IR Online is an international undergraduate literary journal produced by the Literary Editing and Publishing class at Indiana University, Bloomington. Issue 3 was planned and compiled by Emily Corwin’s class in Spring, 2018.
I adore Grimes, a self-taught indie musician who I saw live before I knew who she was. I was seventeen and had bought tickets to see Lana Del Rey at Klipsch Music Center with my friend, Eric. I only bought the tickets because I knew Eric liked her. I thought he was cool, with his long hair and surprisingly expansive knowledge of pop culture, and I wanted to spend more time with him. Maybe a week before the concert, I mentioned offhandedly that Lana’s opener was a cute Canadian synth-pop artist named Grimes.
“Are you kidding? I fucking love Grimes,” Eric exclaimed with wide eyes. We were sitting in the courtyard of our old high school eating lunch. I didn’t think Eric ate enough, so I would pack extra food to give to him. I thought he was humoring me, because I never fathomed that he would know an indie Canadian artist, and I expressed so. I shouldn’t have been surprised that just because I didn’t know Grimes at the time, Eric didn’t as well. He was a collector. He had shelves filled with records, CDs, books, and DVDs. He fascinated me and he always had since we had that middle school art class together. Eric was tall and all bones. It was like somebody took a normally proportioned person and stretched him out just a little too long. He shaved his head when he was sixteen and hadn’t cut it since. His blonde and wavy hair had just reached an overgrown stage where it kissed his angular shoulders. My mother once asked me if Eric was gay because “he’s just so pretty for a boy.” The ambiguity of his sexual orientation, along with his androgyny, had only increased over the years.