An Ode To Debbie Harry For National Blondie Month

It was my first summer in NYC. I was 18 years old and had fallen in love for the first time. I had managed to convince my parents to let me spend the warm months in the city so I could work, which was secret code for “have the best summer of my life with my new boyfriend Travis.” It was an amazing plan—until he broke my heart of glass one week later. “I met someone else,” he told me while I was hanging on the telephone. “She lives across the hall from me in my dorm.”

I’ll rip her to shreds, I thought, but instead I just hung up. There I was, a girl all alone in the city with absolutely no one. So I popped in my new Blondie record “Parallel Lines.” Once I had a love and it was a gas, soon found out, I had a heart of glass. Seemed like the real thing but I was so blind, mucho mistrust, love’s gone behind.I stared out the window of my East Village hovel and watched the city pass me by as I sang along to “One Way Or Another.” Feeling a little bit tougher, I thought, Screw this! I’m tired of being the sensitive girl sitting around crying. I can turn this summer around one way or another. I went on a shopping spree to Trash and Vaudeville—a very popular Lower East Side store—and got myself a tattoo. I loaded up my disc-man with Blondie CDs (yeah it was 1997, in the pre iPod days) and I took to the East Village streets, the home of Blondie. And I didn’t feel so alone. I felt like Debbie Harry was walking with me. She had pounded the same pavement, had gone through similar trials and tribulations. With each listen and each day that passed, I stood a little bit taller and strutted a little bit harder, became a little bit stronger. As I listened to her words, I knew what kind of woman I would need to become to make it in this city. I would have to be tough, magnetic, passionate, and persistent. And by the end of the summer, the tide was high and I was moving on.