Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Ode to Cordage Walk

Here it is, 2/4/10, and the NWS is saying we're under a winter storm warning...all of my favorite news folk are saying we can expect 16 - 20 inches of snow, starting sometime tomorrow afternoon and spanning through Saturday evening. It's sure to be a good time...hoping to hang with my neighbors, listen to good tunes, have some much needed fun and distraction...but I digress...

Every time major snow events happen in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, it makes me think back to a much easier and care-free time...the early and mid 90's. More specifically, to a townhouse in Columbia, Maryland on Cordage Walk, where some of my greatest friends lived and frequented, and where I spent many a weekend.

There was ALWAYS a story that came out of the gatherings at Cordage Walk. And the soundtrack of my life is engraved in the walls of that place...Tone and I whipping together mix tapes under our mix moniker, "Zeke's Hydro Squirrel"...we had countless volumes.

Back to the snow...anyone remember the Blizzard of '96? It dumped 2 feet or more of snow in and around Baltimore, and practically shut down everything the first weekend in January. And wouldn't you know, I made damn sure to have my ass firmly snowed in with the gang at Cordage Walk.

Snow began to fall on Friday, January 5th. Not too heavily. But we got socked on Saturday and Sunday. Back to the night of the was me, Jeff N, Gavs, Tone, & Ginny hanging out, playing drinking games, acting like fools. It was GLORIOUS. We invented a drinking game called "Coupon"...a deck of cards was involved, as was the extra card in the deck that was a coupon (more than likely for a pack of cigarettes or something like that - amusing in and of itself since none of us smoked). I'm unclear of the rules, and would love a reminder. All I know is that it was fun, and had us very intoxicated very quickly.

There was the challenge remaining from Senior Week back in 1990 - finish 3 beers in 15 minutes, drinking the wonderful blend of barley, malt, and alcohol through shot glasses only.

There was the poor pizza delivery guy...the door was answered by Gavs - she was wearing shorts, massive mirrored shades, a t-shirt, and a red and white polka-dotted Mad Hatters hat...his jaw dropped, and he nearly passed out when she pulled the money for our feast from her bra - to say Gavs was well endowed is a gross understatement. I'm amazed she kept a straight face.

There was some wicked infatuation with Tone's fish - an Oscar - in a tank that any of us could have climbed into like a bath tub. The fish was massively huge. It ate other less-aggressive fish. We tried - and usually succeeded - in petting him on his head...without losing a finger. And then, one of the brainiacs there that night decided it would be a good idea to stick our heads in the tank with reckless abandon. And we all took our dip - and made sure someone was snapping pictures. And we took multiple turns. Eventually, dunking your head in the fish tank became a rite of passage with the group. My older brother even had to take the dip for one party he eventually attended at Cordage Walk.

Jeff split early morning, Ape & her b/f Mr. Burns returned to the townhouse sometime before Noon. I bunkered down. Snow came. And came. And came. We went for a small walkabout to see how things were - and everything was covered in a blanket of snow. The wind picked up, drifts began to form. More beers were consumed. I believe some Jello Shots made with 151 were ingested as well. Tone and I - with raging beer balls - figured it'd be a wise idea to jump from the deck - on the second story - into the snow drifts that had formed in the backyard. I'm amazed that neither of us broke anything.

Sunday we played full contact football - in the parking lot - no fear of injury due to said 2 feet of snow on the ground.

And we jammed all night and all day to the soundtrack - "Something Good" by The Utah Saints, "Submarine Song" by The Candyskins, "Believe" by Dig, "Murder Music" by Renegade Soundwave, Pearl Jam's "Alive, "Even Flow", "Jeremy", and "Porch". Nirvana's "Teen Spirit", "Come As You Are", "Breed", and "Lounge Act". "True Faith" by New Order. Catherine Wheel, The Cure, U2, and Midnight Oil all had songs on heavy rotation. "Drive That Fast" by Kitchens of Distinction. "Mother Earth Is A Vicious Crowd" by Live...Hell, their whole sophomore album Throwing Copper. Peter Murphy, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers...Ride, The Smiths, Lenny Kravitz. Living Colour. Smashing Pumpkins, Belly, and Sponge. STP. "Alive" and "Souled Out" by The Supreme Love Gods. Ned's Atomic Dustbin. Jeff introduced us to a band from PSU - The Dirges. The Pixies. Ah, the music was the capper to the moments.

Nostalgia. It was such a good period of my life. Easier for certain. I often think of the times at Cordage Walk and smile. I think about my friends, and where they are and what they are doing. I often wonder if that time meant as much to them as it still does to me.

"I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold on me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A sudden sense of liberty
I don't care 'cause I'm not there
And I don't care if I'm here tomorrow
Again and again I've taken too much
Of the things that cost you too much
I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear
I used to think that the day would never come
That my life would depend on the morning sun..."

Enjoy the Blizzard of 2010 this weekend. Go out and make your own blogable memories. I know I will...and I'll raise a toast to good ol' Cordage Walk, and all my friends who lived there and passed through...a simple toast...6 words..."I love you all. Thank you."

Catch y'all soon, Beatdowners...until then...

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