This hat. A red, floppy Van Halen hat-thing.
I don't know what it is about this hat, but I can't get rid of this. I have zero use for a Van Halen cap, but that's not the point. It's about memories, man. It's about a red, Van Halen hat.
Growing up, there were two rooms in the house that I'd sneak into. Not counting my parent's room around Christmastime, it was either the older brother's room or the older sister's. Now, naturally, I'd always make it a priority to snoop around in Jimmy's cave. I'd rifle through his Batman comics, wear his monster masks and dig, ever so carefully, through his dark and sacred closet. This was a ballsy move on every account, tense and nerve shattering. If you were legitimately caught in someone else's bedroom, it's plausible that you could construct a web of lies to save your ass, but it's nearly impossible to talk your way out of being in someone else's closet. You might as well be pant-less and covered in maraschino cherry juice -- you're plain ol' fucked.
So I'd rummage through his closet, loaded with his secrets and most prized possessions. Since every older brother ever hides the good stuff either on the top shelf or under a pile of dirty clothes, that is where I hit first. I only ever found a pack of cigarettes or a cassette tape with questionable art, both of which I might have just made up since I can barely even remember what happened last week, but you get the point. It was always an awesome display of cool shit. He had the D&D stuff, he had the cut-off denim jacket with a bad-ass skull on the back, he had the friggin' rubber nun-chucks. It was a magical portal into teenage taboo and wonder, an introduction into a whole new world of demons and fire and fake ninja stuff! It was the greatest place in the entire world!
My older sister's room. It was, geographically, on the complete other side of the house. And it was, of course, unbelievably forbidden and off limits. Which was fine, since why would I want to go in there? It was my sister's room, for God's sake, with Garfield stuff and girly VHS and a dumb girl Pillow People. It was pink and I hated it.
I HAD TO GO IN THERE.
If only because it was so strange, different and not evil. It was the total opposite of Older Brother's Room, which intrigued and fascinated me. I knew in my heart of hearts that nothing beyond her door would be cool, but...what if? What if there was something cool? What if the Holy Grail of Dangerous Shit was hidden in my sister's room the entire time? Switchblades! Used bullets! A dead snake with a cherry bomb in it's mouth!
I knew it wasn't possible, but at least I knew. Everything was foreign to me, which was kinda cool, but it wasn't cutting the cake. I did, however, get a good glimpse into the fascinating world of hidden diaries, cutesy slippers and George Michael. Oh, and I guess a Van Halen thing that you wear on your head.
Lots of stuffed animals, too, as well as a TV that pretty much trumped everything. Man, a TV in your bedroom? Fuckin' golden.
I don't recall how I ended up with this hat, or why I still have it. I can't even be sure my older sister even liked Van Halen. I can't be too sure of anything, really. Was this bought at a concert? At the mall? Did people actually wear this kinda thing? It might have been passed down from older sister to younger sister to me. Totally possible, since I'll take anything that isn't shit. Like, literal shit. Who'd want shit?
Years later, I'm thinking it's the kind of hat bicyclists wear, like Lance Armstrong rocking out to "Hot For Teacher" while pedaling through France. For the longest time I thought it was...I dunno, for show? It's just so ugly and floppy and red. I like the graphic on the side. I like the weak and paper-like brim. I like it all and I don't know why.
She had a lot of stuff I'd eventually pocket, but yeah. It's hard to go any further with this, so I'm gonna bow out before things get weird. Are things weird yet? Yeah, I thought so, too.
See ya next week!