What I Learned: September 11

This week, I like trains, Made In America is a dustbowl dance, drones are both awesome and terrifying, I have no idea what I’m doing and I have a dream where basically everything I want happens, I just need the universe to deliver.

Saturday

so basically I’m struggling with extreme anxiety which causes me to take a sleeping pill the night before (I got home at 9pm, ate nothing, took a shower, took a pill in bed at 10p. ON A FUCKING FRIDAY) and wake up in the early morning like a groggy drunk four times before the actual alarm goes off.

We’re off to a rolling start.

I head to the office early to pick up gear and race to Penn Station in the hopes of catching a 10 am Acela train to Philadelphia. I have a plan and everything seems to be in order but we all know that those things don’t actually mean a gotdamned thing.

We wind up getting on a  train a full hour afterwards that pulls us directly to Philly where we embark on what I hope will be the least anxiety inducing day of my young career.

Again.

THAT.

DOESN’T HAPPEN.

I get the passes from the wicked hotel, we head to the festival grounds and proceed to sweat.

The truncated version of this story goes like this:

  • I almost punched someone out during Modest Mouse.
  • Nick Jonas struggles WAY too hard to put soul into his voice. You’re on a Justin Timberlake track, just let it happen organically babe.
  • Glitch Mob plays a lot of moombaton
  • Drunk girls are the worst creatures on the planet, second only to drunk frat bros.
  • Cops on bikes are absolutely adorable.
  • Puke is gross, chunky puke grosser, beer puke is basically the reason why beer sucks.
  • Halsey is the day AFTER we leave; I won’t get to stare at her.
  • Deathcab for Cutie is immaculate live
  • meek mill got away with doing karaoke hits from other rappers, yelling and bringing out Nicki Minaj yet I’m still perplexed how his fans think he WON against Drake. He basically admitted he’s powerless.
  • Beyonce basically sounds like top 40 radio cranked to fifteen in hell, complete with overwrought wailing, unnecessary remixes to her own basic songs about female empowerment, a lot of circle ass movements and bamboozled everyone by performing a third of Destiny’s Child’s three albums (because she owns the rights to everything because of course she does)
  • Bar wings on an Amtrak are glorious but a whisky chaser and I’m basically living a golden life.

Sunday

Flying by the seat of my pants, spend an hour and change on the phone with my brother trying to remind myself that my depression shouldn’t keep sneaking up the way it does. He reminds me that every time I start to feel shitty its when I’ve had a major project that seems like it was a nightmare to even pull off. I tell him the two can’t be connected that’s just crazy.

OR maybe it’s not. It’s in my head.

I’m lucky to be working.

I get on the train and basically listen to Slipknot.

Monday

I struggle to avoid answering emails again but I do it and settle a few things.

I send a charming flirty text to Waffle asking about Shake Shack and a play day.

swing and a miss

I struggle to get out of bed. But I do that. I struggle to take a shower. I do that too. I wanted to get dressed and buy some half priced comics. I don’t do that. I read Libba Bray’s magnificent post about her struggles with depression. feel it on a deeper level and wind up finishing a project because I was holding onto it in the hopes that my genius (which is suffering) would shine through. I just press publish and wait for the responses at this point. I want it to be good but realize that I’ve been working on this for quite some time and they’re just for fun, they’re not my real works or passion but it’s keeping me busy and distracted.

I spend another hour and change on the phone with my brother. He knows I’m feeling lousy and doesn’t ask about my going over there. I owe him a big weekend.

Tuesday

I wake up highly motivated but by highly motivated I mean I wind up getting out of bed at a decent hour and attempting to dress. I do get dressed only to wind up getting food with mom. I wind up going upstairs and staying there.

giphy

I wind up watching Serena/Venus knowing exactly how it’s going to end even though I want an insane upset but it doesn’t happen.

Wednesday

I start my day with another Waffle call and find that these things are starting to be a habit…which I like….and then that gross feeling of hope starts blossoming in my chest and try as I might, I can’t shake it at all. I don’t want to but It feels like that scene in Carmilla where Laura tells Carmilla not to kiss her or be around her because it’s y’know, feelings and stuff.

Fuck it.

I’m waiting on that payback Universe.

I do a terrific job of getting out of bed and out of my house to go to work and up comic books and action figures.

YES.

I do.

I talk myself out of buying a pile and get only the essentials because I have to be a decent person for fucks sake and also NYCC is coming.

nnmmmmmmmmmmmmohmygod

Thursday

Things happen. Honestly? Can’t remember.

mostly because an accidental ‘what up bro’ text turns into ‘bro, come to this event tonight’ which leads to 4am burgers at a diner.

SO.

I make an ass of myself with LA Reid (serverely distracted by work emails and texts so I COMPLETELY miss his speaking to me like a regular person. We’re talking about my Wen Kroy Danger cap (thanks Mighty Healthy) and I joke about not quizzing me about being a serious Rangers fan. I’m a certifiable moron.

this hat is basically my favorite hat ever.

So I go inside, get some Ketel One and Red Bull because I’m actually a college sophomore and those things excite me and listen to what is possibly going to be my favorite album ever once it’s released.

BIG GRAMS IS THE TRUTH

The quick jaunt out into the world turns into an adventure when we pile into an Uber and wind up at Webster Hall where, despite my VIP tags, I’m denied VIP Access but still wind up yelling most of the words to Cam’ron’s music as it blasts from the main stage because…he was there…

I have more Hypontiq in my body that I’ve ever had before…a full decade after I was old enough to buy it.

We walk out, sweaty and confused with ringing ears and end up eating burgers at a diner that I’ve come to love. I burn the shit out of my mouth, shovel all the food into my face hole and get home at 5am.

lit forever

Friday

I have to run a shoot for adidas.

BRANDING FOREVER.

It goes well and the funny thing is that I know the guy who’s running security because one of my past lives entailed my having to be a security/service person. My natural instinct is to make friends and pass cards with the staff; because, as previously mentioned those people will always be working and you want to have fun and they know you’re fun, they’ll share the fun. I can’t drink and work, its just not something that’s good to do.

I learned that I’m capable of much and many things this week but even superheroes have their limits.

god bod

it’s also bizarre to be at an event in SoHo where I can see the Lights…The weather was the same today as it was fourteen years ago. It’s strange to think that I was pocket sized, full of hope and never knew what was to come. It’s just a strange day and weekend because it doesn’t feel like we should be hobnobbing when people were killed nearly steps away from you and the fashion show. I know it’s been years and people learn to heal from it but it’s still a bit strange for me.

Whatever.

tumblr_masstsvoKz1qcbgf2o6_500

What Romantic Movies Get Wrong About Romance

So, it’s not real secret that I’m in an awkwardly estranged relationship with Waffle. It’s going on two years I think and I’m still very much traumatized by the entire ordeal. I say estranged because we didn’t break up it was a break and we just kept staying very close to each other. Like, seeing each other every other day close. Waffle’s logic was being unhappy because, admittedly, we were fighting a lot but I challenge anyone who’s been in or is in a relationship to say you didn’t bicker. I’ll call you a liar. THE GRANDADDY OF ALL LIARS. Our arguments were typical, “What do you want to see?” “Why don’t you want to leave the house…” Waffle is a homebody and I’m pretty active so when it came to Netflix and chill, I was cool for awhile but then I wanted to be outside. Irony being what it is, I don’t want to be outside anymore because that means being alone and I can’t stand my own company.

-In all honesty, Waffle is a gift because of all the time we spent together, I felt like maybe I could be by myself but then was like, hell nope-

Romance is a strange thing. I’m romantic in a strange nerd way; I see something in a store and I pick it up and surprise you with whatever it is because I was thinking of you. I don’t do flowers because I tend to be allergic to them so by the time I deliver them my eyes are swollen and my nose is runny; I’m not very pretty so becoming the Zicam snot monster is kinda like…well…it’s just unpleasant.

I spend a lot of time secretly watching romantic comedies, especially off-beat ones where they’re so formulaic I can write them on a post it, mail it to some studio in LA and it’ll have Kiera Knightly or some other white girl in role with up and coming middle of the road sort of attractive twenty something male lead with an upbeat soundtrack and that one song that radio overplayed ad-nauseum. I’m obsessed to a degree with the movie “A Lot like Love” because at one point, I had a relationship like that. I use the word loosely in that regard; we were never going to be anything more than people who depended on each other until the right one came along. Charlie was already into someone else and I was just the support system until the other person got a hint. I haven’t seen Charlie in years and that was when Waffle and I started. My absolute favorite, kill me I have feelings movie is “Imagine Me & You” where the above header gif is from. Second place goes to “Saving Face” which perfectly captures the “holy shit I’m in love with you but I can’t really be all gay in everyone’s face about it but girl the world is yours” essence of just absolutely clicking with someone. Each of these movies have created an unrealistic view of love. They’re also INCREDIBLY gay but, whatever. It works in stages. You’re happy, madly in love, here’s a middle plot point that’s kinda meh (wanting kids, being out etc) and then someone makes the grand gesture.

Disney movies messed up other girls while I’m like, nahhhh kid, chill.

Just climb onto the roof of your parents Range Rover and yell:

I’m Han Solo in Star Wars; shooting the stormtrooper and winking.

I’m the guy at the end of whatever movie running in telling whoever they’re marrying the wrong person. (with my luck I’m the wrong person and that movie ends awkwardly)

I don’t date. I can’t. I don’t like people. I don’t trust them. Call it a survival skill. The farther away from them I am, the safer I feel. They’re savages. They just want to fuck and get it over with. I’ve only ever bonded with one person (which backfired after two years and resulted in the most abusive relationship I’ve ever been in) and the one person that I genuinely believe my soul is stuck with is Waffle. I just knew.

I do big things. I have done big things to get Waffle back because movies have made me think that these things are the things that need to be done to make it known that I’m not going anywhere. Sleep on the porch like Zac Braff’s character in “The Last Kiss” until his fiancé opens the door and let’s him back in even though I didn’t even cheat. (Sidebar: Waffle started listening to Coldplay because of this movie. First concert I took her to, Coldplay. DO YOU SEE?!) I’d fight bears, lions and tigers in Street Fighter. I’d cross oceans, roam caves, climb mountains just to make it known that I’m serious about this. I’ve messed up with our disagreements and think that not all horror movies are created equal and can love you better.

I probably told the story before of how we met so I won’t go over it again but the problem isn’t that the break was the most awkward thing in the world it’s that movies have made me think that time, patience and the belief in love conquering all can fix this. I’m a mess. Full disclosure. I’m working a great, stressful job, doing my best to keep my manic depression in check without medication, failing at a proper sleep schedule and the gym and I aren’t even talking to each other (it’s on the list of things that need to be fixed along with doing laundry regularly and not buying new bottles of whiskey) BUT this thing with Waffle is the thing that consumes me to the point of madness. I feel like utter shit because in all this time, the work, the effort, the achievement, means nothing compared to being able to look at Waffle with big stupid heart eyes and have them returned in kind. I’m jealous of celebrities and their romances. I never posted photos of us online because that was for me, for us. I didn’t want to put that out there where other people can judge and talk shit and throw comments. I was Waffle’s and Waffle was mine and that’s what mattered. What matters.

I sound insane.

I relate so hard to this

Romantic movies tell you that it’s all fixable. That you recover from heartbreak and fall in with someone else when you’re ready. That you’ll be sitting somewhere ready to move on and there they will be, standing there with a smile asking forgiveness and saying they want to try again. Romantic movies tell you it’s fine to lay in bed a few months and cry about it, know that they’re doing their own thing and they’ll regret it. They tell you get a revenge body, get even but the reality is, you’ll spend more time crying and more time eating and more time trying to understand why you’re so broken up about it that you’ll forget to think about them having a life and wonder what your own life is. Romantic movies have fun soundtracks and good lighting and sex scenes that make you miserable.

Infinite tenderness my aching ass.

Romantic movies complicate everything.

That’s what they get wrong.

They make it seem like within 90 minutes or three hours, you’ll have a solution. People just fall back into place after falling out of sync. They make it seem like there is some kind of solution and that everything works EXACTLY like this and you spend all this time looking for the signs to find your personal solution and resolve your own issue. You spend all this time analyzing and overthinking and dismantling and repairing before you can just admit it, you’re a mess and that person is the only one who can fix it so you wait and wait and wait for them to come to the same conclusion because that’s what happens right?

Romantic movies say that someone has a little lightbulb go off and they run run run run run back to you. They run and they catch you just before you get on the train, before you get on the plane before you leave them behind because you just can’t do it.

Nobody does that.

Nobody.

All my OTP’s are a total mess because nobody does that.

They won’t swallow their pride and try again and Waffle says there were attempts. (Odds are there were and I was too hurt to see them and fix them but to be fair, they weren’t identified as such). Nobody admits they were wrong and they want another shot, not in the way that romantic movies say they will. (I’m actually doing that all the time. My dignity can’t keep taking those hits but I have no shame or dignity and honestly I don’t have much else) No one fights for love anymore. They say it’s dead but that’s mostly because we’re all walking around broken from not trying; we let someone else beat us up and didn’t bother to fix any of it.

thanks Rick

Romantic movies, are garbage. They make you aspire to things that don’t exist. I’m here, literally and figuratively pouring everything out for Waffle and it’s not doing anything. I know there’s a million things happening in both of our worlds but it’s hell doing things alone and the thing is, neither of us have to be alone.

They can guide you, inspire you, they make you forget the world is trash and make you believe that you’ll find the one, make it work and get that happily ever after.

Love is compromise. You have to suck up certain things, concede other things, win and lose. You have to accept that the other person writes terrible Facebook posts, takes duck face selfies and has done the hip out, hair flip pose. You have to understand that they’re not as tech savvy as you are and that they don’t pay attention to the world the way you do. You have to accept that you’re both different and that kind of different is why you work. You can’t yell at them about something stupid, then demand a ring back and when they hand it to you, you can’t start crying and shove it back on their finger and tell them don’t be stupid and muttering I love you repeatedly into their mouths while you’re kissing them. you can’t. It’s why they leave you. It’s why you have to fight to get them back because it’s a compromise and you can only argue with yourself about nothing for so long before it starts to get painfully lonely and you stare at photos of the two of you wondering why you completely fucked up the best thing in your life. Suddenly you’re not the one wanting to chased, you’re chasing, even though you do. Love is desire. The need to be loved and love someone in the same way so it’s mutual and it works.

I still believe in us and that’s the saddest part about it. Maybe because it’s a movie and they’re supposed to kill time, the time that’s kill me  is the muddling middle of those movies; the part where the music swells and the tears fall and we just keep missing each other until we connect. Maybe I’m just a terrible optimist and I just keep holding onto the hope that it’ll all make sense that it’ll all get better and that things will end just like they do in the movies.

That Time Everyone Gave Me The Same Advice (and didn’t know it)

When I was in high school, trying to pick a quote that would hold up long after I walked out of high school, my mom told me what hers was. “This above all, to thine own self be true.” It was a Shakespeare quote so naturally I was like, ‘shit, how do I even top that?!’ I didn’t get it because I didn’t know who I was. Years later, I still have no true concept of it but it was interesting to think that that quote would always float around, flying in and out of my life and conversations the way a little bird would when trying to deliver an important message.

Or Keenan Ivory Waynes reminding you not to miss the things that happen in life.

I’m still reeling, dealing and trying (and failing) to conceal the fact that I’m really devastated about my separation. I need things real and concrete to keep my mind off the fact that the person I love most in this world is pushing me away with a fifty foot pole; it keeps me from losing my mind so I dive deep into work. I don’t and can’t really socialize with some of my other friends because we’re either on different ends of the spectrum or my perpetual sad eyes makes them uncomfortable. I spend a lot of time at work, honing my skills, teaching myself new things, trying to craft something out of the piece of a large cake that I’ve been offered. There are ups and down, new things to learn, things to understand, puzzles to puzz and I’m the kind of personality that has to figure them out or die trying.

So when the advice came to me, it was like, well what am I doing that you’re so wigged out?

Nothing.

I’m not doing anything.

I’m at work.

I go home.

I write.

I repeat.

I’ll see a movie and be so distracted that I wind up feeling like I wasted time and money even going and GOD KNOWS I LOVE MOVIES.

I overwork myself, bash in my own head to get great ideas and make something of myself so that whenever I leave a room, people notice that I did something that was worth the time spent there.

I guess in that regard, I’ve come to understand who I am but really, I’m seeing what I’m capable of. Embarrassingly, I’m on autopilot a lot of the time. It’s a little dangerous. I’m deliriously tired and either talk too much, fidget or just stare. I spent some of Saturday evening with Waffle and all I kept thinking was, ‘I’m so tired of chasing you but I’m still out here in this desert, running as fast as my legs will carry me. I’ll crawl goddamnit I really will’ while talking about the hum drum things with work and life. I’ve driven around in the car and thought, ‘I can really go for a wicked nap right now’ I’m capable of doing amazing things but is that WHO I AM?

Am I a problem solver?

am I the cause of problems?

am I just taking shit as it comes?

I’ve yet to figure it all out honestly but you’re not here for the psychology, you’re here for the fact that I heard the same thing from people completely unfamiliar with the situation.

Persons A:

This past week saw me really opening up to the possibility that I am changing and I’m not sure what I’m changing into or if I’m even actually changing. I had conversations with some great friends over some drinks (which in case you don’t know, is the best time to receive advice) and the recurring, unsolicited advice was “Don’t lose yourself.” It was interesting to hear this from them since I wasn’t even talking about work.

Person B-

While leaving work, I walked out late with a co-worker who, while we were shooting the bullshit, I joked about being able to multitask until I have to put an OUT OF ORDER sign around my neck. “Don’t forget who you are.” I was warned while we parted ways. Who I was? Who I am? A casual joke about overworking to the point of madness and that’s the message I get?

I guess you can tell when someone is having a crisis or when someone is tuned into the body language. I’m going to be completely honest. I think, overthink, re-think, think again, THEN go forward with something before doing anything work related. Caution and pre-caution forever.

-My personal life, is a shitshow, but we can’t get all the W’s in life right?-

Which brings us back to the quote. “This above all, to thine own self be true.” My own self is what? An android? A work bot? A worker bee? My life so far has been about some kind of survival, or at least the ability to pay bills on time, feed my family, worry over my brother and make sure my mom doesn’t keel over. I don’t think I’ve had an actual vacation where things were taken care of, where I didn’t have to worry, where I could get shitfaced and be fine in the morning. I haven’t taken a ‘break’ even while struggling with unemployment; I was so busy trying to make moves I was losing patience, losing my mind and crying myself to sleep. I have a need to celebrate even the tiny successes (which I’m told one shouldn’t celebrate because that’s corny) because I’ve been drinking losers lunch for so long. It’s insane that I’ve taken the long way around to get to something instead of being able to just GET TO WHAT I WANT. My own self is apparently a work horse that works until she can’t, takes a moment, watches the world, tapes herself up and continues to work.

I mentioned it a long time ago where I learned I’m a writer with a busted suit of armor who keeps going to war and perhaps, hyperbole aside, that’s who I am. I can’t forget that. I can’t get comfortable with the idea that I’m ‘settled’ somewhere; I can’t rest on laurels or on the idea that I’ve ‘arrived’ because just as easily as I walked in, I can get thrown out on my ass. My own discomfort makes me a mess and I guess I have to dig around to find the wide eyed 17 year old who wanted her name in lights, who wanted to make movies, date pretty people and live in a nice apartment to find out if I’m still that girl, if I can still be that wide eyed, happy and optimistic. If I can accept the fact that I have a truly fortunate run so far, that I’m not fucking up that I’m not a mess and most importantly that I am someone worth remembering.

in case you were wondering, my high school quote “Its your own lack of faith which stops you from having a bloody good crack at anything. It’s go hard or go home.” – Lucy Lawless

99 Problems: Cat Lady

In the same vein as What I Learned, 99 Problems is where I tell you my…well…99 problems.

So random problem is I am an animal person. I like animals far more than people and while animals can be temperamental as fuck, they are also forgiving, understanding and bond with the people who care most for them. There’s a bodega near me with two cats, a fat handsome son of a bitch named Mickey and a recently adopted (see, rescued) white tabby I’ve named Bingbong. (I don’t know if he’s got a name but he looks like a Bingbong) Bingbong lives in the bodega and has bonded with one of the guys who works there, super cutely I may add because he plays with Bingbong instead of working. In any case, because I am a fan of Bodega Cats of Instagram I like taking pictures of the little weirdos as they do their cat thing.

This is Bingbong

This is Mickey

This morning I was walking to the train and saw Bingbong a little too far out for my cat momma taste. He was off in a corner away from the bodega entrance and staring off into kitten space. People are savages in my neighborhood. Another cat named Nancy, who lived in the West Indian deli next to me went missing a few days after Halloween. They have a new cat named Frank (I think they’re Sinatra fans) who’s basically under lock and key now. So I worried about Bingbong because he darted out to chase some pigeons.

Super adorable because he’s tiny.

Anxiety inducing because he’s tiny.

I stare at him for a few minutes, debating what I should do in this situation because I’m heading to work and he’s not my cat.

He’s laying in the gutter, his little cat butt wiggling while he’s trying to sneak up on the pigeons.

Traffic is gearing up to move, the cars inching forward because cabbies can’t fucking wait to race to the next red light. Where Bingbong is laying is a right in the bus lane and guess what’s coming. I know he’s not paying attention and I know these bastards don’t care so I pick him up, keep him at arms length and carry him back into the bodega. “Keep your little ass in the store, cat.” After dropping off the little scoundrel, I head into the train station like I didn’t just run in screaming “PROTECT ALL THE HAIRY BABIES 2K15” and lock him in a box. I drop about a quarter bottle of anti bacterial hand sanitizer on my hands and then wash them again when I get to work. It’s not that I think he’s got mites or fleas or general unkempt cat issues, I’m just severely allergic to cats.

I am the mother for four.

I felt really good doing it too. Go figure. If I could save all the babies, I would.

I guess that’s where I have cat lady problems.

What I Learned This Week: June 19th

SO.

I’m trying this new thing where instead of being a whining bitch pants, I’m going to increase the peace and up my moral fiber and also, try to cheer up other people up and practice my word count.

It is in that grand spirit of giving that I present:

WHAT I LEARNED THIS WEEK.

so.

Here’s what I learned.

Saturday: Work. It’s my birthday. Waffle didn’t call and I basically had a meltdown. There was an apology and that was cool but still y’know? I’m one of those “plan for everything and everyone and I love you so yeah” kind of people. Had solo solo whisky and a slice of bacon pizza. Wondering why I’m fat.

Sunday: Work. Yelled at Game of Thrones like everyone else.

Monday: Honey Jack and Ginger, pernil and a late birthday cake can really cheer up a pleighgurl.

birdman money

Tuesday: Sitting on my ass answering emails for work is not the way to spend your two days off BUT it also shows the hustlers ambition, gumption and a desire to understand what’s going on when I’m not there. It’s a new job and I’m extremely nervous about being able to succeed in it given that it’s basically the holy grail of positions in the digital world. I mean it. It’s the actual promised land and it’s a place that I wound up falling into by plucky gumption. So. The anxiety is worth it. it’s not welcome and I need to get rid of it ASAP but yeah. you know, that’s just the way things are at the moment.

Wednesday: So apparently I’m capable of more than I thought. Work is a blur but I land a few crucial pieces for projects. I don’t even know what I did. I finished by tenth or twentieth re-read of “The Catcher in The Rye” because when you feel hella weird, you have to do the extra and remind yourself that everyone goes through this.

Thursday: I met Jidenna and produced a segment for work. I’ll share it, promise.

(yes he does look that good in person)

Went to make up birthday dinner with Waffle where I awkwardly stared across the plate of hot wings and fries I was enjoying with little heart eye emojis while doing that terrible thing where I just don’t know how to shut up. It’s funny because when it’s easy it’s super easy, when you want it to be casual as fuck, you basically wind up fucking up spectacularly. I’m honestly saddened by how utterly uncool I am. I wind up going home, texting like a madwoman, apologizing and saying even more profoundly romantic things to someone who isn’t really understanding where it’s coming from.

I also tracked down a valuable piece of gear in a decent time. I was kinda proud of that too. Go figure, I’m the Olivia Pope of stuff and things.

Friday: Pizza party followed by ice cream for a departing member of the team. I only hope to be as well liked and remembered as this guy is. It sort of cheered me up after spending most of the morning in near tears while Waffle and I exchanged text messages that basically was cribbed dialogue from every romantic movie ever. Mostly me digitally text begging for that shot…the one that always comes to someone in the movies but life isn’t like that, much as I want it to be. I am, never the less, embarrassingly hopeful because I’ve basically asked the universe for simple favors and this is the one that I’ve been holding my breath on and putting all the energy towards.

the power of Swizzle compels you.

Let me know what you think. I’m going to keep doing this because its interesting and dammit, that word count!

Marshall Mathers LP Turns 15

I’m not okay.

I was probably 14 or 15 at the time. TRL was becoming a juggernaut and I was printing Em lyrics in typing class. I went out to The Wiz and bought it. The cashier pointed out the Parental Advisory sticker (she’d also sold me other tagged albums before) I said, “I know.” and handed over my money.

What would follow was a year of obsessive listening, understanding that not everyone is a happy camper and that there are people who happily talk shit and will hit back. I wasn’t a devout rap fan. I’m a New Yorker and at the time, we know our shit was hype. The rest of the country hadn’t even touched what New York or Los Angeles had with the genre and then here comes Marshall with Detroit on his shoulders, a blonde mop on top and the Mr. Just Don’t Give A Fuck attitude. I had the album on repeat. It’s a lyrical backflip, wordplay and exposing piece of rap that few other albums have ever managed to do. He was struggling with fame, he was struggling with his identity, he was in the beginning stages of addiction, struggling with being the only guy who was willing to be as wild as his lyrics. He was well aware of the target on his back and vented the frustrations into the album that would encapsulate a strange time in pop history. He wound up in verbal sparring (and physical altercations) with lesser rappers (Fucking Benzino) and wind up on top.

I wound up understanding that there was Marshall and there was Slim and there’s Shady. I understood that in order to survive we just make different masks, different personas to cope with the disaster of it all. MMLP came to mark a time in my life where I had no idea what I was doing (still done) felt like I had to have multiple personalities in order to make things happen for myself. It’s true. I created them and they are working, they battle each other a lot of the time but they’re also conflicting representations of who I can be. The irony is that that’s exactly what happened with MMLP; it captures moments from 2000, it captures moments from Em’s life, Marshall’s life, Slim and Shady’s life. It’s a triptych telling one version of events that modern albums don’t do anymore.

It’s a concept record.

The closest we’ve come to another series of albums on that level is Kid Cudi’s Man on The Moon but it’s taking three albums to do what Marshall did in one.

For all the pop and radio friendly tracks, Remember Me, Amittyville, Drug Ballad carried some of the heaviest pieces of lyricism that showed the raw lyrical power that Em posses. It’s why he’s the king of freestyles. It’s why, fifteen years later he can comfortably call himself a Rap God.

MMLP 2 pales in comparison, it’s admittedly a copy paste version of MMLP and stumbles where Recovery soared but he was right when he said “I can put out the same album twice and you retards will buy it.”

Sigh.

Fifteen years later. I love it.