A Galentine's Day Story About MySpace, Rock & Roll ..and the beginning of a lifelong bond
For our first blog entry we wanted to highlight a relationship most of us treasure. The one of chosen family. We hope you enjoy a look into what made us Mirrorgloss 💖
Well, I can't tell the story of how Najah Monique and I met unless I tell you the story of how I met Jooley Heaps. It was probably around 2003 or so, I had been residing in Tacoma for a little less than a year. Real talk, your girl was lonely. I had met a handful of acquaintances here and there, a few of which would become really good friends eventually, by this time I had figured out where all the cool spots around Tacoma were. I was frequenting places like The Hotel, The Hob-Nob and what would become my 2nd home, Magoo's on N. 21st Street, I would even end up working there in the distant future, but that's a whole different blog entry.
I don't remember much about the hours preceding my entering Hell's Kitchen on 6th Ave in 2003 but I will say even walking through the door alone I had never felt so at home. Hell's Kitchen in those days was the premier rock venue in town, the list of bands I saw there reads like a smorgasbord, I'm talking Jet City Fix, The Black Halos, The Melvins, Big Business, Three Inches of Blood, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Fishbone, oh the list goes on and on. I remember watching Paramount Styles, one of my favorite bands at the time in a room filled with 6 people max and though I was grateful for the intimacy, I'm sure the band was less than impressed by the turnout. So back to Ms. Heaps...yeah, I noticed her right away, she was a vision, a leggy, fiery-haired leopard printed punk rock metal babe vision with crimson lips and tattoos. She was so put together, she reminded me of all of the hot girls that roamed around the Casbah at home in San Diego, which was my favorite spot for live music when I lived there, in fact, Jooley Heaps looked like home to me.
I vaguely remember walking up to her, a tumbler of Wild Turkey bourbon sloshing in my hand, my liquid courage giving me the desired effect. I do know I complimented her, "You are so beautiful." I slurred, finally getting my chance. She was so surprisingly receptive and repeated the sentiment back to me and before I knew it we were exchanging our MySpace info, fast friends. If memory serves me well, we hugged and vowed to hang out soon. What I failed to mention about Jooley is, well, she's like one of the most fire ass bad ass rocker chicks in Tacoma, who knows anyone who is anyone in the PNW, from bands to scenesters to vintage goods purveyors, she's the one to know, she actually does a vintage thing herself called, Poison Apple Tacoma.
Did the light of love shine down on me that night when she brought me into the clique? Finding Jooley was basically an invite to everything cool going on in and around Tacoma and Seattle.
Fast forward to approximately two or three days later, I was upstairs in the office at the new home that I shared with my roommate at the time, we had both moved out from San Diego and pledged to make a new life together on the east side of Tacoma, which was riddled with meth addicts and minor gang activity, but the cozy San Francisco Style Victorian two-story home was a really affordable steal on South M. Street. I sat at the computer sipping a New Castle Brown Ale, the scrap of paper that Jooley handed me crumpled near the mouse as I scrolled through the faces of the people she knew. I was probably listening to the Strokes', "Is This It" or Brainiac's, "Smack Bunny Baby". Then I saw her, her smooth deep complexion and that broad precious smile that housed a row of chalk white teeth and what can only be described as fangs on either side. I looked at her name, the way it was spelled, Najamoniq Todd. I heard myself whisper it aloud, hoping that I had phonetically used the right pronunciation. The more I said her name and looked at her cherubic cheeks I could feel my heart patter in my chest and butterflies flooding my belly and her name was now exchanged with, "That's my best friend. That's my best friend!" Then suddenly I was elated and relieved because my intuition had lead me to that very moment. I knew without a single doubt that Najamoniq was going to be my best friend.
I just had to let her know. I messaged Najamoniq and to my amazement, she wrote me back right away and we made plans to hang out, but for some reason, we could never get together. This went on for days, then weeks and then months...and then I gave up. I felt so isolated after that like I had made a huge mistake by moving out to Tacoma. I was pissed that I didn't go to Seattle like me and my roommate had planned from the start. I was pissed I was stuck in such a close-knit small town and that my jovial and overly friendly personality was met with the coldest, most icy reception. I fucking hated Tacoma and it's rainy weather and lack of good Mexican food and had decided it was time for me to head back to San Diego. I stood outside of Magoo's one night, tipsy and emotional, lonesome puffing on a cigarette, my cell phone pressed against my cheek. "I hate this place," I whispered, defeated, to my friend Jasmine at the other end. 'Well, you should come home then. You can stay with me." Tears streamed along my face and I contemplated if I was really ready to give up so soon. Suddenly I felt this energy swirling around me as I stared down at the sidewalk, I looked up and she's right there, Najamoniq is right there! our eyes meet and suddenly in unison, we both scream with joy. "I'll call you later," I said as I hung up the phone on Jasmine not waiting for a reply at all, my jubilation to obvious to contain. With arms opened wide, we greet each other still screaming together like long lost kindred's being united once more.
Love and Friendship, when I try to think back and begin telling the story of how Del Brown and I met, I find it quite difficult to even fathom a time when we were not a duo, mostly because I cannot picture a time when we were not friends. Early 2000's were a fun and trans formative time for me, I lost my virginity in my 20's and left a organized religion and lifestyle that no longer spoke to who i was supposed to be any longer. The Tacoma music scene was the next stop on my journey of self discovery, and what an amazing environment to come into, I found life long friends , music crushes as well as real life ones and all the rock and roll my little African American heart could handle. Hell's Kitchen on 6th ave was the haven and that's where I met and heard bands like Jet City Fix, Chinatown, The Black Halos, 3 Inches of Blood , Point Defiance and Post Stardom Depression... It's also where i met one of the coolest, most badass babes named Jooley Heaps who would come to be the reason for Del and I meeting.
Cut to a Myspace connection situation, I received a message from this really cool looking black girl who loved Jeff Buckley about wanting to hang out and being new to town and I immediately was like "KINDRED SPIRRIIIITS" Ya'll, we had months of failed attempts to hangout but what is to be will always be, and one random night I show up at the town hangout at the time Magoos Annex a small but poppin dive bar in its day! I approach the front of the building only to find a teary eyed Del Brown explaining to one of her Cali gals about the lack of connection, sincerity and friendship she was finding upon her arrival to Tacoma, unbeknownst to her and I, we were about to make one of the most important connections of our lives and the rest isn't history but bright the next chapter in a future we hope you stay tuned to.
In life we are all blessed with many different things, this blessing I hope is given to every being on earth. That you find someone that sees you and allows you to be all versions of yourself comfortably while cheering you on to become the best version of yourself. and while we have bumps just like any other real life friendship, that is the friend I have in Del Brown, she is the Beavis to my Butthead, The Dionne to my Cher, the Jane to my Daria 💖