Livin’ on a Prayer

by Nic Olson

Sometimes when I’m trying to think I listen to music and perform meaningless tasks. Cook. Stare at the wall. Do dishes. Play Dr. Mario. Clean my room. Watch soap operas during commercials between soccer games. Yesterday I chose music and staring at the wall. Alvin Youngblood Hart is the man, Big Mama’s Door is the album, the empty wall across from my bed is the wall.

My computer beside me on my dusty bed, played through iTunes alphabetically, and after Alvin finished knocking on Big Mama’s Door, it was Andre’s Last Chance. Instantly I was transported to several scenes of my youth: watching shows at the Buffalo Lounge, covers of ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’, skateboarding on the driveway, the computer lab in grade seven. My first website was a school project. I was in grade seven, and the website’s purpose was to highlight new music, and concerts coming to Regina and area, which with 341 Productions operating out of my basement were usually $3 shows put on at the Buffalo Lounge. It was a Geocities page, designed on Microsoft Frontpage, and it wasn’t half bad. Each time you loaded the music page Ichthyology from Andre’s Last Chance would play. I had the shirt too. Sadly, Geocities doesn’t exist any longer, or I’d still be using that URL as opposed to this one.

If I could I would go back to that computer room in grade seven and tell myself to learn to love something. Learn to do something. Learn something. Gain a talent. Or else you’ll end up staring at a wall on a Friday night dreading your fifth first day of work this month in the morning. Grade seven is when it all begins, but in Career Education class I didn’t believe them. Rightfully so. If I could go back to that driveway with the quarter pipe I would tell the smaller me to keep skateboarding, don’t wait until you are 21 to learn to heelflip. If I could go back to the Buffalo Lounge of old I would tell myself to go to bed early and get ready to wash cars tomorrow. Because the past nine summers passed faster than 88 miles per hour. Time travels.

But life is good. And staring at that wall isn’t going to answer any of my questions.