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There was only a handful of girls at my high school who were Debutantes, and none of them knew who Wilco was. Knowing Wilco made you part of the “scene.” You listened to other bands like Radiohead, Fugazi, The Get Up Kids, Death Cab for Cutie, early Jimmy Eat World. You never had money or a ride to go to one their shows up in LA, but you could go to the local shows–where so-and-so in So-And-So was playing for free, and they really sounded like Fugazi sometimes–and make friends with those kids. Olive had seen all of these bands. “Radiohead. Twice.” Her interest piqued when I mentioned Fugazi. She said she really loved “13 Songs,” and did I know that that was only a compilation of the first two EPs, and they never made a band shirt because they thought it was stupid? I said yes and she yelped, telling me she found a vintage Fugazi shirt in a thrift store once that read “THIS IS NOT A FUGAZI SHIRT.” She’d only worn it once, and promised to wear it once we hung out.
The first time we hung out I waited for over three hours and smoked an entire pack of American Spirits in my car. I almost left, and should have, but I stayed, resolving to act really pissed off when she got to Alta, a bohemian-looking cafe on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, a favorite spot for both of us. She stepped out of the car wearing black vintage Ray-Ban wayfarers, the Alexander Wang sweater, black tights and pointy ankle boots. I was disappointed she didn’t wear her FUGAZI shirt, but she looked really sexy. I wanted to rip her tights. She apologized profusely and said she and her mother were looking for the keys. She wore red lipstick which accented her lips’ natural bouncy pout. I wasn’t angry anymore, I was infatuated; I offered her an American Spirit from my spare pack and she smiled. “They’re my favorite,” she said. “Additive free.”
I would find out later she was late because her license was suspended–a “bullshit DUI”– and that she waited for her mother to pass out to take the car. That she was anxious to leave because she didn’t want to get caught, not because she didn’t like me.
Problems arose after we had exhausted our favorite artists, musicians, writers, and non-sequitur moments. I would show her music she’d not heard before. These were dismissed. “Yeah, it’s good, but not my thing.” Olive smoked and wouldn’t look into my eyes for more than five seconds, which we did often.