It’s the fall of 1984. I’m 13 years old and in adolescent purgatory. All I can do is wait to get older. I’m stuck in the suburbs when I know for a fact I’m meant to be living in the city. Boston is the city I know best and where we (my mother, brother and I) moved from 5 years ago. I wish we could move back. New York would be even better. In NY I could learn all the real hoodlum tricks. But it’s not to be, at least not for now. I’m stuck living in the sticks.
This town is a rural suburb 40 miles North of Boston. The kids here are dweebs. I know I’m a dweeb too, but at least I’ve got potential. Unlike them I imagine I will not be living here the rest of my life. I listen to better music. I heard the Sex Pistols on a radio show a couple of months ago. On my next visit to the city, I went out and got the record, “Never Mind the Bollocks.” It’s fucking amazing. I got a t-shirt with the cover of the record on it too. As soon as I’m old enough I’ll be gone. Far. Out of this town. Maybe sooner. I don’t understand my anger. I don’t even know that it’s anger. I just know I don’t feel right and the Sex Pistols help with that.
To fit in, I make fun of some of the dorks on the school bus. I’m the funny guy. It comes naturally to me and I enjoy it. It’s usually at some less popular kids’ expense however that I’m able to get the laugh. I know this isn’t cool. I know this deep inside, but I ignore it. I feel like I’m being untrue to my nature but it’s more important to be popular right now. Even if the popular kids, like Mitch S_, are assholes. They are popular, mostly just because they are good at sports or they have an older sibling that preceded them at school. That sibling was either good at sports also or knew how to really “party” or both. I’ve got no interest in sports. My cousins Judd and Stephan are popular, but I think they are assholes. They were assholes at family holidays growing up and they are asshole jocks now.
My mother nagged me into joining the wrestling team last year. She said I needed to participate in sports and that I should join the wrestling team because my cousins would help me out. Instead, it ended up being the most humiliating experience of my entire life. I was finally going through puberty when the season started. I guess I’m a late bloomer. I had to wear one of those wrestling unitards and a cup. Oh my god, it was so awful. I lost most of my matches, even the ones with smaller guys. It’s painful even to think about it. I am done with sports. I’ll just be the crazy, funny one. That comes more naturally to me.
I’m gonna be a punk when I get older. Starting now. There are tons of metalheads and burnouts at my school but very few punks. I buy cigarettes from a metalhead named Andy in my Social Studies class. He’s older. He got held back a year, maybe two, so he’s physically huge. Like seriously, he’s got to be 6′ 2″ or something and he wears a denim vest over his concert shirt, like a real metalhead. He could be a good friend to have I think. If anyone ever wants to fuck with me, maybe Andy would help me out. I could pay him if I needed to, but I probably wouldn’t have to. He likes me. He laughs at the cracks I make during class and he likes me even more because I buy 3 or 4 cigarettes off of him everyday for a buck. He can practically buy a whole pack after school for that much cash. So I basically pay for his smokes every day.
Andy is like most of the other kids in school in that he likes Def Leopard, Rush, Aerosmith and Van Halen. I like Van Halen too. I like all of those bands I guess (except for Rush, they seem sort of gay), because the music seems kind of hard but it’s not like the Sex Pistol’s album. The Sex Pistols are fucking pissed off. They sound like I feel. They are just screaming like crazy people and that’s what I feel like doing too.
When school is over I go to one of the empty fields that are all over in this shitty backwoods town. If it’s not wet outside, I lie down in the long grass. That way if anyone passes by they won’t see me. I lie there and smoke and get a head rush. I like the taste of the cigarettes. A lot. I hold the smoke as long as I can. That makes the head rush I get even more intense. I would like to smoke more but the ladies at the Food Mart (the only market in town) won’t sell them to me. Bitches. It will be a little while before I realize I can just steal the cigarettes when I’m in line buying candy or start using the vending machine across the street at the House of Pizza. Someday, I’ll leave this town.