...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.)