Penny and Me.
There was a long wait after Hanson’s second album came out before we had any music news. We didn’t fully believe there would be more music. We were young, and Hanson was in an ugly battle with their record label to even put out music. Eventually they split from their label and decided to take the independent route. They recorded an acoustic album, a spoiler of their new CD, in a church basement in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Penny and Me is one of the songs on the album. A friend of mine who has connections with in-laws told me it’s about a doll named Penny and living long distance and the Georgia mountains. To me it’s about a lot more.
You know those days when you can drive around with the windows open, drinking iced coffee and wearing sunglasses while singing along harmoniously. Maybe beach trip is in the immediate future. Maybe you’re on a road trip. You feel free. If you’re familiar with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, it’s one of those feelings where you feel infinite. You just are. And that’s all that matters.
I came up with the term “Penny Days” to describe that kind of feeling, that infinite, breathless lightness that sometimes happens when the moment is just right. It started when I wrote a novella called Penny and Me. It’s about a girl named Penny who becomes fast friends with a boy named Lucky who is a guitarist and just about to make it big. It was the first piece of fiction I wrote and completed that wasn’t fan fiction. And I loved those characters. It’s been so long since I’ve revisited them, I decided for Camp Nano this month I’d write more based on Penny’s life as an early-twenty something girl who’s disillusioned by life. I haven’t actually started writing it, and we are a week into April so you can see how well I’m doing with writing fiction. But that’s not the point. Penny was named for my friend Kate who later got “Penny Rose” tattooed onto her foot as a way of indicating her alter ego.
This song encompasses a feeling I can’t quite explain, that high on life you can’t always recreate. It’s magic in song form, and I love every second of it.