In sixth-grade, I was very good friends with a guy named Gabe. He had come into our private school rather late in the game – most of us had been going to school together for years – but we became fast friends because he lived near me. I lived far outside the standard reach of our Montessori school, so living close to one of my classmates rarely happened.

Male and female friendship being what it is, we spent a lot of time teasing and harassing each other. Usually we were just teasing each other about our crushes (unpredictable as we were, I liked the “most popular” guy and he the “most popular” girl – not that that meant much at our tiny school) or fighting over what we were going to do that afternoon. As the girl, I had the upper hand – let’s face it, few guys ever pull out the same arsenal on their girl friends that they do on their guy friends. I didn’t like to abuse the power balance, so things generally ended with bartering (“Ok, fine, we can watch Cutthroat Island, but only if you walk to Bartell Drugs with me so I can get some Jujubees”). But when I was in a particularly feisty mood, I wasn’t afraid to use my nails (he caught me tying his shoes together in class once and I dug my nails into his knuckles so hard that if left a scar for quite awhile), or force him to sit through some god awful girlish movie or music video (and I rarely actually liked those kinds of things, I just used them when I wanted to annoy him).

Ultimately, though, Gabe knew he had one signature move he could rely on when he wanted to get back at me: Bone Thugs ‘n’ Harmony: “Crossroads.”

Bone Thugs ‘n’ Harmony:
“Crossroads” (download)

“Crossroads” was probably the first rap song I legitimately liked, and I still do. I’ve even been known to make an impressive stab at rapping it when booze is involved. I liked the video, too, especially the full version. There’s one scene in it, though, that killed me.


At about the 2:55 mark, the man in the trench coat representing death touches his fingers to a man’s eyes and they fade to black. I had some serious issues with death in my young age, and watching that scene in particular gave me the heebie jeebies. It still kind of does.

See what I mean?!

I used to cover my eyes or look the other way whenever that scene was coming up, and Gabe would always tell me when I could look again. Of course, if I had done anything to annoy him or piss him off within recent memory, he would do it right when that scene came up. I think at one point he even had it on a tape somewhere so that he could tease me with incredible frequency.

To this day, I try very hard to suppress that image every time I listen to “Crossroads.” It rarely works.