Monday, February 06, 2017

At Seventeen

This is for S. Who made me grow up. Seems weird to think of this song now, as an adult. It's a bit sophomoric, the mid-seventies high-school poetry Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter aesthetic distilled down to 4 minutes. But there's a strange allure to it, I'm not sure why. It's the deep breaths she takes in between each verse. It's the fact that I first heard it in a particular context. I was actually seventeen when I first heard it. As was S., I think. She lived with her mother in this strange house with shadows and corners and whispers. Upstairs her room had an eerie glow. I spent a lot of time in her room, working on my calculus homework. She had a weakness for getting high, as did I. We used to get skyscraper high, just lulled into oblivion and listening to music. She loved Bill Withers, Al Jarreau, Joni Mitchell, and Janice Ian. I was into Prince and Gary Numan. But I do remember this song, echoed out to infinity, played on a small cassette player in her room, close to midnight, ourselves tired and lying in her bed, and staring at the ceiling as the highs came down, our upper lips full of perspiration in the tropical night. When I said goodbye to her, it seems it was indeed for ever [sic]. Wherever you are these days, hope you're well. Actually I know where you are now, in San Francisco. Which is kinda appropriate. Sending you this message as a small gesture of .. something. Hope you're well.

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