Through Sound and Time: New Years 2000/2001
Note: This story doesn’t have as much to do with music as it does with what it was like growing up in South Jersey circa 2001. It’s a tale of a girl, a Camero and some friends. There are no admitted heroes here, just a couple of people that were being young and having a good time while searching for a good time. Read on my friends! I hope you enjoy! If this does well I may include more stories like this in the future.
I think her name was Candace. She was a few years younger than me and perhaps about as intellectual as grated cheese. But she was skinny and blonde and at 20 what more could I ask for. I mean just the fact that she paid attention to me was pretty much a miracle. I suppose I could blame the arrested development of my high school experience. I was sort of a pariah with the ladies. My MO was simple; if a girl so much as said “Hi” to me it was a good day. If she was nice to me on the regular then I’d conspire to ask her out, which I rarely did. So after following a girl around for a few months she’d get sick of my loser ass, or she’d gotten over the guilt of cheating on the test and decided it was time to tell me to back the fuck off. This had a profound effect on me. I developed neuroses that haunt me to this day. But as I said Candace didn’t want to hang out with me so she could tap my brain for info or so I’d put a picture of her in the yearbook or any of that petty bullshit. Nope, I was a man with a car, and Candace needed a ride! Queue the Four Tops! (It’s just the same old song.)
Anyhow, that New Years I decided I was gonna cut lose! Candace had a party to go to. I invited my best friend Paul along, and we first set off to pick up my manager Bryan and go to the Behind the Sun New Years party. Behind the Sun was a South Jersey Metal Band. The lead singer, Alex Rivera, was a friend of my comic shoppe and a damned good Warhammer figure painter. So Candace, Bryan, Paul and I set out for the fabled White Horse Pike. First, I picked up Paul whom I hadn’t seen much since he went to college (unless there was a ska show up north). He asked me about this chick we were picking up and I told him she was some hot blonde from the mall. Paul seemed skeptical, but we rocked out as we drove even farther south down rt 45 pick up Candace.
When we got to her house, she came rushing out Paul got into the back with a little bit of griping. As she entered my 87 Black Camero with Red interior and a moon roof, she proclaimed, “You’re car is a mess.” I believe this was the instant that Paul decided he hated her. If my memory serves I received Rancid’s Let’s Go for Christmas and was rockin that or Short Music for Short People. Well then she tried to change the station to Q102 the local pop rap station. So then we roll off. About ten miles down the road she asks us, “Do either one of you have a Cell Phone?” Of course it was 2001 and no one did, “I want to make sure I call my BOYFRIEND at 12:00.” There was almost a riot. BOYFRIEND?! What Boyfriend? Paul, knowing my luck with women, just cackled in the back.
It had snowed that Christmas and the roads were a bit treacherous, but we made it safely to Bryan’s place and he took the back as well. Bryan was really proud of me for having a date, being as I was constantly conspiring to ask out girls but never really doing it. We changed to some Manowar (Louder Than Hell) Paul wasn’t into it, nor was Candace but Bry and I were vikings on a mission to storm Castle Rivera so I didn’t care!
So we arrived at Alex’s place. There was drink and food and random goings on. But of course Candace wasn’t happy meeting cool new people and talking about D&D and Magic: The Gathering. Frankly with this newfound knowledge about a boyfriend I was sort of nihilistic towards her wants. I’d been used again. I was having one of those brooding moments where I wondered alone, if this would be my plight, to play the role of the eternal sap. To have women lead me around like a border collie for best of show only to come runner up. Then I snapped out of it. Christ, It was only 10:00 and we had plenty of night to go! Candace asked me when we were heading out to her friend’s party. I told her I wanted to hang out here a little longer. Then she said the magic words every guy falls prey to: I have some girlfriends I’d like you to meet. Ten minutes later we were out the door and in the car. Paul, Candace and I were on the way to wherever the hell this place was.
After and hour and forty five minutes of driving around the black horse pike we were lost. And lost in 2001 was much different than lost now. There was no calling your contact at the party to tell you where you were, no calling anyone to tell you where you were, and a gas station was the closest thing to a gps. I needed gas anyway. 12:00 came and went. I spent the dawn of a new millennium inside my beat-up 87 Camero with my Best friend and some other dude’s girlfriend. But everything was ok because 1) Somehow we figured out where the party was and were heading there and 2) Sir Mix-a-Lot’s I like Big Butts was playing on the radio! Well kickass I hadn’t heard that tune in something like ten years ……. Then she turned the station! I FLIPPED RIGHT OUT, “LISTEN DO NOT TOUCH THE RADIO, YOU SEEM TO THINK I’M COOL WITH BEING FUCKED WITH RIGHT NOW BUT YOU ARE WRONG I WILL DROP YOU IN THE WOODS AND GO TO THIS PARTY WITH PAUL AND YOU CAN WALK THE REST OF THE WAY.” (my anaconda don’t want none unless you got big buns) Everything was right in the world. Paul was clapping in the back seat. I was feeling a little more confident and of course Candace was apologizing for pissing me off.
We arrived at the party, it looked like nothing was happening. We rang the doorbell and then someone came to the door opened the door and music pushed out with it! SOUND PROOF DOORS! These people were loaded. I introduced my self and Paul around, Candace ran off with her friends after introducing me to some loser, name of Moose. Moose couldn’t have been any less well named. He was 5 foot nothing and a bit rotund for a lineman on his school’s football team. So Paul and I walked around mingled and such we put our coats (I was wearing a tan trench Paul’s Mom had procured for me from her job) into a bed room and just bullshitted. There was a rivalry of some kind at the party I forget if it was a highschool football or NFL thing, but as with all things that include drinking yelling and outdoor saunas a fight ensued.
Now for me to say it was a fight would not do justice to what really happened that night. It was like Finnegan’s wake! Everyroom of the house was erupting. In the living room I actually saw a guy get laid out with an uppercut and land onto a wicker/glass coffee table utterly destroying it. I was sober and the only thing I taught was that in a few seconds someone’s gonna get the good sense to call the cops. I collected Paul, and we almost left without Candace. But I decided that I should at least make sure she was ok, plus our coats were upstairs. As we made our way upstairs the Parent (mom) of the girl who was running the party and the mom were having a a freak out on the steps. Hair pulling, biting, you name it. As I tried to get past they told me I couldn’t go upstairs and to get the fuck out of their house. Lucky for me I was sober and clean cut enough to tell them I had come with Candace I was just grabbing her and my coat and I was getting out. Plus I told them to watch the door as there was wholesale looting going on below. Paul was right behind me. As I grabbed our coats I screamed out for Candace, whom I hadn’t seen since the party began. I knocked on the bathroom door and Moose answered. Then I heard Candace say no! Moose told me to “Go away, dude!” I asked Candace if she wanted me to come in. Yes. Moose wouldn’t unlock the door. With all the destruction going on below they wouldn’t miss a bathroom door. I kicked it in and there was Moose with his pants at his ankles, thankfully his boxers where up. “Dude that’s my sister, you are dead!” I shouted Moose fell into the bathtub, freaking out, “I’m Sorry, I didn’t know.” I scooped up Candace we got back to the car. As the cops pulled up, Paul sticks have his body out of the window to yell, “GOOD FIGHT, GOOD NIGHT.” I haul ass out of Dodge in my car.
On the drive home Candace, needed to puke. We pulled over and she leaned out the side of the car. After a few mins I realized she had fallen asleep. This repeated several times. Until Paul finally decided she was going in the back seat. When he put her in the back seat she made out with Paul, who was way drunk so I didn’t feel the need to point out that moments before he hated her or that she had just puked like nine times. We made it back to Alex’s Party around 5am to pick up Bryan. He had already gotten a ride home. Now the concern was what to do with this drunk 19 year old girl in my back seat. We drove to Paul’s and then I made him take her. That was his punishment for hooking up with my date, no matter how much I wanted nothing to do with her. I would have loved to see the look on his mom’s face when she woke up that morning.
Four hours later I made my way to the mall and watched the animated Lord of the Rings movie as I always had on New Years Day. Bryan came in at 12pm. Asked me about my night, I told him this story and he let me go home early and sleep. Now that’s how you ring in a millennium!