Soundtrack to Life – Suzan

Well, it’s thursday morning, and once again I haven’t even begun my column. No real surprise here. I was gonna start it last night but I passed out in the computer chair — actually it’s a really comfy rocker — until about 6am when I went to bed. I have to get up early to write these things cuz otherwise I have to fight for the computer and privacy all day. As it is, I’m the only one up, and I like it that way. I won’t last I know. Around noon those damn kids are gonna start flooding in and taking over parts of the house. First this room, then the living room, and that’s where all the entertainment is. So I’ll be confined to my room, eyeing up various things that could be used as weapons. Anywho, I’ve got something huge in mind, but I’m not gonna start it today. Oh no. I think it’s about 5 parts if I can think of that many different songs for that adventure. Today I’m gonna tell a tale, one which some of you may remember hearing parts of. See, the whole relationship matter has been going through my head lately, so I figured I’d tell a story which fits the guidelines.

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Suzan

“The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe

Here it was, freshmen year. A big time in anyone’s life. That first year of highschool. Over the past three years, my disgust for society had begun to set in and I grew ever more jaded with each passing day. How could people treat their fellow man like this? I didn’t bother anyone. In fact, I went out of my way to avoid people. Still, someone always saw fit to fuck with me. Whether it be a passing comment or a whole series of stupid questions, I was there for their amusement.

In highschool, you gotta make your allies where you can. Check with your friends, see if you share classes. And if not that, find those with similar tastes and befriend them. Such was the case with my lunch hour. I had to take my Earth Science class in East for whatever reason when I was a West student, and that was just before lunch. I don’t know why, but for some reason in my own stubborn ways, I’d insisted on eating at West cafeteria. East cafeteria was just down the hall. If I so desired, I could have been one of the first in line. But for some reason I had to eat in West, which was a decent little jog from where I was. I shared this little powerwalking commute with fellow outcast Jim Schearer, who’d always joke that I was “slower than molasses going uphill in the middle of winter”. He and I set up our little niche in the cafeteria along with three girls from the freshmen class. We didn’t know who they were, but it was likely they were outcasts as well. There was Beth, a short, fat, young woman who didn’t even have a pretty face. Sarah, a larger fat girl with a bubbly attitude. Then there was Suzan. Shorter, skinny, staight blonde hair hanging past her shoulders, thick rimmed glasses and somewhat of a large nose. So she was the better looking of the three.

As days went by, myself and Jim got to know the three girls better, talking on a daily basis. Just idle chit chat and goofing around mostly. Now, as I’ve found, when women get together and one of these women sets her eyes on a certain man, the women work together to bring the two together. Such was the case with myself and Suzan. She asked me out one day. It had been the first time any girl had shown this much interest in me. I didn’t know quite what to respond. And so I said “I don’t see why not.” But, I had said so while walking away from the lunch table, as she’d asked me at midbell. She hadn’t heard me. I had the last two hours of the day to think about it. I mean, it seemed great that I’d have a girlfriend, but there was something in the back of my mind saying “no, don’t do it, it’s a mistake”. All I knew is she had my number and she’d give me a call. I got home from school and the first thing I did was turn on MTV, as was the common practice at the time. The first video to come on was “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. That was all the warning I needed, and avoided the phone for the rest of the night. I had to face the music eventually though, and got around to talking to her. I was just a stupid scared kid back then, so I did my best to guard her feelings and told her I didn’t know. Eventually, I told her I’d rather we just be friends. For most women, this would be deterant enough. But not Suzan.

As days, weeks, and months went by, she did everything in her power to keep me within striking distance, or so she thought. I had no interest in dating this girl, but she was gonna try anyways. To begin with, there was the phonecalls. She would call umpteen times a day, double digits at least, I shit you not. Thankfully, it was only at 10 minute incriments, as her parents had strict rules on the phone. There were times however when she’d get me when her parents weren’t home. I didn’t look forward to these calls. Try sitting on the phone, not a cell phone, not even a cordless, for a half hour or more, with little more than silence on the other end. Not fun. She actually called just as we started watching “Can’t Hardly Wait” once. I didn’t get off the phone until a while after the movie was over, despite the fact I’d told her I was busy. See that, that’s just obnoxious. Trust me, it gets worse than this. The pursuit was gonna require more drastic measures.

She would call sometimes, late at night. Late being 9 or later, as that’s when I went to bed at the time. Usually, it was just another quiet call, sometimes she’d tell me she was feeling horny. Not like a dirty call, just trying to pique my interest. But I wasn’t interested in this girl. The subject matter of any conversation got more and more drastic as time passed.

-Abusive relationships
-Being scared for whatever reason
-Feeling almost dethly ill
-Self abuse
-Lapses of unconsciousness
-Psychosis
-Multiple personalities
-Spiritual posession

It was horrible. Absolutely horrible. I guess she thought I’d take on the typical male “I’m here to save you” routine, but it wasn’t happening. It all was spiraling way out of control. And it hit it’s peak on January ’97.

I remember many facets of that day, but not the actual date. I remember we’d gotten food from Subway that day. I remember we were renting Lufia 2: Rise of the Sinistrals for SNES. I remember that we’d been playing this lame Magic game for the computer in which there was a very limited selection of cards, you had to choose a hero, and you didn’t actually play Magic against your opponent. Mostly, I remember it was the day before the Superbowl. The Packers had finally made it to the big game after almost 30 years of falling short or just sucking in general. She’d called me up, depressed again. I’d played this game before, just had to help cheer her up. I couldn’t though, not tonight. She just wasn’t listening to me. She began to talk about suicide. We’d discussed this before and I did what I could to talk her away from the idea, and again, she wasn’t listening. I heard the silverware drawer open.

“Don’t do anything stupid.”
“You’re not here, you can’t stop me. *gasp* *sigh*”
“Suzan? Suzan?!”

Fuck. I was scared. I called 911, told them what had just happened, gave her number and address. They told me they’d call back to let me know what had happened. I paced and worried all night. No call. Fitfully, I managed to get to sleep. I woke up next morning, no call, still worrying. Finally, the phone rang. It was Suzan. She hadn’t done anything, she faked the whole thing. Part of me wanted to blow up, tell her to just fuck off, but I couldn’t. I’m too nice a guy to do that. I was just glad she was alright.

We still spoke after freshmen year, but we grew further and further apart over the years. By senior year, she was little more than a memory. I’d find out later that the reason she had vanished was because she was under psychological treatment. Can’t say I was surprised. We began talking again this last year, and actually do things together. Trying to save a friendship that never was I guess. She has improved greatly, though a few issues still lie beneath.

Though I’d heard “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt the day she asked me out, and she wanted to dedicate Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me” to me at Skate Country, there’s only one song that truly reminds me of the time I spent with her. “The Freshmen” by The Verve Pipe

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Got a story you’d like to tell about a song that’s in the Soundtrack of your life? Don’t post it on the board. Email it to me and I’ll put it in my column. Stories will be posted in the order that their received. I don’t play favorites. All I ask is that you make sure the spelling and grammar are in fine order.
Email your stories to: loki@baloolapalooza.com