Good News for Bad News

If any of you haven't read Bad News Hughes, you should be ashamed of yourselves. If you like funny, you should read it. If you don't like reading jarringly depressing, semi-gory, moderately unstable rants and walks down drug hazed memory lane, might I suggest the phone book instead.

Mrs. A turned me on to BNH a few years ago, I don't know where she found him, it doesn't matter. What matters is he's the kind of guy I wish I had been in college or later. I'm somewhat ok with who I am today, but reading some of his stuff makes me simultaneously wish I'd lived a more punk life and glad I made the choice back in about '95 to get a job instead. I don't know what that feeling is called. I want to have that past, that experience. I want to be able to tell stories like that. It's hard coming up with stuff to write knowing your past isn't very interesting and your present is average.

For instance, I think the hardest thing I had to go through in college was when I moved out of my dad's house to go live with an ex-girlfriend (who earlier had used me to come out of the closet) in a studio apartment. I didn't have a car; my mode of transport was a BMX Mongoose I'd had since I was 12. That bike was later stolen outside a McDonalds. I had to come up with about $150 a month in rent so I had to get a job. The only place that would hire someone with green hair was Ticketmaster. So I lived in downtown Denver for a while, riding my BMX to school and then back to work and then back to school. In the evenings I would walk down to Colfax and find a place to drink or see a band.

But that's about it. I found out early I didn't like the taste of beer, I experimented with but never got hooked on drugs of any kind. All I really liked doing was smoking, scowling and listening to music. And really, not much has changed. Sure I don't have my 20 hole Docs or my studded leather jacket, but my desires haven't changed much. Which makes me think I was never very punk to begin with. I didn't skate much and frankly, good and true punk music drives me crazy. I think certain songs are ok, but for the most part it's junk to me. I was Faux Punk.

And looking back, I was Faux Everything. Faux du Jour. I faked waver to be in a band, I faked punk to try to get in with a girl, I faked art to get noticed by some greater artists, I faked athleticism to be included with who I though were the cool kids, I faked musical ability so I could get a scholarship and, more than likely, get in with a different girl. I faked a lot of things over my formative years and I think looking back on it, and reading Bad News Hughes, it's the reason I wish I'd done more things like drive 5 hours to see a buddy's dead girlfriend, smelling of beer and piss and smoke and mud. It seems more real and more gritty and worldly than what I did growing up, which wasn't much. I stayed out of trouble for the most part and followed a lot of different leaders.

I guess some people need to be sheep or else the leaders wouldn't have anyone to govern.

I'm also not knocking the benevolent experiences some folks may have had. I'm sure the bible retreats or 4H summers or those finding yourself trips to Europe held their own. I didn't have those either. I went to French Camp once and that was singularly horrible. Outside of that, I have some mildly interesting stories about dinging up my parents' cars, almost getting into trouble with the law and travels I've taken to the mere handful of states in the US and the one trip to Mexico.

However, lately, in the past couple years, things have been interesting, but they're interesting in more a private, how-fucked-up-is-that? kind of way. I'd love to write about it, but there's a level of privacy involved, and a level of civility. You don't dump your burdens on to others, no matter who those others are. In the long reach of time, and after much of this has passed like a spiked kidney stone, I may consider relaying the events of the past couple years. But until then I hope everyone is happy reading about my kids, my art, Mrs. A's photography and some rants about health care, law and politics. It really is all I have to talk about right now.

Carry on.

No comments: