September 5 – September 11
It was well quoted in high school, and occasionally reemerges as a meme for this month as October 3rd does for October 3rd in light of further 2000s nostalgia. I’m talking about the line, wake me up when September ends. A simple, vague declaration universal to the feeling of trying to forget, moving on. It’s a lyric of a song from the band to whom I most certainly do owe most of my creative individuality towards, Green Day.
However, I am reveling in this September. For starters, new faces in my life as my favorite season approaches, the season that symbolizes new changes on the horizon, and seemingly all good, and not just for myself. Those around me are finding themselves driving their dream cars, emerging victorious from the perils of the BAR exam, and within three months time, travels to New York will begin again. But for the moment, the new change I enjoy is that of great company and chasing the dream that is finally seeing Green Day in concert. And a concert wouldn’t be coming without the release of their latest album, Revolution Radio. Oh god. A new one. They’re still here. The lifelong dream lives on– in the wake of a season where change is interchangeable with fading.
I was fourteen when I started listening to the music I swear by now, and Green Day was the band that did it. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was a soft yet emotionally-rigged tune that I was told by my sister would be a song I’d enjoy, and lovable songs in the mid-2ooos for me were definitely hard to come across. I was totally immersed in my (undying) love for strictly classical and old jazz, and anything outside those realms were just trash. And coming from my sister who was infatuated with all Ashanti/ Ja Rule and Nelly hits on the radio, suggesting an alternative rock ballad was quite out of left field for the both of us. I was hesitant– and one day, there it played on the radio. It wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t overkill for me. It was a slow but endearing song with a soft piano in the works and a haunting chorus. What my parents considered a downward spiral for me musically was just the beginning of becoming a new Paris, unique and self-fulfilling.
My preppy-turned-awkward punk/hippie years in high school are not the most aesthetically-pleasing to look at in old photos. As terrible as I looked you can equally see how happy I was, blissfully ignorant of my teenage phase yet doe-eyed and hopeful. I traded low-heeled Mary Janes for black Chuck Taylors and started my high school’s first environmentally- focused club. In skinny jeans I trusted alongside my studded belt to walk into my counselor’s office to discuss applying for college…it was only the beginning of sophomore year. By 2009 I was set for USF and a new chapter in my city, and I’d built up an adequate playlist on which to live this life to. And then that summer, before heading off, my favorite band gave me “Viva La Gloria!” Another fierce anthem that really resonated with me and my passions for the future. Trying to revolutionize and change the world with what I thought I knew at the time and through purely terrible writings. This was an aspiring writer who thought it was all figured out, ready to burn the world with her work and a kickass song singing praises to a punk heroine created by her first artistic and relatively hometown heroes.
And this would all fade– life would laugh at these ideals of mine as I actually got out beyond the suburbs. But later on, as I sat at my desk in an office high rise overlooking downtown San Francisco, contentedly listening to all Green Day again, I crossed paths with Gloria. That raging, loving, passionate-to-burn-all fury that motivated me for my future was coming back in just a few minutes of a song. And I couldn’t have listened to “Viva La Gloria!” at a more inspiring week. I’ve only gone on about my music and punk heroes of high school past because I tend to get caught up nostalgia– and it only added to a memorable start to the fall. Looking back at last year, there was so much uncertainly and almost fear about the coming season. Fall marks change, but in contrast to before, today, now, and in my future I only wish I could put change on hold– to make these memories last. Gone are the first excitements of your parents finally meeting the person you sincerely adore, the person who keeps surprising you in new and wonderful ways that make you seem not alone any more, as alone as I had been in these past few months. Gone is when you and that person roamed Polk Street for what seemed like forever for a bathroom until sprinting into Grubstake Diner and leaving with the best grilled shrimp you ever tasted. Gone is that moment you woke up next to their face whose look you’ll never forget– someone so happy you’re by their side. So happy that they try to make these dreams of yours come true, determined and headstrong to find a pair of tickets to see Green Day with you– even if tickets are already sold out for all upcoming shows.
And also gone now, borne ceaselessly back into the past as Fitzgerald would have liked it, was a dream of a Sunday, a well lived fantasy that only came true for a single afternoon. Here we were, you and I , you in your gray driving hat and I in my wine-stained white dress and sunhat draped in pearls and lounging on a blanket beneath the sun and vintage cars as someone out by the distant dance floor sang “The Very Thought of You” almost sounding like Lady Day. Nothing quite felt like The Gatsby Summer Afternoon before in my life, and never did I think I would have that feeling in the first place. It was a fanciful and expensive little event I always had eyes for but couldn’t afford or couldn’t convince anyone to go to. This was another Cinderella moment in which magic brought me back in time, to 1922 when I could we enjoy all things from a simpler time and in each other’s company– because without you, in your gray hat and red tie, this magical moment would not have been made possible. Never stop surprising me, never stop being wonderful, and for now, never stop being this perfect in the moment.
That is my September thus far. And I’m not ready to wake up. Gloria is back and ready to tackle the bright future before her, the chance to chase another lifelong dream again, but she deserves some rest before the big battle.