After three years of various warning signs, local budtender Travis Hahn proved he had a checkered past defined by ska music. As Travis’s ex-partner, I had a first-hand account of the atrocities he committed to music, fashion, and the dance floor.
In retrospect, the red flags were there all along. On a first date to Domino’s Pizza, he sported a faded tattoo. Travis had attempted to cover it up, though any passerby could still spot the dancing silhouette of the Operation Ivy logo. The band’s tattooed mascot icon was lunging out, almost as if trying to escape the skin from the individual it had been branded onto.
In the Summer of 2019, Travis Hahn invited me to move with him into a quaint duplex in South Orange County. While I suggested a smooth palette of forest colors from Sherwin-Williams for our new living room, he merely suggested “Vans shoe vibe,” which resulted in the checkerboard pattern that every wall would soon don. Though Travis had no qualms against forest themes, he vowed to “never knock on wood” though “he knew someone that had,” an obvious reference to the famed-ska band Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
While unpacking Travis’s clothes in the new dwelling, a horror surfaced from his past – an authentic adult-sized Aquabats costume. I knew what this was, having seen the band’s appearance in my little sister’s Yo Gabba Gabba binge-watching. When I confronted my partner about the blue latex garb, he simply pretended like he didn’t know what it was.
“Perhaps it got mixed in at the laundromat,” Travis said with a quiver in his voice. This couldn’t possibly be true, as he had a fear of spinning machines (a bad Beyblade accident from his childhood, presumably).
After Travis’s repeated refusal to admit to his shameful past, he was confronted with a last resort. I dropped a pack of dry spaghetti on the kitchen floor and asked him to pick it up. Just as expected, he quietly chanted “pick it up, pick it up, pick it up” in response. From what I gather, this is a mantra from “Ska Culture.” The continual gaslighting resulted in our inevitable breakup.
All this to say, I’ve certainly had my share of embarrassing emo music. I hid that secret from my partner so he couldn’t find out my past of making a scene. We could never see eye-liner to eye-liner.