In my memory I’m much younger than 26 the summer of 1998 when Liz Phair’s “Whitechocolatespaceegg” came out.
Three years post-college and I was working at not my first, but second shitty gas station job where I fried so much chicken it took a decade for me to be able to eat it again.
I was living at home with my parents and convinced my life was never going to begin. I would drive to work in my 1979 Chrysler Newport while Liz sang “do you want to flap your wings and fly away from here?” My answer was always yes. Yes. Please, yes. More than anything.
Maybe I only seem younger because I was so miserable and so stuck. I was 26 and convinced everything I’d ever be I’d been (thanks Matthew Sweet). Of course, with hindsight I can see I was listening to the wrong parts of the song. I shouldn’t have been listening to Henry, the bartending friend’s teasing, “Do you want to be a polyester bride?”
I should have listened to his advice. “You’ve got time.”
I should listen now as I struggle through another August, twenty years on, feeling stuck, miserable, and convinced everything I’ll ever be I’ve been.