Lou Reed died you light the spark in my bonfire heart


Two girls that were best friends immediately embraced me and shared half of their chairs at a friend’s birthday. We huddled together facing a large cabinet sharing two jars (which we used as cups) of lime and gin and one plate of food.

I was shown a baby photo, a cat photo, and someone’s flaccid penis with balls photo switching from one iPhone to the other. Happy I had found immediate friends at a party full of strangers, I clung to their intimacy and hoped they would never realize I wasn’t one of them. When we finally turned around to face a group of guys sitting in the other corner of the room, the gossipy teenage girl in me had blossomed to overtake whatever was left of the real Johanna underneath.

Having spent much of last week watching YouTube snippets of “Freaks and Geeks,” I immediately recognized Jason Segel’s character in the bunch. He had the same gentle demeanor that gave the impression that girls broke his heart with brown hair and a tall figure. I leaned over and told both girls of my finding, and he sensed something was brewing that he wasn’t sure he would like.

One of the girls then loudly asked “Would you fuck him?” I looked at her in shock and slowly said noooo…. (thinking am I that obvious). Guy then immediately got up to get his weed.

It was like a post-modern reenactment of Elizabeth Bennett’s hurt pride from Mr. Darcy’s famous comment with gender reversal: “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.”

Later on Jason Segel guy announced Lou Reed had died, strangely with excitement and a smile. None of us had a specific response other than “Lou Reed is dead.” What does this mean for us? I looked as though he had said there is a chair, a non-comment. A potential bonding moment had collapsed into self-reverie and a moral dilemma; should I feign a greater interest in Lou Reed than I had? How would my dead friend whose Facebook post on the Velvet Underground, which still haunts my profile, have reacted? The only song I could think of was “oh its such a perfect day… I’m glad I spent it with you….” In the end, I said nothing, and I expressed nothing.

As the evening wore on, thoughts of sleeping with him mingled with scenes from “Freaks and Geeks” until they became the same weed smoking individual.

“People like us—we don’t
Need that much, just some-
One that starts,
Starts the spark in our bonfire hearts”  James Blunt

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