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I pretty much dedicated today to cleaning and organizing my sewing room, no mean task for a packrat who often uses said room as a dumping ground for stuff I don’t know what to do with.

I’d recently bought a few more of those Sterilite/Rubbermaid boxes with the clamp-on lids and decided that today was the day that I’d sort through my costumes and vintage clothes and get that stuff organized and put up, as well as sift through the cardboard boxes of ephemera and maybe cut down on some of the bulk.

Among the things unearthed, re-packed, and stowed away neatly today was my old cassette tape collection from highschool and my early college years. Loads of shitty music in there. A few gems, but a lot of totally embarrassing choices, ’cause that’s what being a teenager is about: listening to horrible music that will make you cringe at a later date. My collection wasn’t very big, as I never had any money, and lived out in the boondocks where exposure to new or non-mainstream music was pretty limited, but there was enough there to fill a boot box.

Among the treasure trove was a surprising buttload of Dream Theater. I was really, really into them for a while, circa 1994-6. I’d kind of forgotten how much I dug them back in the day, but as I re-stacked my tapes in date-released order, as I used to always do, it started to come back to me, the magical summer of ’95, and all of its awkward coming-of-age glory.

The summer of ’95 was the summer between my senior year of highschool and my freshman year of college. I was so excited at the prospect before me that I felt like a fizzy bottle of soda sparkling and bubbling all over the place.

I’d had pretty much shit luck with boys up to that point. I’d only had one boyfriend; a relationship which was handled terribly badly by both parties – go figure, we were both 15 at the time. I decided that ’95 would be the summer that I would make myself cool and savvy and desirable to boys.

Apparently involved in said endeavor was listening to hours and hours of nerd rock and reading every bit of classic science fiction I could lay hands on, riding my shitty old Huffy for 20 miles a day, and doing truly insane quantities of sit-ups. To put a perspective on things, at a point not much earlier in my unsuccessful boy-chasing career, I thought it would impress boys a lot because I could not only lay rubber out of first gear in my Volkswagen, but that I could also chirp ’em in 2nd and 3rd. Sadly, it didn’t seem to bring the boys to the yard. In retrospect, I suspect that my prowess in destructive driving may have cemented the local opinion that I wasn’t the type of girl who liked boys at all.

Anyway, during my nerdtastic 18th summer, I listened to Dream Theater a lot, on my Walkman, while sitting on the front steps in the hot sun with lemon juice in my hair, hoping to make it blonder. I’d just bask there, eyes closed, daydreaming and spacing out to lengthy, meandering, electrified, latter-day prog rock.

Not a bad way to while away the time waiting for college and (theoretical) excitement to begin.

One Response to “Nostalgia flicks showing in the Dream Theater today”

  1. SFuller says:

    Dream Theater, old and new, is still on rotation on my listening devices of choice. Good stuff.

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