Esther Tela Free speaks

You woke me up

I turned 21 Feb. of 1995 and quite a few of my friends were underage. I hung out with a large group of people that ranged in ages.

I even hung out with a sister and brother who would sometimes fight when they would come to my place. Never trust those redheads. Those two people made a big impact on my life. I had never been friends with a brother and a sister before. Both redheads too of course. She was your typical suburban college girl and her brother was a stoner. He was also disabled. He had no muscles in his legs and to this day it’s because of him that I don’t hate myself completely. I also had never seen a brother and sister hate each other so much. It eventually got to the point where I would have two separate crowds of people at my house because of this sister/brother combo. The brother’s crew was part of the stereotypical hippie crowd who had stickers all over the back of their cars, they drove around and smoked pot and talked about the Grateful Dead trying to ‘outdead’ each other. I’ll get into a story about that another time

His sister was one of the coolest chicks I’ve ever known. I was a tomboy and had lost my girly princess side when I knew her so she was like a vision of makeup and padded bras with sparkly things on them. She was also part of the stereotypical college frat/sorority circle of people who drank beer and talked about each other behind their backs. Even she had the stoner couple in her crew. Those two could have taken me to my first phish show but I stupidly said no and went for the boys and the Grateful Dead which I do not regret

I had the only apartment in my circles of friends and so for most of my months living there I was not alone. People would stop by at all time and people seemed to genuinely like me. I even started hanging out with a few girlfriends from highschool and they would come over and hang with the other two circles of friends. It was one of the first party lives of many that I have had in my lifetime. I hope you all party like rock stars for the rest of your life like I want to.

I Digress.

After having such a tough time making friends before college I was very thankful to have such a large circle of different kinds of people who were all somewhat supportive. At this age I was healthly. There were no serious signs of the A.S. and even my thyroid was under control, unlike now. I was a healthy beautiful 21 year old blond college girl living the best part of life, the part after moving out of the home you grew up in. I

You an almost think, that you are seeing double, on a cold dark on a spanish stairs

My apartment was behind a Denny’s and that was just the straw that broke the camels back when i was looking for a place to live. When we would get the munchies and had skiied all day long, we all would run down the stairs and jump into the snow. Jump in my jeep, warm it up, in negative 50 degree windchills, and drive 500 feet to the Denny’s for an all night smoke and coffee session. The liquor and beer store was across the street fromthe Denny’s which made the party apartment just east of the central part of town.

Oh to be in the land of coca-cola.

We celebrated every birthday that year at my apartment. Everyone got a cake and balloons, even my own mom. I still have the picture of her blowing out the candles in my kitchen. I had finally settled down, or so we both thought. Every occaision was occaision enough for a keg in the bathtub and a nice round of truth or dare.

Suddenly, Everything’s gonna be different, when I paint my masterpiece

By the spring of 1995 I took these brand new wings of confidence that had sprouted in the tender care of all my new friends and began to spread my roots into the ground and wave my branches out to those who were offering friendship.

Forgive, I’m not sure I could, they say time heals everything, but I’m still waiting…

I had moved into this apartment after finally leaving an abusive boyfriend after being with him for 2 years. It was actually the second apartment. I had to leave the first one because he knew where I lived and I figured I might be a little bit safer if I lived closed to the family and in an apartment that he didn’t know about. It’s hard sometimes for me to think about those times, but thats for a reason. I think theres enough room in my brain to not deal with that time of my life right now and so I wont.

Ill keep payin, I’m not ready to make nice, I’m not ready to back down, I’m still mad as hell..

And I’m still waitinThat apartment still had somewhat of a dark cloud hanging above it and I eventually left with almost 4 months left on the lease. I paid off the rest of the lease and moved out west with a roommate who was using me for all I had. Both emotionally, mentally, and fiscally.

November 3, 2017 Posted by | 1995, 1996, grateful dead, Memories, michigan, music, red heads, Stream of Consciousness | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

October and Novermber 1995 were months of loss and change

I thought maybe moving to Brattleboro, Vermont was the answer to ease the pain of losing my father. I had the insurance money and I could go and do anything I wanted to anytime I wanted to. I didn’t owe anything to anyone. I figured that I might as well start checking out the rest of the country. I had never thought to having a future in the city I grew up in and so I figured this was my time to start taking my money and traveling with it. I’m not quite sure how Vermont came into the picture but it did .I met Heath in the Grateful Dead chatroom. The internet was still pretty new to the average person like me at this point. I had just gotten a computer in August and found a whole cyber world of people who liked the same bands that I liked.   At this point in my life, I was a hard core Deadhead.  Lucky for us, after Jerry dying, there was a need for all of us to be together as much as we could be. There were festivals in just about any state during the first three months of a Jerry-less world. Thankfully for us newer deadheads,  The Grateful Dead had their own forum on America Online.  This was the early days of AOL. YOu didn’t pay by the year, you paid by the hour. I can’t even count on two hands the amount of fake screennames my friends and I would use in order to not pay AOL because paying by the hour, when you are a mourning deadhead in a chatroom of deadheads is not one of your top priorities. I remember people having hundreds of dollars of bills every month. Needless to say, the Aol dead forum was where I lived those first three months after Jerry died and that is where I met Heath.  He was a hippie kid, like me, who lived in New Hampshire, just outside of Vermont. We decided to hang out in real life and possibly get an apartment together  in Brattleboro.  I packed up my backpack and hopped the greyhound bus to meet with Heath and spend a couple weeks looking for an apartment. If everything worked out ok then he would come back with me, help me pack up my shit and then help me drive the UHaul back to Brattleboro.

The greyhound bus motored up through the mountains and I gazed at the beautiful fall leaves of western New york.  I ended up in New Hampshire where Hearth was waiting to pick me up. The bus pulled up at night time to this small building with 2 plate glass windows and a plate glass door that opened up as the bus pulled up. It was this tall skinny guy wearing a knit hat with a ball at the end the swung as he walked towards me. He was also wearing dark brown cords and a very thick sweater in dull colors based mainly in the maroon color wheel. I came down the steps of the bus and Hearth was nice enough to give me a hug.  We weren’t there as  a couple and in fact this was the first time we were meeting in person. In 1995, meeting people off the internet was not a common thing. I usually had to lie to mom when I would tell her where I was going and who I was going wtih.

Heath’s parents were kind enough to host me for the 2 weeks we were taking to find the right apartment. Heath and I spent days searching the apartment ads in Brattleboro and scouted out the grocery stores, music stores and other various small shops that generated most of the business in the economy of brattleboro.  There were plenty of kids like us. We had no problem finding people who had things in common. After seeing a picture of Phish playing in Brattleboro around the same time I almost moved there I to this day still wonder what would have happened if I had gotten into phish in 1995 because I had moved to brattleboro.

Coincidently phish just released a new livephish download from december of 1995. I am listening to that while I write this story.

Back to the Vermont story:

We spent quite a few hours in the music shop and I ended up buying an accoustic guitar. I really wanted to learn how to play it and figured that at 21, I was still young enough to pick it up. Eventually we found the apartment that we felt most comfortable in and placed a downpayment on it.  It was the second floor of this cool house. It had a very windy short stairwell (which would mean lots and lots of fun carrying up our belongings). I knew that we were going to have the times of our lives living in this place. There were so many nooks and crannies and the place was definitely big enough for the two of us to have our own separate lives as there was never a love interest between the two of us. After finding the place, we headed back to his parents house, packed up my stuff and I returned to Michigan with Heath in tow. It was impossible for me to move an entire apartment without help and I just couldn’t find anyone who was willing to help me move, including my future roommate.  All i needed was help moving boxes and here i was seeing what my roommate was made of and it seemed like he wasn’t made of much. I decided this was a trait in a person that I was not willing to look past.  I really wanted to move to Vermont. I wanted to start my life there. But when I saw what kind of person Heath was I sent him home about 3 days before the RV rental was to be picked up.I returned all the money he was owed, and I decided to stay in Michigan.

March 24, 2007 Posted by | 1995, America Online, AOL, brattleboro, greyhound bus, new hampshire, phish, vermont | 1 Comment