our past lives

I wasn’t a skater girl, but I dated skater boys. I was a mall rat who thought the boy who worked at the Wilson’s leather store on the upper level was so dreamy. I listened to Social Distortion before anyone even knew who the hell they were. I bought Doc Martens out of the back of a hardware store called Loma Vista. I rode on the backs of motorcycles and danced to techno in underground dance clubs until dawn. My best friend was in a band and so I also became a band groupie who traveled to shows with them in their beat up van where the seats had been removed in order to fit more people. Some of these shows were played at a downtown dive bar called Davey’s Uptown Rambler’s Club. It was a super seedy spot next to a Ray’s Playpen. I was not allowed to go outside alone. One night at this Davey’s Uptown, a band called The Feds opened for my friend’s band. This band would later leave KC and continue making music for over a decade.

The term I use for stories like these are my past lives. And I’ve been talking about my past lives lately with a fellow co-worker who just happens to have been the lead singer from that band that I crossed paths with so many past lives ago. I usually don’t think much about my past lives. Especially those from so far back. The stories I often share are usually those from my past work lives…not from lives before I even had actual jobs. But recently, my said co-worker and I have been taking walks back through shared memories we have of the same places we haunted all those years ago.

And it’s weird.

You don’t realize that at some point in your life, you will move SO far away in time from certain events that they cease to be solid memories and become very real past lives. The trick for me is making sure I always hold on to pieces of these lives.

Today, I’m a marketing professional who has worked in the industry for almost 20 years. But I love that some of my past lives allow me to maintain a secret alter ego that helps make sure I don’t completely sell my soul to adulthood. I sport a handful of tattoos but keep them pretty well hidden. I still frequent Social Distortion concerts, but now wear sensible shoes when I attend. I don’t wear Doc Martens any more but do still have my first pair tucked away in the back of my closet. I’ve moved into the ‘old people’s back issues’ club, so I definitely don’t do much dancing any more. Nor could I stay up until dawn. I don’t keep up much with that ‘friend in the band’ from long ago. But I do think of him at every damn concert I go to. And I may now buy fancy coffees and drink fancy craft cocktails, but I do so in my leather biker jacket with a slightly anti-establishment attitude.