January, 25th 1997 was he first time I ever really remember meeting paul was when his band Homesick with our friend Ban played at the ComLam… behind the AutoZone in Roy, Utah. It was really just someone’s practice space with carpeted walls. On the carpet behind where the band played someone had spray painted “MINOR TREAT” and had <ed in the letter “H” between the the “T’ and the “R”. I never knew if it was a joke ir a mistake, either way it always amused me.
I recognized Paul in the band with my friend Ban from a Down By Law show years ago when I was on the edge of the Pit with my sister and my friend Kate and this kid with a jacket that said “Pub” on the back of it kept running into just us girls. We thought he must be a total dick and punched him every time he came around. For year we just referred to him as pub boy. It turned out that he was just really drunk and didn’t know why all these girls kept punching him. When I saw him at the Comlab show I wondered how “Pub Boy” knew Ben. I traded Ben for a copy of the zine “Lunchroom” that he and “Pub Boy” did. After the show Ben invited us over to “Pub Boy Paul’s” house.
Webly, Andy and I rode back down to Salt Lake and got to paul’s house…. where we waited for Ben to show. Paul offered to make me coffee from my favorite coffee roaster in SLC. Who was this guy? Then we all hung out in his room where my eyes explored the walls that were plastered with flyers of almost all the same shows I had been to over the years. What was this kid? He had even seen the supposed last Fifteen show at Gilman! How did I now know him? Then it clicked, I did know him. I had met him when I was 14 at a Dance Club with my friend. I had a tape of his very first band, The Vomited Cockroaches! I blurted that out and didn’t seem to believe me and said he didn’t want to talk about my friend. Ben never showed up so we left.
Paul and I sat down the other day and tried to figure out when our Anniversary is. Does that sound weird? I know that show was January 25, 1997 because I have a flyer. I know the first day we really hung out was a a Friday. I was skipping college to hang out with my sister, Andy, Ben and our puppy Stormy. I know it was in the first week of March and it was a holiday for high school so my sister wasn’t in school. It looks like the first Friday in march 1997 was March 7th.
Webly, Andy, Ben, Story and I loaded into our tiny blue 1980 Mazda Rx-7. The car didn’t so much have a back seat as it has a luggage shelf. We went downtown and the day felt like the first day of spring where the you can actually wear shirt sleeves for the first sime since the year before and the sun warms one side of your face and the chill of winter clings to the other.
I have a photo that someone took on this day, I can’t find it right now or I would post it. It is seared in my mind. it is shot from the back as we are walking down the streets of SLC. I’m wearing and over sized 90’s Queers shirts and holding Stormy’s leash, Webly is in an Aquabats shirt and Ben has a leather jacket. That image represents what would come, one of the best years of my life.
We spent hours wandering around downtown exploring alleys and streets with our puppy… who everyone thought was adorable. We were getting hungry and spare changed a bit of money to buy a bunch of Ramen. Ben had mentioned that Paul had asked about me so I was a bit curious about Paul. We had gotten the Ramen at a grocery store that could have been seen as suspiciously close to Paul’s house. So when I coyly asked “where are we going to eat this” Ben offered up Paul’s hosue 3 blocks away.
So, we sat with a huge tub of Ramen and a puppy on Paul’s kitchen floor. Later Paul and Ben sat on the pool table with an acoustic guitar and had somehow turned Nine Inch Nails- Something I can never have into a jaunty ska song. It was hilarious! We hung around and listened to music. I took Webly, Ben, Andy and Stormy home and Paul and I met some other SLPX kids at Denny’s and discussed Star Wars triva because they were about the re release the first movies. it was good times.
The next day Paul and I went to a show in the basement of DV8 where we sat on an old couch backwards and sang each other Dead Milkmen songs ignoring the bands that were actually on the stage and our friends. I had been trying to figure out if “pub boy” was the jerk I had made him out to be but he was actually pretty cool.
Our first real “Date” if you wanna call it that was about a week later. Paul asked me to come and watch the opera Carmen (classy, eh?) After he got off work we went up to the University Library and watched Carmen in our own little viewing room. I remember we sat on top of a table and made fun of the band “punkadellic” while I rested my head on his leg.
That night we went back to his place. We talked about flyers on his walls and all the shows we had been to. We talked about his band Homesick and listened to their demo tape. He put on a Frank Sinatra album. We talked about my jr. high friend that he didn’t want to talk about, it turns out they had dated the year before and it has ended badly.
At two in the morning he turned on the radio and I was treated to the voice of Art Bell, the late night talk radio guy who has guest talk about UFOs and the paranormal…. I listened to the very same show every night. All of the doubts I had about this kid being a jerk were sort of dispelled. He went from playing Frank Sinatra to a radio show about Aliens!
We had our first kiss that night.
When Paul and I sat down to figure out when our anniversary was were trying to think of this date. I’m pretty sure it was a Thursday night which would make it March 13, 1997. We were trying to figure out exactly what day it was so that we could listen to that Art Bell Broadcast…. cause we are just that geeky. It turns it was the same night as the famous Phoenix Lights… but we were too wrapped up in eachother to remember.
Strangely, looking at the calendar for 1999 it turns out that Paul broke up with me the night of March 12! Almost exactly 2 years later. That is 10 years from this month. Those two years were great though. We shared a post box and made zines. I was the merch girl for this band and went on tour with them. We traveled to the bay area to see Morrissey and to Portland for my 21st birthday. I learned to drink and appreciate good beer. We were a good match but we were young and stupid. Paul, in some sort of pre-life crisis broke my heart for fear of holding me back.
I moved to Portland and we spent 5 years barely speaking. Paul would send me my mail from our shared post box, I saw his new band play in Portland twice but at the end of March in 2004 I took a trip to Utah for research and found Paul again. This part will have to wait for the zine.
Anyway, messiness and stuff ensued. I moved out and then back in with my emotionally abusive husband at the time and finally left him for good at the end of 2005. Paul moved to Portland at the end of February 2006… which is close enough for March for me! We have been living together for 3 years now. So we sort of celebrate all of March as our anniversary month.
Too bad I’m leaving to Seattle on the 13th for the Zine Librarian Un-Conference, but we do have the rest of the month and the full moon on the 10th.
One of the 3 days around every full moon we try to make a night to spend with eachother. We sort of got this idea from my parents who dance together to a particular song on the full moon. Well, Paul and I make a meal, drink some good beer and take turns playing records for each other and dance together. It is just a nice way of making time to appreciate each other in our hectic schedules… It is also pretty romantic.