I was in Miranda Hobbes‘ (yes of Sex in the City) house and there was this big party going down. Paintings of my friend Mark were up on this high shelf and people were inquiring about them. Before long we all were sitting having cocktails and suddenly, Rose, this girl I dated in high school (yes, I dated a girl!), sits down beside me and says hi. I kept poking her in the shoulder to see if she was real; it was so vivid. She started talking about where life had taken her, and I started to point out the successes I have had, but thought better of it and just kept poking her shoulder. I just kept thinking, ‘How can you be sitting here? You died years ago in a car crash’.
Just as that thought bounced around my mind, a large brigade of fire dancers walked through the crowd, not unlike when I saw Pigface perform in San Jose years ago. And before I knew it, I was in a parking lot with Rose, on a mission to secure cookies from Wegman’s (a Rochester based supermarket chain). She mentioned that she still had her discount from working there so we hoofed it to the door past a pissy security guard, who was surprisingly rather young.
Once in the store, she pocketed a cookie as her ‘discount’ allowed her to have a free one, and we took the other up to the register, which we were to have a small discount on as well. We paid for it and the girl at the cash register nonchalantly says ‘Here’s your cookie, and now I have to arrest you’. We were dumbfounded and Rose immediately started in with ‘why?’ The cashier responded that they have been through this several times, and just like last time, she had to arrest her (presumably for the pocketed freebie).
I poked Rose again and said, “You know, dead people can’t be arrested.” She looked down in that way she always did when she realized a truth that would rather stay unknown. The cashier then turns to me and says ‘Well, then, you would be responsible.’
My eyes caught with Rose’s and it was clear that we had to run. Out of Wegman’s in a blur the security guard screamed at us. I recall he had a gun, though no shots were fired. As sirens wailed in the distance coming for us, we just about made it to the car and stopped for a pause. Thinking of what to do next it was suddenly clear: Wake up.
– – –
Rose was one of the few friends I had in High School. We went on a couple of those dates that you go on when you are fifteen or so and trying to figure out how the game works. I pretty much knew I was gay at the time, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Even though we hung out a bit in college, we soon lost contact when I went to to California, Rose to Arizona or New Mexico (I don’t recall which). She had this fun ‘alternative’ spunk to her and while we weren’t really close, we had a commonality in music as well as alternative lifestyles (she dated girls for a spell, though it’s unknown to me of her exact orientation). I remember she shaved her head once and as it was growing back, she dyed it bright green. My mom forever associated her with ‘the girl that showed up with green hair’ at my front door, though she liked her.
It is almost eight years since Rose was in a fatal car crash. I don’t really know the specifics, but I remember my friend Colleen contacting me with the news. I felt weird reminiscing about days of adolescence with my friend. It’s not that I had any regrets of not staying in contact or the like, I mean, people often come and go throughout your life, but you just get this weird feeling. I may be wrong, but I think Rose was studying to be a psychiatrist, and I think she would have been successful at that.
My dreams are always vivid, and as such, I woke up rather spooked today. It is comical at times, I can wake up furious at someone because of what they did in a dream and the emotion can linger hours afterward. I know it’s totally irrational, and I’ve learned to control these feelings, but I’m sure Rose will be haunting me today; just like the day I heard of her passing. It seems rather fitting heading to Deathguild tonight to dance as she wanders through my mind.
It is estimated on this day, 18 years ago, Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain took his life with a shotgun.
(Note: any comments on this post that go on about conspiracy/murder theories will be deleted)
Like many other generation X’ers, I felt a certain kinship when listening to his music. He was our enigmatic musical demigod; sensitive, angry, and full of angst at the same time. He was our Morrison, our Hendrix, our Elvis. More importantly, he was the first public figure that spoke to us in our language.
Musically, we were fed manufactured corporate rock, further disillusioned by the political and social climate as we ventured into the mid and late 80’s. We knew something was amiss as our parents were getting divorced and sprawling suburbia’s we were raised in became playgrounds of boredom and mediocrity. The happy days of the 60’s and 70’s had worn thin and if you were anything like me, you grew up within a stronghold of angst and alienation. Nirvana, fueled by Kurt’s lyrics was an outlet to voice our frustration beyond our bedrooms.
So I downloaded Nirvana’s “From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah” recently. Yeah, I know I’m late on this one, but I’m usually not a fan of live albums. The levels are always askew and they do a bad job of capturing the true energy of a group. Any one who knows me, knows I love going to live shows and do so often. That’s where I’d rather spend my money. I actually had the privilege of seeing Nirvana live when I was teenager. I remember an enthralling concert that left me buzzing for days later.
So, yeah, I finally got it. Some performances are a bit uninspired such as Breed and Smells like Teen Spirit (You know they HAD to play that). But the tunes School, Aneurysm, along with Drain You and Sliver blew me away! Absolute classics in the Nirvana catalog.
It is amazing to hear these guys again. I’m in a whirl when I hear “Grandma take me home.. I wanna be alooooooooone…..”
I am actually very happy that I waited so long to grab this one. It just would not have rang as true if I bought it right away. Good to know that years later I can put this on and magically be transported back to when I was listening to these tunes for the first time, so long ago, with all the love and hate and angst. True genius stands the test of time, and nothing sums up how we felt (and still do) than this line: “you’re in high school again“.
Aren’t we all? Brilliant.