His parents dealt with his abundant teen angst by pouring gifts on him. He got a Beamer for his 16th after demanding one for a year. When he suffered the loss of a best friend who moved away, he was taken on a tour around the Eastern US including a trip to the Gibson guitar factory and a night watching Les Paul himself pick on stage in a tiny club (after which my boyfriend had Les Paul sign his brand new Stratocaster – I guess getting Les Paul to sign a Fender is even more of a novelty).
His mother, a microbiologist, atheist fembeast who adored me, would give him money to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner because he didn’t like his mother’s cooking. Sacrilegious if you ask me. She’d learned her husband’s native cuisine quite well and often had a feast of Malaysian food laid out for everyone, but my BF always said no… and we ended up at Denny’s instead.
Despite literally having it made, my boyfriend was miserable. I remember him fondly as that sniveling little bitch I dated once. But alas, I fell in love with the fucker when we stayed up all night one night playing Zelda (always a clear path to my heart) and I subsequently endured years of sitting in his bedroom while he lamented the uselessness of life and spun Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin discs over and over… and over. Probably a contributing factor to why I find it difficult to sit through a Floyd or Zeppelin album now. He, and I’d bet my life on this, is probably a shut-in now, living off his parents’ massive wealth, still bitching while he plays Call of Duty or Halo.
It was an April afternoon. My boyfriend had just had hundreds of dollars given to him by his Mom, for no reason other than he’d told her we were bored. We hopped in his BMW, freshly outfitted with a $3000 Bose sound system, and headed toward downtown Vancouver.
The two of us had a habit of seeking out small record shops and trying to find rare recordings by our favourite artists. Bootlegged live shows, b-sides and rarities by Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Screaming Trees. There was one such record shop, Charlie’s, on Granville & Robson. I sat on the floor reading a hardcover book about the band Bikini Kill, while my boyfriend sifted his way through Pet Shop Boys records. I felt like we may have been there forever when I finally saw him head to the checkout with a stack of bullshit I knew I’d soon be forced to sit through. He doled out a couple of hundreds to pay and we slowly trudged out to the street.
It should be noted here, that my boyfriend had 5 piercings down the outside of just one ear. I thought they were heinous but I’ve never been much for piercings. He didn’t give a shit and whenever we were near a piercing shop, he had to get another. Next to Charlie’s, there was a piercing shop, and like clockwork, he declared he was going to go get another hole in his body. I told him he was on his own, pulled out a smoke and lit it. Yes, GM used to be a smoker.
It hadn’t been 5 minutes that I was standing out on Granville street by myself, when I caught a glimpse of a man jaywalking up the road a bit. He hopped across the street quickly to avoid an oncoming bus, and as he bounded back onto the sidewalk, I had an intense feeling of recognition. I knew that guy. I knew him from somewhere, but I couldn’t put my finger on who he was. I squinted as he walked closer to me, trying to place his face. He had brown hair, messily falling into his eyes. He had a 5 o’clock shadow, and wore oversized, white sunglasses. I couldn’t place him. Who the fuck was this guy?
I scanned his body – skinny, jeans, a checkered shirt and expensive-looking boots. He was carrying a yellow shopping bag, with 3 large, black X’s on it – most likely from one of the many adult shops in the area. None of this was helping me figure out who the guy was, but my staring suddenly caught his attention. He looked me in the eyes as he walked speedily closer. His gaze became more intense and a scowl formed on his face. As he breezed past me, looking me square in the eyes, he growled, “fucking fans!” in an English accent.
That’s when it hit me. That motherfucker was Noel Gallagher of Oasis. Holy shit!
So, naturally, my first reaction was to object to the “fan” bit of what Noel had just so rudely spit at me.
“I’m no fucking fan, asshole…” I mumbled under my breath and watched the thankless celebrity jog away.
My boyfriend was, of course, one of those people who declared Oasis “the best band in the world” and often forced me to sit through their music videos, songs and albums. When he trudged out with a brand new hole in his ear, I was still stood there smoking and fuming. I guess he could tell I was angry, because he asked,
“What’s up? You look like you’re about to avenge the wrongful death of your long, lost, love.”
“What the fuck did I do?” He sported the hurt look he’d perfected from years of being a bitch.
“Not you. I just saw Noel Gallagh-”
“What? Where? Where is he?” Panic washed over my boyfriend’s face.
“He’s long gone.”
“What the fuck? Why didn’t you come get me?”
“I didn’t know it was him until he passed me! Jesus. Maybe if you didn’t need to turn your fucking ear into a colander, you’d have been here with me.”
“Did you say anything?”
“No, but he did.”
“What? He spoke to my girlfriend? Noel Gallagher spoke to my girlfriend?” His face lit up with a brilliant smile only those who can afford the best dental work can emit. I took a drag of my cigarette.
His face fell suddenly. “But I missed it. I fucking missed it. I can’t believe how shitty my life is.”
We started walking back to his car, when he finally asked what it was Noel had said. I did my best douchebag impression, complete with the Gallagher English accent, and told him, “Fucking fans!”.
“Fuck. I can’t believe I missed meeting Noel Gallagher. This shit always happens to me.” He whined, completely ignoring the fact that someone had been rude to his girlfriend. I never told him the best bit… that Noel had been carrying a bag from an adult store.
We climbed into his little silver Beamer. He popped in an Oasis album.
Don’t look back in anger… I heard you say…
That night, Oasis left the stage at the Pacific Coliseum after playing just 6 songs. It was starting to become clear why my whiner boyfriend loved this band: they were all a bunch of rich, ungrateful, spoiled brats who were used to getting their way. I broke up with my boyfriend a few months later, and haven’t been forced to listen to Oasis since.