Sometimes your mornings just do go as planned. You forget to turn on your coffee maker, there is still unwashed soap on your arms, and you just realized that you left your breakfast on top of your car as you drive off. It takes something special, sometimes simple, to forget the turn of events, putting you back on track for a halfway decent day.
Yesterday was one of those days.
My alarm was buzzing for an hour before I shook off the melatonin. I had brewed an awful pot of coffee, burnt my toast, and forgot to put on my shoes (not really, although the Gods were characterized by their bare feet). I was ready to start my busy day and could not see a damn thing. The cold car was not allowing the defrost to work effectively, leaving me with sleeve in hand, wiping a hole to peer through. It was like there were a hundred toy soldiers on the dashboard blowing on the front window. My rear view mirrors were fogged over and changing lanes was a cold bargain, peeking my head out a rolled down window at 60 mph on a brisk morning. Come on. It’s Friday.
The fog was fading and the soldiers fell one by one. The sun was coming out and the lanes on the highway were free of trucks and traffic. I began to feel that joy, you know that joy that only comes when you have been hungover for hours and the feeling is slowly fading away, as the angel and the devil dance on your shoulder trying to determine your next move? That is when it happened. Spoon came on the radio. That basic bass line that sucks you in from the first note…Dont You Evah….this one is for you Sterling Andrews.
Every time I hear Spoon I cant help but think of a cute, sexy blonde named Sterling Andrews. I was living in Los Angeles at the time, working for the school newspaper, and had only heard stories about the amazing Sterling Andrews. She was a staff photographer prior to my arrival and had a passion for music and men. From what I gathered, she was rather intimidating and knew what she wanted and how to get it.
I was doing page layout at the time, designing pages and assigning stories. The Los Angeles Times had recently done a sectional cover featuring the tragic passing of Elliot Smith. The design was simple and powerful and I felt it should be shared with others. We had a section in the newsroom for influential design and writing, this made the wall. (Remind me to post about ATP at the Queen Mary)
Months later I was sitting at my desk, working on a spread for Coachella. I noticed this spunky blonde that walked in the room and most seemed to recognize her. After about five minutes I saw her across the room pointing out the Elliot Smith piece and after a few words with a classmate she was heading in my direction. She asked me about the piece and the music I listen to and told me she her name was Sterling Andrews. She asked for my number. I gave it to her, played it cool, and that was that. She made her way out of the room, wearing black yoga pants, sneakers, and a denim jacket. Some of the guys in class just looked at me in disbelief. It was hard not to shed a smile.
Soon after, Sterling and I went to Spaceland to watch Greg Dulli’s new band, The Twilight Singers. The former Afghan Whigs frontman performed to a sold-out crowd at Silverlake’s hipster haven. Sterling and I felt comfortable around one another. We laughed, shared our music picks, and loved the cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya” that Dulli finished with. Although we were just friends, both with significant others, it was the perfect first date. She was so smart and opinionated, and her cute smile behind those little buck teeth was dangerously effective.
We drove back to the valley and left it with a hug and goodnight kiss on the cheek. I walked up the stairs to my apartment thinking about her scent and smile. Sterling Andrews was everything I hoped she’d be. We were both occupied with other priorities but would make time for a beer here and there and an occasional show. It was on our way to see The Shins that I began my association with Spoon and Sterling.
Summer was approaching and the hot California sun was now in full effect. We left my apartment and jumped on the 101. We were driving to Ventura for the show and had a handful of CDs and topics to talk about. I heard about Sterling’s mother and her vast collection of books. We learned a bit about each other’s families, and Sterling then put in a mix of her favorite Spoon songs. It wasn’t long after, I believe we were to the Volvo dealership near Calabasas when Sterling declared her undying love for Brit Daniel of Spoon.
“God he is so sexy, and his voice drives me nuts. That is one musician that could ask me for a blow job and I would not even think twice. I would love to give him a blow job.”
Ahhh, good and bad. All I could see was the tall, goofy looking Brit Daniel with Sterling just sucking away demonstrating that she wants this guy to know that she loves his dick in her mouth. Then I thought, my God, I bet Sterling gives the best blow job in the world. Jesus Christ, focus, we have an hour drive and the night hasnt even begun.
(It is hard for me to look at Brit Daniel still. He lives in Portland now and I see him everywhere. He sips his drink with a cocktail straw, and Janet Weiss is always by his side as they wander Portland, following me from show to show, haha).
We arrived to Ventura after a brief bought with traffic. We dined at a small place on Main Street and had some beers before the show. The opening band at the time was an unknown Rogue Wave. They were just getting recognized and Sterling networked her way into shooting some shows for them. The Shins played a flawless set, entertaining the crowd and playing their way to the top of the indie rock world. We hung around after the show to let the crowd die down, had a cigarette, and were ready to hit the road.
(On the way out of the theater I recognized a girl I had spent a few hours with at ATP in Long Beach. We shared a bottle of whiskey and I wrote in her journal. Her name was Anna and we held hands during Built to Spill’s set, kissing one another as Martsch and company finished their set with Carry The Zero. We both looked at one another with certainty and confusion, and she disappeared within the crowd before I could catch her).
Sterling and I made our way home. This time she came up to my place. We sat on the couch listening to music and exchanging thoughts. She wore a black skirt and a sexy top. All I could think about was kissing her and having her climb on top of me right then and there on the couch. Music playing, she would take her shirt off and I would take her bra off. I would pick her up, legs wrapped around me and take her to the bedroom. Later we would share a cigarette on my porch in our underwear, laughing and excited for the cigarette to be done so we could head back inside.
I blew it and waited to long. The night ended with another hug and kiss goodnight.
That was the end of Sterling and I ever seeing one another. Before long I was moving to Flagstaff and she was rapidly moving forward with her career in photography. Not a Spoon song goes by though that I dont smile and think of that girl. Everybody needs a Sterling in their lives at one point or another, I just hope I have that chance again.