Monday, February 27, 2012

Casper & Joey

Seen on the Brown Line to the Loop at about 4:30 p.m., February 25th, 2012 

Joey nonchalantly leans against the panel by the train doors. Not to be out-cooled, Casper takes the stance of a surfer and balances during all the bumps and swerves. The passengers near him cringe, expecting him to topple over any minute. It is Casper who first introduces the topic of music.

“So, like, what do you think of the 50’s?”

If Joey were being honest, he would admit that he doesn’t know a great deal about 1950’s music. But both boys are at that adorable age where you start wanting to form a garage band, even though you don’t play an instrument, and it’s not only necessary but hip to know the musical influences for your non-existent band. We’ve all been there. To cover up his embarrassing lack of knowledge, Joey snorts and dismisses the decade altogether.

“I don’t know, man…”

This is not the response Casper was expecting. He tries to save himself:

“Well, I mean, I like Elvis and stuff because my parents used to listen to him a lot when I was little. He was pretty awesome, though.” He sees that Joey’s not buying it. “I love the 60’s, though, too.”

Ah. Now here’s something Joey can talk about, at least a bit. “Yeah, man. The Beatles are so sweet!”

“Totally. I love that ‘Come Together’ song. Jimi Hendrix was freaking cool, too.”

“Yeah, he’s probably the greatest guitar player of all time, or whatever.”

With that, the 1960’s are exhausted, and Casper moves on: “The 70’s were ok, I guess—”

“But disco totally sucks,” Joey is quick to interrupt.

“Oh, well, yeah. That’s a given. Anyway, the 70’s were fine, but the 80’s were boss.”

“Definitely, definitely. Hair metal and stuff. I like 90’s music a lot.”

Casper sees his chance to get revenge for Joey’s Elvis-hatred. “Well, 90’s punk was good, at least.”

Joey is thrown for a second, but he recovers. “Sure, Green Day is cool. I like hardcore, too.”

Casper rolls his eyes. “I guess I’m just not a hardcore kind of guy.”

Joey is nervous. They are running out of decades, and right now Casper is winning their unacknowledged competition. They have no audience but each other (and the inevitable eavesdropper or two); nevertheless, Joey cannot let Casper be the musical expert. He has too much pride to fail, so he decides to risk it all:

“Quite frankly, I listen to a lot of classical music. Chopin is brilliant.”

Stunned, Casper stops train-surfing and grabs the back of a chair. He takes the bait. “Yeah, Yo-Yo Ma is so cool.”

“He’s just a great cello player, though. It’s not like he’s anywhere near the genius of the classical composers, bro.” Joey’s voice is smothered in smugness.

“No, for real though. Yo-Yo Ma’s the shit. I’ll send you some of his stuff later.” 

I guess this is more like creative non-fiction, but I overheard this conversation on Saturday and I thought it was hilarious. Just had to write about it. 

Celebrated my roomie's birthday this weekend. Dressed as 90's punk Becky. Hopefully pictures sometime soon. Also, I got my nose pierced. You know, just because it was Friday. 

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