28, or, How Keva Got His Groove Back

Today is my 28th birthday. I’ll spare you the whiny existential, ontological, and anthropocentric rants that have haunted my previous birthday blog posts. Like yearbook haircuts, they are hard to look back on. Speaking of yearbooks…

I saw The Ataris the other night, here in Rochester. They are this pop-punk band from the late 90’s and early 2000s that I once obsessed over. I was in and out of a lot of relationships in high school, and it’s safe to say that The Ataris were unofficial therapists for me.

They had some MTV success back around 2005 with “In This Diary” and their cover of “Boys of Summer,” but of course, their best stuff came before that on Kung Fu Records.

Anyway, I talked to The Ataris singer, Kris, at the show. I was struck by how identical he remains, at least, to the fifteen year ago version of himself that I saw many times, singing on stage in California. He looks like a 40 year old trapped in a 20 year old body. He was very nice, I don’t mean to slight him or offend him. I just mean, when he sings, “Being grown up, isn’t half as fun as growing up, these are the best days of our lives,” I get sad because I worry he believes that, that he is holding on to something that no longer exists, and that I am helping fund this sort of delusion, by paying money at the door of some sketchy club so that he can go on pretending.

WOW. Whiny existential. Sorry. Let me get back on track.

How Keva Got His Groove Back

I have this joke with my wife that I am still in my early 20s. The joke goes, 20-27 is “early twenties” and 28 and beyond is “normal twenties.” This means, as of today, that I am officially in my twenties.

It’s appropriate, too. With the onslaught of 90’s nostalgia everywhere in pop culture, and all my favorite bands from the early 2000’s performing ten-year album reunion tours, and my ten year high school reunion happening somewhere in California this week, it’s hard to remain forward thinking. Sometimes, I feel choked by nostalgia. It is like a siren singing. All of us nostalgia hounds, by the time we wake up we realize we are wrapped in a fog on an island and that so much now has been wasted that the new now is somehow not as good as the then now.

Nostalgia, then, can be an addiction or (perhaps more melodramatically) a disease.

None of the above logic really makes sense, of course, but you see my point: heavy doses of nostalgia does weird things to the brain.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Now that I’m in my “twenties,” I’ve decided to be more forward thinking. No more squandering the present, no more living in the past. Perhaps I will visit from time to time, but I will not stay long. I will leave nostalgia at the airport of my mind like a clingy high-school girlfriend.

These are my goals, anyway, for the new year. More forward thinking. More in the now.

And despite my recent attempts at hiding inside nostalgia, and regardless of my having to walk to school and work today in the snow, I have been and am happy. I have a wonderful wife who knows me and I know her. There is plenty of good music coming out right now. I get to write for various publications and I feel that I am becoming a better writer in the process.

Things are looking up. Things are looking now.

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Except I am completely obsessed with Twin Peaks. Okay, bye bye.

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2 comments

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I wish you the happiest of birthdays. It’s 18 degrees here in lovely Coeur d’Alene ID and I miss seeing your face when I go to Pilgrim’s Market. Best wishes for a fantastic 28th year.

    Mary

  2. “Nostalgia, then, can be an addiction or (perhaps more melodramatically) a disease.”

    I hear Bruce Springsteen singing in the background,

    “Glory days, well they’ll pass you by.
    Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eyes…”

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