R.E.M. - Superman
Today is my sister’s birthday.
I’ve mentioned many times about Lisa having been a hair metal freak back in the day. I mean, seriously guys. Freak. The skinny, colored jeans with the white sneakers and socks over the jeans. The eight cans of Aqua-Net used to make her look like that. Skid Row and Poison and Cinderella, RATT and L.A. Guns and Slaughter. She owned that shit.
I use all that just to tease her because no one really wants to be known as “That girl with the big hair who actually listened to Bullet Boys.” In my family we grasp on to what we can use as weapons against in each other and hang on to the for dear life. We use them again and again. Her love of hair metal is my go-to weapon for when I want to make fun of her.
But Lisa was more than that. She was metal without the hair, too. She was Pantera and Slayer and old school Metallica. She was Dio and Iron Maiden. There were so many musical sides to Lisa that it unfair for me to keep laying that “Hair Metal Freak” label upon her. Not that it will stop me. It’s just unfair.
So out of all the songs that could remind me of her -from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” to Slaughter’s “Up All Night” the one tune that sticks out in my mind when I think of Lisa contains no hair nor metal.
This one - “Superman” - will always remind me of Lisa and Giselle dancing around Lisa’s room like idiots to this song, arms outstretched, doing some sort of dance that was part “I’m high as fuck” and part “I”m Superman, bitch!” They listened to this and they listened to “Swan Swan H” and then this again and the second time I around I did that weird dance with them. There was a moment there when Lisa stopped being my seven years younger baby sister - the one I coddled and protected and spoiled for seventeen years - and became my friend. My peer.
We were always close, Lisa and I. Even when she was a snotty young teenager, I was closer to her than I was to our sister who is just two years younger than me. We always had a special bond, one forged over the fact that we were both terrified of our other sister (whom we love dearly now). But it was somewhere around the time of dancing in her room to Superman that we became real friends.
Over the years, Lisa has been my confidant, my secret sharer and my best friend. She knows things about me that should be just between me and my conscience. Sometimes, she was my conscience. There are many things that bring us together; our sense of humor, our defeatist attitude, our tendency to want to spend hours bitching at things beyond our control, our penchant for making mistakes and then wallowing in them. But above all that is our ability to lift each other up, to help us rise above our pessimism and help us see each other for what we are really worth. Talking to her about my life is like looking in a mirror and seeing what I want to be instead of what I think I am. That’s what she does for me. She makes me see my own potential.
I’ve had more fun with Lisa than anyone else in my life. We have so many shared secrets and inside jokes and giggles and stupid adventures (did you really throw that ice cream cone out the window?) and the best part is we keep having them, and there’s more to come (Chicago, August!).
Sure, Lisa can be a bitch. Hell, our family nickname for her is simply bitch. She can act like a spoiled diva at family dinners and whine until she gets her way (which she usually does) and cry on demand to manipulate my parents into maintaining their “Poor Lisa” stance. But that’s all part of her charm. Because underneath all that whining and bitchiness, I know what’s there. I know that anyone who is friends with her, anyone who spends time with her, who develops any kind of meaningful relationship with her is a lucky person.
I’m so glad I convinced her to join tumblr because she’s made so many friends here and with all she’s had go on in her life in the past four years, she needed the friends she made here. On the other hand, you could all use a friend like her. So it works out nicely.
Happy birthday, baby sister. Let’s dance to Superman later.
Love you, asshole.