Music,  Vibes

“My Name is Joe” 2000

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At 10 years old, I understood the extent I will go for music. This specific experience I am not proud of but…it happened. In 2000, I was obsessed with Joe’s radio hit “I Wanna Know.” Unfortunately, the only way I could hear the song was by radio. Which meant I had to wait (I hate waiting) I discovered 94.5 radio station plays this song every night between 3:00-4:00AM I set my alarm for 3AM and waited. Typically around 3:28 or 3:40 it came on. I’d turn it up and sing loud enough I’d wake my sister. She was fine with it and sometimes would sing along or laugh thinking “Why, are you awake?” I couldn’t wait until the album came out and I seen on T.V it was a few weeks after my birthday. I asked my grandma to send a few bucks for it and my mom took me to buy the cd. I remember it was $22. That seemed like a lot to me so I knew I was going to take good care of it. I read the lyrics and memorized every song. My top favorites were “Somebody’s Gotta Be On Top, Table for Two and Treat her like A Lady.” After listening to the same 2 hits on the radio (Stutter and I Wanna Know) I was pretty tired of hearing them.

One day, my sister was looking for her headband in a mess in the closet, she was getting upset and asked me where it was. I was listening to Joe and was a bit annoyed she was interrupting my vibe. I told her I didn’t know and she would probably find it if she cleaned up her side of the room a bit. She was getting even more upset she couldn’t find it and placed blame on me. I laughed and ignored her. She started throwing my things around and demanded I return the headband. She picked up a picture, my diary and my favorite shoes in attempt to destroy and anger me. I laughed and sarcastically joked about them being worthless so she can do what she wanted with them. I was lying in bed and turned to the wall continuing to listen to music. All of a sudden, the song stops and she yells “All you care about is this stupid CD!” She threw it across the room and the entire thing split. I felt the tears coming as I jumped up to go off on her. She treated me the same way I treated her and ignored me.


The rage in me was unexpected and all of sudden I was on top of her throwing punches and scratching. She screamed, cried, and hardly fought back so I stopped. I knew my mom and step dad were about to come out of the room after hearing that. I ran out of the room with my broken CD and into the kitchen. I grabbed a zip lock bag and permanent marker, placed the CD into the bag and wrote “Evidence.” I taped it onto the wall to show them. When they came out of the room my sister was still crying and I was explaining myself as I pointed at my CD. My mom was so upset with me for fighting my sister. She told me I was getting a whooping for it. I cried out and waited in my room for what was coming. As I waited, my sister was still looking for her headband. I watched her angrily and it appeared out of her mess of clothes in the closet. She looked at me, I looked at her but no words were said. I took my beaten but what I really wanted to know was: Who was going to buy me another album? I was short on allowance and $22 for a 10 year old was not easy to come by.

The next day, we all went to church and my mom was still upset about it. She told me I needed to go up to the alter and pray for myself and then ask God for forgiveness. She also told me I was now on punishment so I didn’t have to worry about listening to any music for a while. She made me put my radio in her room. Riding to church I started to feel pretty bad about beating my sister’s ass. Even worse noticing the bruises were popping up the closer we got to Grimes Street. I thought “Wow her face looks terrible.” It was like the knot grew larger just so God and the rest of the saints could see it too. As we walked in the church I thought: Alright everyone! Let’s just get passed this and hopefully my mom will pray for peace and forget about it as well. Nope! As soon as we walk in the church one of the ushers asked my sister was she okay and what happened to her face.

My sister and mom both glared at me. I thought “Geez! Ushers are so damn nosey! Like…Mam, don’t you see a dysfunctional family here? I mean, overall we are all blessed and highly favored…right? Go pass out fans or something!” I did pray about it though. I asked God to forgive me, heal my sister’s face, make my mom’s memories fade, shorten the length of my punishment and tell me who the hell was going to purchase another Joe album for me! Something isn’t adding up here…sister has headband! Naubby? No album!

When we got home I was so bored without music, it usually resulted with me talking to my unhelpful brother about it. He jokes about everything so it really never made a difference. I explained how upset I was that no one acknowledged my broken CD and how awesome this album was.

“Get over it; you can hear it on the radio.”

“No, I can’t. I don’t have one now.”

“It will play in the car…eventually.”

“Yea but since our parents are evil people they will change it as soon as it comes on since ‘I’m on punishment.’ Plus, the best songs are not even on the radio!”

“Well I guess you’ll be waiting then. And I may could get the CD somehow and try to sneak you my Walkman.”

He continues to mock me, diss the entire ‘My Name is Joe’ album and reflect on how hilarious it was to hear us fighting from his room. What I concluded from this entire experience was no one in this family appreciates good music, my brother wasn’t a complete asshole for trying and I probably should’ve just helped my sister find her headband.

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