I am glad I didn’t really know the details.
All I knew was that by some miracle I got to skip the first two periods of my 8th grade day and get picked up by the most beautiful girl in the world and go be in the Sleater-Kinneys’ first music video.
The most beautiful girl in the world was also in 8th grade. She had curly black hair. She had a leather jacket. She had tight high-wasted jeans. She had fire engine red lipstick. She had made me my first mix tape. She had been in a band before.
I didn’t actually hang out with her that much, but when I pretended to be at a friends house to sneak away from mine I always pretended she was the one I was staying with. I wanted to be her and date her at the same time. I think that’s common in adolescence.
This was my absolutely perfect day. Her and a parent were picking me up. There had been a call out to any lady types that were interested to come and meet up for an early morning video shoot. The video was for the song “Get Up!” off their new album Hot Rock.
I dressed in a short skirt and tall socks, some kind of hat and some kind of lipstick. I had on a knock off p-coat that did more for my style then for insulation. When I got picked up I didn’t really notice how bundled up my dreamboat was. I was busy daydreaming about the video. Where would it be? What would it be? (Funny at 13 you don’t really think about asking those kinds of questions out loud)
All I knew was that it was to be directed by my number one top favorite performance artist of all time, at the time, Miranda July. She was my inspiration. Someday I would be myself in such a big way and I would be smart and I would be beautiful and I would date very important people.
We arrived at 7 am in a frost-covered field on the outside of town. There were quite a few bundled up Olympia elite. I was the only one who hadn’t gotten the frosty memo and hence the only one in a little skirt.
We spent hours walking arm in arm across the field, it was a line like people use to search for missing babies or dead bodies. Because my knees were the only knees exposed I got put in the middle of the line and Miranda July took all kinds of video of my legs walking.
She loved my knees.
They are very loveable knees.
The search line found each member of the band in our video and I got to find Carrie Brownstein.
It was the perfect day.
I wanted to be taken home by every one of them.
In between takes I stood around blushing and shivering. A person who later became a roommate and a friend, but at the time was just one more sparkling piece of Olympia royalty in my apple eyes, came by several times and as she did would shout, “Cuz she’s hot blooded! Check it and see…She’s got a fever of 103.”
If she saw me telling some concerned person that I really wasn’t that cold; her singing got louder and she added an air guitar.
When it was over; we got taken back to middle school by whichever of her parents had driven us there. All day, when I felt the ache of feeling trying to return to my toes, I thought of those ladies and I felt so happy. I felt so hopeful. I knew that desk wouldn’t keep me much longer. I knew that someday a girl who looked like James Dean and talked like a sailor and knew every thing about music and had the best tasting lipstick would fall in love with me.
When the video came out there was a party where everyone who was in the video got the new record. I didn’t have a record player but it did not matter. I held it like a baby while we watched the video projected on a big screen. There were my knees making me famous. There I was linked up with every person I hoped I would be. They were all so strong and sweet and talented and reasonably prepared for the weather.