September 22nd, 2009

planet

I didn't notice getting old

Saturday the man DJed an all-ages rave at the Eagles Lodge... not kidding! There were glow sticks and candy kids and FOAM and all sorts of weird. He played an early set.

Since it was an all-ages show, there were a lot of kids there. The bar was still open and I had my special wristband but there were seriously high schoolers running around. And that made me start to feel old. Not really in a bad or alarming way, I wasn't the oldest person there. But something made me think about the different time I'm at in life.

First thing: when I see a 15-year-old girl running around a party wearing nothing but sandals, a pink shiny bikini, and glow sticks, something makes me wonder what I'd say if my daughter left the house like that. And I don't even have a daughter.

Second: I saw a kid wearing a Nirvana t-shirt and immediately started doing arithmetic in my head. He looked to be sixteen or seventeen.

Flashback, ready? I'm a freshman in high school. I'm wearing jeans, eastbay loafers and a huge soft gray t-shirt underneath an old flannel from salvation army. We listen to In Utero like crazy people when we're sad, and Nevermind when we feel like rocking out and pretending to party. I say "we" lightly because there were never more than 2-3 teenagers together at the same time in my neighborhood, I think the soccer moms would have felt threatened. Then in the spring Kurt Cobain kills himself and it's thrown into overdrive, we're obsessed, we listen to anything Nirvana-related we can get our hands on. We listen to Hole. In the next year there were only more things to get obsessed with the darkness... The Crow came out with its amazing soundtrack. There was Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots. This stuff was on the radio! I don't remember any happy bubbly music at all, it was all mumbling lyrics and moody dirty-looking bands who our parents definitely definitely didn't understand. Nothing from a disney machine. The whole point was to be absorbed into independence and introspection.

Oh wait back to my arithmetic: I was 14 years old. 1994. So a 17 year old kid walking by me today with a Nirvana shirt?

Was two years old.

Nevermind is actually older than he is. What the hell? Where's that shirt even from?

Oh I guess I'm happy that Nirvana gets to be timeless, a forever statement. When I was in school I remember my mom and dad being dumbfounded when kids would dress like "hippies" for halloween. They started to explain to me why hippies weren't really loaded up with flower jewelry and tailored fringe bellbottoms... "They weren't buying outfits! They weren't buying anything, it was about not buying stuff... and they... oh... forget it." Nirvana would, I think, be the opposite of rave culture. The only thing the two have in common is drug use (then again, so many movements have that in common so let's not count it). If anything would cancel out glow-sticks and plastic beads and elmo backpacks, it was grunge. Yes I know the Nirvana logo was a yellow happy face but it wouldn't have really belonged at a rave, I hate to say it.

Eh, lost cause. I think my age is only going to get further and further from anything that'd relate to high school kids. As it should be.