That's something. Of course you kind of total Mom's car...wait, never mind.
Tedd Then: I'll pretend I didn't hear that.
Tedd Now: My point is simply that you should cheer up a bit.
Tedd Then: Right, cheer up. There's nothing like waking up every morning hating life, yourself, and everyone around you. I'm such a loser.
Tedd Now: Look 15 year old Tedd there's something I've been wanting to hash out with you for a long time now.
Tedd Then: And that is? Christ, I'm sure this will be good.
Tedd Now: Bottom line is you really need to quite being such a pussy. I mean damn man. This whole "No one understands me, I'm the enigma" thing really is pretty tired.
Tedd Then: *Looks sullenly at the floor*
Tedd Now: Look man, I'm sorry. I'm really not trying to be harsh, but you need to cheer up some. Everything isn't that bad, and it gets a lot better. In a few years you'll see what I'm talking about. Doesn't the prospect of being happy intrigue you at all?
Tedd Then: If I were to become happy I'd miss the comfort in being sad.
Tedd Now: Don't fucking quote Nirvana lyrics to me Tedd at 15. Jesus.
Tedd Then: You still caught that reference after 10 years huh?
Tedd Now: Of course I did, if anything I've had 10 more years to listen to the same songs you're listening to now.
Tedd Then: So I'm still kind of a dork ten years from now? Great. If you called this meeting just to rub it in it's totally not appreciated Future Tedd.
Tedd Now: Sorry bud, that wasn't my intention. On the up and up you do get into some other music than just Nirvana and The Beatles.
Tedd Then: That's pretty sweet I guess.
Tedd Now: Yeah, and you actually have people to listen to it with.
Tedd Then: Hmmm.
Tedd Now: And you play and write music a lot. In fact you'd be surprised to see where you end up living and what you're doing.
Tedd Then: Like what? Where?
Tedd Now: Well, for starters you meet some really good people and do some decent bands with them.
Tedd Then: Do we do any Nirvana covers?
Tedd Now: Just get off of Nirvana for a minute okay? And you're living in New York with great friends.
Tedd Then: New York? How is that?
Tedd Now: Well it's kind of like existing in a massive, seething, I-Pod commercial.
Tedd Then: What's an I-Pod?
Tedd Now: Don't worry you can't afford one.
Tedd Then: Fuck.
Tedd Now: I know. All I'm saying is in the future you're going to really forget about all this over-thinking everything you do, and all the journaling about hating everyone and move on.
Tedd Then: So I move past being a teenager basically?
Tedd Now: Exactly, but your 20's are kind of marred with the same sort of disillusionment, but combined with being very poor.
Tedd Then: Wait that sounds pretty bad...
Tedd Now: But factor in alcohol and there's some moments of mindlessness where none of that matters. Plus you'll be able to grow a sweet beard.
Tedd Then: I could get into that.
Tedd Now: Well, look Tedd at 15 thanks for taking the time to sit down with me again. I could keep asking you questions, but fact of the matter is that I already know what your answers are going to be. I am you.
Tedd Then: Sure thing I guess. You want to hangout and listen to some music?

What followed was a blur of mid-90's rock n' roll, peppered with a healthy dose of classic rock--mainly Led Zeppelin's "II" and Pink Floyd's "Animals." I left Tedd at 15--his tattered jeans, army jacket, greasy under-cut, and Nirvana "Sliver" shirt and all--with no real conclusions about what has transpired in the last ten years. I did come to realize that Stone Temple Pilot's lyrics are still about absolutely nothing, and my suspicions that Oasis was in fact not the second coming of The Beatles have been confirmed.


At 6:07 PM, Anonymous phoebe said...

tedd from now:
"if you're me, then what number am i thinking of?"

tedd from then:

this letter had me laughing out loud after the first 2 lines. love it.
me, i couldln't interview my 15yr old self without giving her a good rap in the mouth, that's for damn sure.


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