Fifteen years ago, I was 16, and Sunny Day Real Estate’s “Diary” was my favorite album. Many nights were spent driving around our tiny rural town blasting that tape over and over again. I was in love with how vital and dramatic they sounded, and how vital and dramatic I felt. I wore ridiculous clothes and Doc Marten boots, and after making a tragic turn into brown and pink striped hair, I dyed my hair jet black. It looked horrible on my way-too-pale skin (people kept asking me if I was feeling better), and my horrified mother eventually agreed to pay for me to have the color removed from my hair. I spent 8 hours in a Winston Salem salon and emerged with hair that was literally not a color- kinda grey, kinda brown, all horribly damaged.
I’m 31 now, and after about eight months of having black hair again (though I would contend it looked much better this time around), I went to a salon here in LA to have it removed again, on my own dime. As I sat there, watching the bleach being slathered on and wondering how I would look in a few hours, I heard the opening strains of Seven, the first track on “Diary”. The salon played the entire album, and my stylist kept asking me why I was smiling so hard.
I was smiling at how vital and dramatic it all felt.