"Ouch." Yeah. That's how I'm starting my story. Ouch. Says a lot doesn't it? I didn't really mean to start off on such an offbeat note, and the first sentence really sets the tone for the story but, oh well. Some stories, are inspiring, others are scary, some are funny. This one is just..plain..weird. It's not that it's strange, it's just more on the line that some stories just can't be put into a topic. And this is one of those stori-
"Ouch? Is that really how you're going to take it? Ouch? Come on. Man up." And there you just witnessed only the most classy boy in the whole school. I mean look at him. The way his hair isn't washed or combed, the reek of I dont even want to know what, and the oh-so-beautiful voice that sounds like a vacuum trying to eat up a lego. Classy, on point. "Aren't you going to say something? Or are you just going to sit there zoning off like always?" This jerk right here, is the 'Coolest Kid in the World'. His name is Joel, but he prefers the name Joe. I call him Joel anyways. It really gets him wound up. But Joel was right about one thing. I zone off...a lot. Mostly doing stuff like this. I kind of narrate my own life in my head. Pretend I'm the star of a really popular TV show or something and that there's actually someone out there who cares. Oh wait, there isn't. "Sorry Joel. I can't hear you." I picked up my headphones and put them on. This is the story of me and how music is my best friend.
The bus is a scary place, kids. It's either you fit in on it, or you don't. I of course am one of the people who don't. At least until the music starts. I looked down at my Ipod's screen. I pressed play, and the music started blasting immediately. It was at this moment I entered a new reality. A much more peaceful one, with no worries at all. Suddenly, in that moment I fit in. Because I'm not on the bus anymore. I'm in my own little world. That's the power of music. Though I still knew that Joel was there, probably saying some really harsh and unnecessary things, it was all cool. I had my music, instead of hearing him, I hear Adele. Okay laugh it up, I listen to Adele. So funny.
Pop music really helps me keep my spirits up. It's great. It really is. I don't understand why people are always hating on it, it's good music. When I listen to pop music, or any music really, my imagination runs wild. For example, listening to 'Set Fire to the Rain' made my strange..strange mind, turn me into what I've always dreamt of being. Popular. Yes, me, the boy who is always making rude jokes about the cool kids wishes to be one. Not popular exactly, I just want to fit in. Somehow I'm at a Dance, being all suave with the ladies, and having my own posse. (I'm not even going to say what 'Cool Kids' brings up) One thing you should know is I don't ever pick a song, I always choose shuffle. If I'm in a bad mood, I just hit shuffle and pray it's a pop song.
As we neared my bus stop, I turned off the music. My ears rung from blasting such loud music, as all my senses hit me at once. The uncomfortable seats with hearts saying 'Blank plus Blank' inside them, written in pen i dont even know how many years ago. Joel seemed to have gone MIA, even though switching seats while the bus is in motion is against rules. Peace at last. If you consider peace kids screaming and acting like complete untamed animals. The bus came to a stop and I walked off along with a couple other people.
Once on the snow-covered sidewalk, I turned to walk to my house, but the sidewalk was being blocked by the group of cool kid girls, who were (shocker) all around Joel. "Alright Joe, I'll see you later!!" one girl said as she left the group. "We'll see you around dude" another guy said as he left the group along with 2 others. Eventually there was enough room for me to get around the group without falling into a pile of snow, or slipping on a patch of ice.
I walked through the front door and threw my backpack onto the ground. Mom was off at work, and Dad was working out in the basement. "Home sweet home" I said to myself. I wouldn't exactly call my house sweet, but it isn't a complete dump. There always seems to be something on the floor or on the tables, and the garage is just a complete mess, but it isn't as bad as an episode of Hoarders. I walked to the kitchen and heated myself up some pizza snacks.
The door in the Kitchen that led to the backyard opened and Joel walked in. " 'Sup dork?" I probably should've mentioned earlier, Joel is my brother. How else do you think he gets away with all the teasing. He took my plate of pizza snacks, which I had expected. "Thanks for being such a jerk on the bus today" I muttered. Joel stuffed a pizza snack in his mouth. "I was just trying to be a good brother! I mean, you have no friends to sit with you on the bus. Let alone have any friends at all." he said while still eating the pizza snack. Gross. Joel needs to learn to not talk while he's eating. Instead of responding to his remark, I just slipped on my headphones as Joel headed upstairs with his (technically my) snacks. "Mom's going to be mad at you for eating upstairs" I called after him. "Mom's not going to know, though now is she?" Joel responded. The last part of that was drowned out by AC/DC though.
I put my feet up on the table and leaned back in my chair. While pop songs like Adele get me out of a bad mood rock music has quite a different effect on me. I generally only listen to rock music when I'm alone, and it really gets me pumped. I imagine myself on a stage, rocking out when all of the sudden, the stage starts falling apart. I fly away just in time and avoid being crushed to death by debris. Oh rock music. Rock, along with certain Soundtracks to certain movies (Yes, I'm talking about you James Bond and Mission Impossible) always seem to make me a hero somehow, or someway, or make me do something superhuman or just plain awesome. It also causes me to rock back and forth with gang signs thrown into the air until I fall off my chair. Joel caught me on tape doing that once. 10,000 views on youtube doesn't seem like a lot but trust me it is.
Halfway through 'You Give Love a Bad Name' I heard the too familiar scream that went a bit like "JOEEELLL!!!!" Mom found the pizza snacks. Get to the bomb shelter because I think a nuke's about to go off. I quickly sprinted up the steps and into my room, closing the door. My room is actually the cleanest part of the house. My bed however, is the dirtiest. I spend almost all my time in my bed, propped up with my back against the wall listening to music from my laptop, and I usually never move from that spot. Across from bed, which was littered in wrappers was my desk. The most unused part of my room, is where I'm supposed to do my homework. My dresser sat a couple feet away from the desk, and across from that was a TV, which I liked to keep on at all times for some reason.
I unplugged my headphones from my Ipod and plugged them into the computer. I could faintly hear some yelling downstairs. I could make out the words "THIS HOUSE IS SUCH A PIGSTY" very obviously from my mom. Oh the joy of Joel getting scolded. "Maybe I'll put the music on hold for just a little bit...Enjoy the moment.." I said to myself. That was when I heard my dad walk up the steps. You can never tell what kind of mood he's in. I heard him crack a joke, so I was relieved to hear it was a good one. My mom wasn't in a good mood as she ranted on about how he never takes anything seriously, and all he does is work out. To be fair, he is a bodybuilding instructor. Eventually the bickering got annoying and I decided to listen to some more music. Cue The Matrix.
Oh dubstep. Where would I be without you. Sometimes I scare myself with the stuff I come up with when listening to dubstep. It's a nice normal day, walking around me being awesome and all when suddenly the bass drops. Monkeys falling from the sky, random explosions, dinosaurs eating the president, the second the bass drops we enter no man's land. Something about the steady buildup and sudden blast of music just makes my mind want to find the strangest parts of my brain.
The rest of the night passed by pretty quickly. Joel decided to lock himself up in his room, and I jammed out to music all night. Around 11:00 I decided to call it a night. The problem with listening to music is, it gets stuck in your head. I tried and tried to just close my eyes and sleep, but every time I'm about to fall asleep I hear.."SHOT THROUGH THE HEART AND YOU'RE TO BLAME"... and I'm fully awake again. This process repeats every night.
I woke up late. Again. Ten minutes to the bus, and I was still in my pajamas. I had to skip my morning shower, and shovel a handful of cereal into my mouth, and throw on random clothes. I stopped for a second and looked at myself in the mirror, before I left. Bags under my eyes. Check. Uncombed hair. Check. For a second I thought I was turning into Joel Jr. Apart from that though, I looked pretty normal. I got on the school bus and sitting in the first seat was my one and only friend, Samantha. Yeah, I have a friend. Sam was a popular girl who was way out of my social level. She had short brown hair, and was i guess pretty on some level, because guys always seemed to hang around her. Me and Sam basically were in the same classes from first grade up until high school when we fell apart. I sat down next to her, as Joel laughed at me in the back and called up to me saying "Forget to turn off the music last night?!" I rolled my eyes.
"He's such a jerk to you." Sam said, giving him a devilish glare. "Yeah, I noticed," I said as I pulled out my headphones. "Really? With the music again? If all you do is listen to music how are you going to make friends?" She asked, this time giving me the devilish glare, which is actually very intimidating. "Music is my friend." I responded nonchalantly. "You're a lost cause.." she muttered as she turned towards the window and stared out it blankly.
I was about to turn on the music when I decided to take her advice to heart. "You know.."I started as she looked at me with a 'wow he's actually talking' look on her face. "I wasn't lying when I said music is my friend. Sometimes, I pretend The Beatles are my shrink." She laughed at that. I made someone laugh. Look at that, baby steps. Me and Sam ended up talking the whole bus ride. Look, slightly bigger baby steps!!
I walked into school with Sam until she was eaten up by her popular group of friends. I knew i wouldn't be seeing from her for a while. Who knows what goes on there. I pulled out my Ipod to get my dose of before-class music, and that's exactly what I got. At first I felt a bit guilty, wondering if I should try and socialize. I looked around and saw cool kids. Girls with shorts that were way too short, especially for winter, and guys who if their pants sagged anymore, they'd fall to the ground. I don't think that's worth socializing with. I turned on my music and let myself get put into another reality. Problem. Country music came on. Out of all the songs I have, the one country song I accidentally downloaded comes on. Of course. Country music is the only music I can’t stand. I turned off the Ipod and put it away after that letdown.
School is very boring. I usually sit in the back of the classroom. The other people who sit back there are the goof-offs, the sleepers, and the girls who just want to talk. I get my good fill on gossip back there and I am not proud of it. I was daydreaming in class, when a surprising thing happened. The teacher came up to me. He called out my name, suddenly and it made me jump. I could feel all the eyes on the classroom on me. Even the sleepers had woken up to see what was going on. "Going off to daydreamland are you..?" he asked, "I'd advise next time, to stare at something like the board, instead of the window. Move up to the front where I can keep an eye on you." So I took my stuff, and moved to the front. Surprisingly, I actually learned stuff. I didn't realize this school thing really isn't that hard.
After class, the teacher decided to have a little talk with me. "I've seen you in the hallway before." he said to me. I found that a little bit creepy. "sitting alone, listening to your music, is not the way you should be doing this." I looked at the floor. "Well..music is kind of my only friend...in a way.." I said shyly. I'm kind of socially awkward around adults. It happens. "No, i know, it's not. I bet you didn't know that Samantha's my daughter." Now this got my attention. "Wait-wait-wait hold up, Samantha, as in my only friend, and one of the cool cats Samantha?" I questioned. The teacher let out a little laugh. "Yes, if that's what you want to call her. Do you even know her last name?" I rolled my eyes. "Yeeeeeessss...." I said sarcastically holding it out. Who knew? Mr Scott had a daughter. Samantha Scott. That sounds just about right.
At that moment, I realized that he knew I knew Samantha in some way. "How did you know we knew each other?" I asked. He sat on his desk. "She used to come home telling stories about how funny you were, and how great you were, and then out of nowhere the stories stopped. Would you like to guess when?" I actually didn't want to guess when. I knew of course, but I still didn't want to guess. We fell apart, when High School started...and mostly when I got my Ipod. I guess music became an addiction of some sort. Right when I was about to respond, the bell rang. "You better get off to class. I hope I didn't take any precious music time." Mr. Scott said.
I sat in the front for the rest of the classes of the day. The only one I had some trouble with was Algebra. I guess it really is torture. On the bus home from school I sat next to Sam again. Joel made a joke about us dating as he passed, but I just ignored it. "So what music are you going to be listening to this time?" Sam asked in a jokingly way, almost as if she was annoyed. I just ignored her question like a total jerk. "Why didn't you tell me your dad was a teacher?" I asked her. She facepalmed. "Maybe, because you're always listening to music and never talk? Ever thought of that?" A light bulb seemed to appear over my head at that point. "Oh....OHHH..... That makes..a lot of sense.. actually.." I said, scratching the back of my head.
For the second time in a row, we had a full conversation. Having conversations was completely alien to me. I found it surprising how easily topics came and went. There was one thing that surprised me. Turns out Sam loved singing. She was in Chorus and everything. So, we pulled out her speakers and started singing. One thing I swore I'd never do, especially on the bus, and I'd made the decision to do it in less than a second. Strange.
The next day, Sam introduced me to her friends. I'd gone over 24 hours without listening to music, and I wasn't losing it. Magical. Anyways, it turns out, Sam wasn't in the 'popular kids group' she just hung out with her Chorus friends. Guess I should've paid more attention. That day, I had more fun than I've ever had. I actually had I group I hung out with and talked to in the halls, one of them was even in a couple of my classes. He was a bit strange though. He wore Bow Ties and suspenders all the time. I don't think he realized this isn't a Doctor Who convention. Apart from that, he and most of Sam's other friends were cool. You can't even call this progress baby steps anymore.
After my new 'favorite' class, Mr. Scott talked to me again. "So I hear you've gone and made friends in..lets see.. the 24 hours since we've last seen each other? Are my words really that inspiring to you?" We both laughed a little. "I guess you did help a little. I figured, why talk to The Beatles, when I could be talking to someone who's actually listening?" We talked about other pointless stuff, until the bell rang for the next class. Or in my case, lunch period.
Lunch I'd always sat alone, listening to my music. But the cafeteria's only so big. By 'alone' I meant I sat at the end of a table, with the band geeks about two seats down. That's as alone as you get in the caf. Instead of sitting alone though, I'd finally found my own posse. Sam and her Chorus pals, were all great people, so I figured, why not? For once at lunch I had laughed and talked so much that I didn't even finish my lunch. Which is a very rare occurrence, because I am a pig. As we were leaving the lunch room, Sam stopped me. "What happened to your best friend the Ipod?" she joked. I felt the Ipod-shaped lump in my pocket and smiled. "I guess, we broke up." I joked back. As Sam laughed, I realized I might not have been joking. Maybe my music days were over.
I took off my headphones. Joel was still next to me, punching my arm, focusing on one spot, where I'm sure a bruise was forming. I looked over to Sam. She was still sitting with her cool kid friends. Why must I make my daydreams so realistic? Remember when I said my mind makes up something to make me happy when I listen to pop songs? That's what my mind made up. Sorry for the letdown, but none of that actually happened. I moped home, thinking about how awesome it would've been if that daydream was real. Just like any other daydream I've ever had. As I sat in bed and put my headphones on I realized something. My mind makes me think things that make me happy when I listen to pop music. Every time it's been about having friends. Maybe if I had actual friends, I wouldn't need music to make me happy. I took my headphones off. "Maybe my music days are over." I said to myself.