I knew a girl who made me write out an essay for her friend, she used me but I went along because I liked her, the essay was already written but her friend wasn't good at grammar so my job was more that of an editor. I spoke to the girl I liked that same day and told her I liked her, well, not really...I told her to look in the mirror and there she'll find the kind of girl I was looking for. This was back in the spring/summer of 2001, I was 19 and met her at my first job. I worked in a Duane Reade in her neighborhood on the mid-westside of Manhattan, coincidentally enough, she worked in the high school she had just graduated from, South Bronx High School, which was just down the block from my home. I'll call her B for the first letter of her name. She was a silly girl who I would've had very little in common with, who would've annoyed me, who had a boyfriend and ignored my half-confession when half-confessed, she thought me cute and would sit in the aisles of Duane Reade with me while I priced pet food and Quaker Oats Rice Cakes that inspired a nausea through me, awaiting medicine for her mother. I saw less and less of her and eventually one day I walked out on Duane Reade and the summer ended, releasing her from her summer job as she prepared for her first semester at BMCC.
I ran into her once on a commute to the city and never again. I can't really remember what she looked like, at least not exactly. But today she came into my thoughts, I've been listening to a song by Anthony Green of Circa Survive, titled Califone. i don't know what the connection is between Green's song and B, the song wasn't around when B was around, in fact I would have never listened to anything like Anthony Green when I was 19. You may also remove the idea that anything in the lyrics of the song designates reminiscence. There's nothing particular about Califone's words to remind me of B. Not "coalesce", "Sinatra", roses that have "lost their glow", nor weak "soldiers", or over-welcomed nocturnal bands that "play for too long" have any apparent bridge that stretches back to that spring of 2001; to her glasses on her slender face and jeans that never quite fit her skinny legs, to her forgotten voice and accent, to her friend and her essay and its forgotten topic reworked in my capitalized handwriting which would be once again, rewritten down to a horrible chicken scratch penmanship. No, I can't really determine a link at all other than the "califone" itself.
I did own a califone, probably two, and I at that time mostly listened to cassettes and when I wrote rhymes I did it to beats played on a califone. I never used the califone for anything related to B, nor have I ever written about her in a song or story. Nevertheless, and though I have been obsessed with the song for the past few days, at least 2 before attaching B; the song recalls, that silly girl I liked for no other reason than she was straight forward and slightly interested in me.
So here's to you B, like a califone you were around for a small portion of my past. Thank you for taking a moment to sit with me.