Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Let me take you back to a dark and troubled time...

...nearly forgotten in the mists of history. Yes, Gentle Reader, we are journeying back to, the horror, the early aughts. Cobain hadn't been gone a full decade yet. 9/11 was a few months away, and the POTUS was a benignly stupid chucklehead that none of the people in my age group paid that much attention to. (The erosion of the Constitution hadn't begun in earnest quite yet, and to be fair: outside of crass jokes, we hadn't paid much attention to the last guy, either.) Emo was still a pejorative, and I thought that Hot Topic was cool. I was fifteen, and mad as hell about that fact.

Obviously, I've gotten over all that in order to emerge before you as the, erm, bright and shining example of optimism that I am at the present day. But I went to a Godsmack concert last night and, as I was screaming obscenities at a stage flanked by people ten years younger than me to twenty years older, I was right back there. Adolescence sucks when you're living it (anyone who talks about the best years of their life is going to have a sad one), but nostalgia brings back the sweetness a bit. I jammed along to "Voodoo" and remembered sexy-dancing in a friend's living room while a boy named Justin, my first ooh-la-la tongue kiss, tried to seduce me. (Well, for a fifteen year-old's understanding of "seduce", which mostly meant that we played grab-ass.) (And it didn't work.) "I Stand Alone" was all about my deep and painful angst. (How dare you suggest that I stooped to having tantrums, and anyway: there was also a pretty nasty custody battle going on. People who mock adolescent experiences either lived in shoeboxes filled with cotton or have numbed the memories since with drugs.) And I didn't get my first iPod until I was eighteen, thankyouverymuch. I was "cool" because I had one of the slim CD Walkmans.

I wouldn't trade anything in order to be fifteen again. I had no freedom, lived on ten dollars a week when Mom was raking in the overtime, and wore black eyeshadow without blending. Last night I chilled out on the grass and left when I damn well wanted to, drank two beers, and was confident enough to realize that it was sticky for anything other than a bare face 'cause I got nothing to prove. Even though the responsibilities of being an adult are a hell of a lot more intense than those of a teenager, and there are months when ten bucks is all the disposable income that I have to my name, a door with a deadbolt is a mighty thing. For a little while, though, it was nice to remember.

(And then I turned sixteen, got my license and a job, and realized that the cops brought in from the city didn't know the back roads nearly enough to hunt down we few, we proud, we redneck kids when we were determined to get in trouble, but those are stories for another day.)


  1. Ahhh…gotta love those memories! Or hate them. I do a little of both. I enjoyed going back with you down memory lane, while reveling in it a little myself. Oh, and by the way, Godsmack rocks!! Best concert I've ever been too, especially when Sully gets into his drum solos!

  2. @LJ

    I'm getting to the place where I can giggle about my adolescence, but yeah: little of both. You have all these feelings, and no experience or freedom to deal with them. On the other hand, all the raw stuff that makes you into your adult self is finally starting to gel together, and that's awesome.

    Oh, and by the way, Godsmack rocks!! Best concert I've ever been too, especially when Sully gets into his drum solos!

    Very true! Megadeth had to cancel abruptly due to illness, so they were basically throwing the set list out the window and making things up as they went along. It was one long, epic jam session.

  3. Very true. I have a 13 year old step daughter that I see going through some of the same things and it's amazing how much life comes back around. I think it's so we can get through what's to come and teach others what we've learned.

    I've never seen Megadeath, but my husband has many times. One of his favorite bands. I would have loved to see them improvise!

  4. @LJ

    Y'know, I came for Godsmack, but it was the band who was supposed to open for Megadeth and wound up opening for Godsmack who impressed me even more. They were called Tribune, and they were completely adorable! Completely giggly and goggle-eyed in such a way that was very charming against the "RAWR METAL" exterior. Apparently, cooing over rock boys is as close to maternal as I'm ever going to get.

  5. You crack me up.

    I think I've heard of them. The name sticks. I'll have to look them up!