garden of eden / by laurel

Let me begin by saying, I try not to be snobby about music. No, really. You listen to what makes you happy and I'll listen to what makes me happy, and wow, we'll both be happy. Whatever. But some of the people here at Quik...I don't know, man. I just don't know.

It's one thing to listen to loud screamo hardcore stuff (and I'm not talking about good hardcore or good punk, either. And I think a few of you will know what I mean), but it is ENTIRELY another to listen to it so loudly that I can hear it from my cube-ish Haven of Good Taste. Just because you prefer the aural equivalent of a bad skateboarding accident, Quik Dude, don't turn that crap up to eleven and expect me to glaze over and rock out ambivalently with you, know what I'm sayin'? 

Ok. He couldn't hear me, on account of the music. 

I put my headphones on before 10 a.m. this morning because I couldn't concentrate (wow, look at me, sounding so conservative and crotchety. KIDS THESE DAYS, WITH THEIR ROCK N' ROLL MUSIC! Bah!), and I clicked around aimlessly for awhile before settling on a mix I'd made for my Thanksgiving trip to San Francisco a few months ago. 

The song was Loudon Wainwright III's "The Swimming Song," and as soon as I heard that banjo plucking, it took me right back to the Friday after Thanksgiving (itself a pretty long and formidable story), when we drove up to Santa Cruz to visit Charlie. We'd just consumed our body weight in burritos and tortilla chips, and thought maybe some exercise would somehow exorcise the bean demons from our systems, so we followed Charlie to the Santa Cruz mountains, to a place he knew of called the Garden of Eden.

I know I grew up in Oregon where I was surrounded on all sides, all night and all day, by nature and trees and grass and critters and flora and fauna, but after living in LA for the better part of 7 years now, a girl really starts to miss things like silent forests and leaves and clean air. Needless to say, once we found ourselves lost along a railroad track in a yellow forest, I was the happiest girl in the world. 

We followed the tracks for a bit before finding the swimming hole, presumable the "Garden of Eden" Charlie spoke of. It was nearly twilight by the time we got down there so we didn't stay very long, but it was one of my favorite memories from the trip, and that Wainwright song always makes me think of that moment, walking along the tracks silently with a stomach full of carne asada. 

Looking back over the pictures, I became giddy with excitement because Charlie (who has previously been galavanting all over the place; San Jose, London, New York) is finally coming back to LA this fall to go to grad school. I expect many adventures to follow.

However, the giddiness is shortlived because the pictures from that trip also remind me that while one is returning, another one is leaving. Josh is moving to Alaska at the end of this month, presumably to spend a few months on a fishing boat, drinking whiskey and writing music when he's not puking overboard or telling bawdy jokes with the other sailors. Then it's off to South America where, I suppose, he'll tell bawdy jokes in Spanish. Muy caliente. (Another song from the mix comes to mind, "Plans" by Grizzly Bear: Baby, it's a long way to South America. And if I could, I would be there)

And all of this reminiscing and excitedness/sadness reminds me of another moment in San Francisco, as we walked through Little Italy and I started humming a song under my breath. Before we finished crossing the street, three of us were singing it together, barely audible above the noise of traffic and commerce. But the sentiments are exactly what I'd say to both Charlie and Josh, and everyone who was on that SF trip: I ain't got nothing but love, eight days a week.