My mom has told me (more times that I can count) that I am “hot-headed.” While it’s true that I once picked up a coffee table and threw it at boyfriend, I generally consider myself fairly calm and even-tempered.
Okay, wait…that’s not absolutely true. And although most of you don’t know me in real life, I don’t want to mislead you. In reality I’m a whirling dervish of anxiety and impulsiveness/compulsiveness. But I’m really, REALLY skilled at keeping it all inside. Credit my childhood in a household ruled by WASP-y stoicism, or my rarely relenting stubbornness. Emotional outbursts just aren’t very dignified!
However, if I’m completely alone and/or I’ve had an excess of four alcoholic beverages, all bets are off. And so one cold night in early winter, after a few strong happy hour drinks, I swooped into my empty apartment in a fit of rage. I can’t remember exactly why I was upset, but even now, I could give you no less than three reasonable guesses. I grabbed the wooden cigar box of the soon-to-be Never-Sent Mixtapes from their home on my desk and sent them hurling down the stairs into my grimy basement. I smoked a forbidden cigarette at my kitchen table as I considered my actions.
My first thought: It serves him right. He’ll never appreciate them because he’s a selfish, self-absorbed fuckface.
My second thought: That was stupid. I spent so much time on them. I could have given them to Robyn. She has a tape deck in her car and she would really appreciate the tragic element.
And then I thought about the past summer…one of the best times in my life, to date. Non-stop sunshine, late night bike rides, backyard slumber parties. Maybe he wasn’t so bad. Maybe there really had been something special there…even if he was a selfish, self-absorbed fuckface.
Softened by nostalgia, I descended into the basement to retrieve the tapes and their broken cases. I stuffed everything I found into a box of my faux-Canadian, non-boyfriend’s belongings.
When I decided to share these mixtapes via the magic of the internet, I rummaged them out of that box…only to discover that the liner notes for the third tape were missing. I searched every inch of my apartment, even the darkest corners of the basement. No luck. This was/is especially sad, because they were the best liner notes…made from an amazing photo of women praying in Cairo. I found it in the Life Nature Library’s The Desert, published in 1961.
I’m telling myself that on the day I find these lost liner notes, I will finally present him with the tapes and the vintage Walkman, even if it’s also the day I move out of my beloved apartment.
Side 1 (download it here)
Bob Dylan, Cat Power, Phosphorescent, Beck, Dr. Dog, Elliott Smith, Beach House, Neutral Milk Hotel, Deerhunter, The Beatles, M. Ward
Side 2 (download it here)
Liz Phair, Band of Horses, Here We Go Magic, The Kinks, Mimicking Birds, Twin Sister, The XX, She + Him, Mayer Hawthorne, Best Coast, The White Stripes
To maintain track order (it’s especially important!), please create a new playlist in iTunes and then click and drag the folder to import.
P.S. This is my favorite of the four tapes…I wouldn’t change anything, except maybe losing the Best Coast song, because I’m just kinda over it. Or maybe not…