Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Slow Motion" in Milwaukee

Sitting bare-foot on a tiny stage in the skylight room of Mi-keys restaurant in downtown Milwaukee, Third Eye Blind front man Stephan Jenkins reminisces about his childhood in the small Midwest town. He recalls his first memories were of skating on a pond somewhere outside the city. Milwaukee clearly holds a special place in his heart. Listening to him speak fondly of the city he spent only 5 short years in, I can't help but relate to his feelings.

I spent 4 years there as I attended Marquette University for my undergraduate education. And--as cliche as it sou
nds--they were some of the best years of my life. I met my best friends there, studied til the wee hours of the morning, drank until good judgment went out the window, and discovered a new part of myself. Going back this weekend for the Third Eye Blind concert, I expected to remember memories from my middle school years, when the band's albums came out and I spent weeks replaying "Semi-Charmed Life" until my family couldn't take it anymore. But instead, the experience awakened thoughts of college. Seeing good friends again who I used to hang out with on a daily basis was bittersweet. I reveled in the chance to catch-up, laugh, gossip, and recount our past days at MU. But it made me sad to think that, even though I only live 1 1/2 hours south of them, I don't get to see them on a regular basis. And despite the proximity of Milwaukee and Chicago, we're still far away from each other.

As I sat in the Riverside theater listening to 3eb, I heard a song I hadn't heard in close to 10 years..."Motorcycle Drive By." And, needless to say, when you're 12, the lyrics don't mean nearly the same thing as they do when you're 22.

And this is our last time
We'll be friends again
I'll get over you, you'll wonder who I am
And there's this burning
Just like there's always been
I've never been so alone
And I've never been so alive
Sure, the song is probably about a romantic relationship, but the beauty of songs is that they are open to interpretation by the listener.

Obviously, I will go back to Milwaukee. I have too many friends--and memories--there not to visit. It's sad that I'm
not near the people I lived with for so long, but I'm in the next stage of my life now. And I'm happy with where I live and what I'm doing. It's all a part of growing up.

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