Your life in the 80s. You were never a big party person. Every one you went to had the same music; mostly early 70s Disco and Loverboy. None of the people you knew liked The Sex Pistols, thought Siouxsie And The Banshees and The Damned were just too weird – still wore Van Halen T-shirts. Still believed in mullets.
You were alone.
But around 11th grade things started to change. It started on the lawn behind the cafeteria. The guy you never saw much around school, the guy who dyed his hair white and wore all black, was playing Depeche Mode on his portable cassette. Nobody sat near him, nobody talked to him . He sat with his eyes closed and rocked back and forth. You immediately knew he was your people.
After a few weeks you became friends – well, not actual speaking/chummy friends; you both sat with your eyes closed, rocking back and forth, he would look over and hand you a nod of recognition. Soon, a group of you got together – classmates you never saw before, suddenly appearing behind the cafeteria. Everybody wore black. Your girlfriends, the ones you made that you never had before, discovered Sylvia Plath and all carried copies of Bell-Jar. Boys were painting their nails black and getting hassled by the jocks – girls were getting hassled by the cheerleader-types; the ones who looked like extras on a Miami Vice set. You all stuck together – you became this big, dark, glacial family.
Your life changed when you heard The Smiths. How Soon Is Now? became your anthem – Morrissey was speaking directly to you – he understood your life, he seemed to know you better than you did. You had to have everything The Smiths ever recorded.
Seemed like five minutes later The Smiths broke up, just around the time you graduated. The 80s are leaving soon with a new, strange unsure world ahead and no anthems to rely on. But you still loved music – and you wound up becoming a Journalism Major in college. And you got paid (not much) to sit, rock back and forth and write what you thought.
Yeah, it’s only January but it’s moving too fast and the 80s will be over soon. You miss the lawn behind the Cafeteria – you wonder who is sitting back there now, having their life change. Happens all the time. Life’s just like that.
And your reminder comes in the form of Dusty Street as she held court at KROQ on January 13, 1989.
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