Saturday, April 07, 2007

And for this gift, I feel blessed

The anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death came and went and somehow my internal radar missed it. I remembered today, listening to a message on the SRDD over at ze frank's site. The memories came rushing back.

I was alone on the second floor of the student union that day, pretending to be a DJ on WBWC 88.3. I say pretending, because it was a 100 watt station at that time. I might as well have stood on the roof and hollered at the top of my lungs with a Fisher-Price record player. I always felt stupid giving out the request line, because mostly it was just my friends calling me, and every once in a while, a random prank (most memorable was the day someone whispered into the receiver menacingly: "I'm going to tickle you until you pee your pants."). From sheer boredom, I kept going back and forth between the air studio and the AP newswire in the hallway outside. It was a slow news day. Until that fateful paragraph came across. I actually just cut out of whatever I was playing to read it, numb, disconnected for many minutes afterward. It didn't sink in for days. Perhaps Cobain wasn't as legendary as Lennon, Morrison, Elvis, or Marvin Gaye, but his life and violent death rocked my generation.

I will always cling lovingly to the first time I ever heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit." It wasn't just the fact that he was ripping on the culture I painstakingly countered every day when I layered on the pancake makeup, carefully coiffed my dyed black hair, and donned my gothic garb and saggy, baggy flannel. I responded keenly to the lyrics: I feel stupid, and contagious, here we are now, entertain really was my anthem, for a while.

And certainly, as a parent, I grieve for Frances Bean's loss. How do you go on when one of your anchors shoots himself in the face? What is life like for someone who has lost a relative to suicide, and the lurid details are relived and magnified in the media, alongside the antics of your unbalanced mother?

Beginnings are scary, ending are usually sad. It's the in between that matters. Here's hoping for a good in between for those left behind.


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