The crooning chant you hear in the background pings and pangs as you slump on the floor, hands in your head.
I wish I could tell you that it was our differences that eventually tore us apart. Her love of big hair and the power ballad, my love of The Residents and holding my mohawk in place with airplane glue.
Though you'll never admit it to anyone and always bemoan the fact that the song is being played in your club, you somehow enjoyed it.
As mom and my older sister played The Carpenters on the car stereo I listened to MxPx, Face to Face, Suicide Machines, or Bouncing Souls on my discman.
After I paid my co-pay and got my prescription refill, I navigated the Walgreens parking lot, like a bumper car ride at the fair. The car radio was on an oldies station.
With a scowl that could scorch the tops of crème brûlée, I would stalk through the bar to the alleyway to glower outside until the song ended. Even the rotting potato peels and pools of stale beer were preferable to hearing it again.
I am free to find new horizons and make them mine. I am more than my bullies ever imagined and becoming more with each passing day. I refuse to let the past define me.
I couldn't escape the crush (in both senses of the word) the first time I heard it. I was dumped, pulled under and dragged disoriented across the sandy sediment of my adolescent existence. See My Baby Jive was excoriating.
I'm eating a cheap and nasty pizza – a fitting feed for a failed novelist. I’m watching The Panel. About three slices in they introduce a New Zealander called Bic Runga. I’m enraptured.
I thanked her for taking the trouble to find me and silently wondered if her seeking me out was a country-town courtesy, a form of hospitality that may not happen in the hustle and bustle and traffic of a city. I did not flatter myself to think she may have seen more in me all those years ago than I’d realised.