Prompt 346-Music Taste

What does your music taste say about you?

I’d seen her around campus before. Her hair was always perfect, her make-up flawless, her clothes fitted and color coordinated. So much color. That much color should have been illegal in an 8am Monday class, but there she was, glaringly pink, three seats back in the first row.

It was one of the smaller classrooms, not a big lecture hall. I liked to sit in the last seat of the first row when I could; it was the closest to the door so if I overslept, I wasn’t likely to disturb as many people when I stumbled in. It was a business elective. I would have signed up for the later section but it conflicted with a programming class I needed that only had one section. And Miss Priss was right in front of me.

I’d hoped she’d tone it down as the weeks went on, that maybe it was just her “First Day of School” exuberance. I should have known better. After all, I’d seen her around campus before. Every day was a new color, yellow or blue or red or purple, and I don’t think she wore the same combination of clothes twice. Who has that many clothes at college?

My own wardrobe was spectacularly monochrome. I lived in band T-shirts and hoodies, leggings and jeans. I think the only shirt with any color I owned was the one I got at Freshman orientation with our school colors, a gaudy orange and deep purple. I rarely wore that one out of my room.

The nice thing about the school, aside from the scholarships and fast-track grad programs, was the concerts they put on each semester. In the five semesters I’d attended, there had only been one pop show. The rest had been rock or metal shows. And this semester, the headlining band was my all-time favorite indie punk-metal group, Artemis Phoenix.

The day of the concert, I wore my AP shirt and wristbands to class. Lena was in red, though not as garish as usual. I actually kind of liked it. Still, it was going to be an agonizingly long day.

After class, she followed me out into the courtyard. “Randi! Are you going to the show tonight?”

I blinked. I’d hardly said two words to her before. She knew my name? “Yeah.” I eyed her skeptically. I couldn’t picture her at a rock show in that outfit. “You?”

“Oh I should think so,” she chuckled. “My band’s playing, after all.”

I racked my brain for the other bands in the lineup. Was there a local opener? “Oh,” I said. “Cool.”

“I didn’t know we had fans all the way out here,” she said, pointing at my shirt and wristbands. “I was kind of worried the student council wouldn’t consider us, but I guess they liked our EP enough to give us the top spot.”

If my life had a backing track, the record would have scratched to a halt then and there. I swallowed the thousand butterflies that rose suddenly in my throat. “You’re…”

She grinned, and in that grin I saw the devil smile of my idol. “Not what you expected?” I shook my head. She laughed. “I get that a lot. When one mom is a rock star and the other is an international fashion designer, you get a punk rocker with impeccable fashion sense.”

Of course. Selena Fowler. How had I never made the connection? I’d seen her around campus before! “I’m your biggest fan!” I blurt out before I can stop myself. I feel my face heat and I suddenly have lost all desire to go to the show.

Lena is unperturbed. “I am so excited to hear that!” she claps. “Hey, you wanna come backstage with us? I’m pretty sure I’m allowed a guest during the show.”

“You want me to come backstage?” I squeak.

“You can hang with us anytime. I’ve seen you around campus. I’ve seen your shirts; you’ve been to loads of shows. You’re a hardcore rocker.”

I laugh. She’s seen me around campus. And she likes my ratty band shirts. And I’m wearing her merch while giggling like an idiot because she’s invited me to hang out with her band. I offer her my hand after I control my laugher. “I would be honored to rock out with you, Artemis.”

She takes my hand and somehow, I know. My life is never going to be the same.

Notes: I had this idea of a super preppy girl who always wears pink and fun patterns a la Elle Woods but who only listens to death metal or like super underground punk rock. The kind that no one’s ever heard of. Then somehow it turned into a weird little meet-cute for a shy punk girl and her idol who is not remotely what she expected. A little “don’t judge a book by its cover” tale to kick off the week.

I don’t know what my music tastes say about me in particular. I’m kind of all over the board depending on time of day, time of year, people I’m with, etc. I like quieter music in the morning, louder as the day goes on. I prefer something calming and instrumental when I’m focusing or upbeat and bouncy when I’m working out. I listen to certain albums when it rains. I love Christmas music in December. Despite all the different tastes, I do always tend to fall back on my hard rock.

Obviously, I am feeling much better today. I actually started to come around shortly after my post last night, just as I was getting into bed. Then of course because I hadn’t eaten since lunch, I was starving. I had a few crackers and went to bed. And slept great on our new memory foam mattress topper. I did not ache anywhere when I woke up. What a concept!

Speaking of which, looking forward to curling up on that again tonight. Have a great Tuesday! I’ll see you in the evening!

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