Found: a mixtape labeled with one small scribble across side A: I’m miss wrrrrrld. This leads me to believe it was the background music for the Halloween party my roommates and I held in 1997, the year I dressed in tribute to the Lady Courtney. I wore a thrifted prom gown, a sequined tiara, globe earrings, and nasty makeup that included blood red nails. Photos exist, but have yet to be scanned. That’s probably for the best.
If I Can’t Have You–Eve’s Plum
Web in Front–Archers of Loaf
Complete Control–the Clash
Dame with a Rod–Juliana Hatfield
Alien She–Bikini Kill
Sweet 69–Babes in Toyland
Words & Guitar–Sleater-Kinney
Never Say Never–that dog
License to Confuse–Sebadoh
I Live Off You–X-Ray Spex
Makes No Sense at All–Husker Du
City of the Dead–the Clash
I Wil Dare–Replacements
Boat Song–the Picketts
Lookin’ at the World Through a Windshield–Son Volt
In tribute to the hot trends of 1997, our friend Seth dressed as Rollergirl from Boogie Nights, and my sister and our friend Jesse came as Posh and Sporty Spice, respectively. My roommate Jen dressed as Carl Sagan. I don’t know why.
Moby Octopad–Yo La Tengo
Someone I Care About–Modern Lovers
Say No Go–De La Soul
Young Offender–New Order
Big Fun–Inner City
Girl You Know It’s True–Milli Vanilli
Night of the Living Baseheads–Public Enemy
Love’s Theme–Love Unlimited Orchestra
The Only One I Know–Charlatans UK
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Dub–Apollo Four-Forty
I remember precious little about this party–I got madly drunk, just as Courtney would. For some time I forgot that Liz was there, visiting from Boston, just because she didn’t appear in any of the pictures. She stuffed a pillow under a lace dress and was a shotgun bride. I was a poor hostess, unfortunately, spending far more time securing a drunken hookup than paying my visiting friend any attention. If Liz were here I could call her for her version of the story, and I know she’d take great pride in embarrassing me over my horny tactlessness.
After Liz died, I never expected to feel that parts of my history, my life, would disappear with her. What else don’t I remember? What more could she have shared with me? And where the hell are the rest of the mixtapes I made over the years?? I know there are more, dozens upon dozens more. Where did they go?
The Buddhists teach that nothing is permanent: not parties, not mixtapes, not memories, not even people.