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.
Feb 18, 2008
I found pictures the other day of Gabe at our Academy Awards party, the year he walked off with the grand prize for predicting the most winners! Fine looking fella and a sweetheart. Maybe you’ll be able to track him down some day. Hope all is well with him. And that scene gives me the heebs, too!
EF Matt says:
Feb 19, 2008
i like this story, it’s something i suppose we can all relate to in a few ways. definitely reminds me of a certain girl i was friends with growing up – amy – our friendship was very much half bullyflirting and half best buds. she lived one street over and we’d watch MTV together after school quite a bit. her music video kryptonite was anything by Tool, with the creepy animation and imagery. and i obviously used it against her and then she’d totally physically abuse me as a result.
to think, this happens in homes everywhere across the US all the time! somebody should tell Congress to get working on policing the friendships of america’s youth after they clean up baseball and football and ice fishing, or whatever.
my anti-spam word=laugh