Big black boots, old suitcase
When you say college, I say Dinkytown; when you say unreasonable, I point to the cancellation of U.S. manned spaceflight programming; when you say whiskey, I will raise an eyebrow and become unusually invested in what you have to say.
And when you say nostalgia, there is a 99 percent chance the first thing that pops into my mind is Everclear.
Those of us in our 20s and 30s have a very special place for alternative rock. Some of us may not even like it. Some of us are obsessed. But at the very least, most of us treat those songs as cultural touchstones.
When Santa Monica plays, a memory of me playing kickball in elementary school hits about as hard as I used to throw my Super Nintendo controller during Super Mario World.
I remember the recess supervisor, Mr. Stuvie. He smelled like musk. And indifference.
I remember Melissa’s bright golden hair. It’s the reason I like brunettes.
I remember how much the gravel hurt when I fell. It tasted like childhood would never end.
I remember how the 5th graders would pummel us at kickball. It felt like I couldn’t grow up fast enough.
And the song sparked this for no good reason. We didn’t listen to music during recess. I don’t think I was even listening to Everclear regularly.
My brain stitched the memory together itself as I started getting older, probably when I started listening to Everclear. Rather than lose all those day-to-day childhood memories into the thick fog that now envelops the pre-teen part of my memory, my brain just started grabbing all the pieces it could find and started smashing them together.
To Santa Monica.
And it worked. I remember.