Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Live for Today

One, two, three, four...

We all thought we'd live fast and die young.

But we were suburban kids. So that really meant sliding through the occasional stop sign, having a couple of beers, driving slightly above the speed limit, and misquoting Nietzshe (hey, it was a college town).

We thought we were bad-ass. But we were wrong.

Except for Caroline. She was bad-ass. A little too bad-ass.

And she was gorgeous. So gorgeous that every guy I knew wanted her.

Especially me.

Until those two and a half seconds.

At a party. Upstairs, looking for the bathroom.

And I turned a corner and saw Caroline, dressed in only bra and panties. And she saw me and smiled.

And I saw the needle still in her arm. Wiggling as she turned. "You want some?" she asked. "It's really, really great."

Looking from the needle to her glazed eyes, I backed out and downstairs.

Then and there I knew I didn't want to be bad-ass; I just wanted to watch bad-ass movies and listen to bad-ass music.

For years after, I'd get calls every few months that started with "Did you hear about Caroline?" Her exploits became legendary over the years. We lived vicariously through her as we stayed safe and warm.

Then, one day:

"Did you hear about Caroline?"

"What was it this time?"

"They found her."

"Was she..."



"Yeah. She was bad-ass to the end."

After we hung up, I put on the goth-punk remake produced by Todd Rundgren (who also plays the moody synth part), blowing the dust off the vinyl and plunking the needle into the groove.

There were two and a half seconds of clicks and pops before the song started. A glazed-eyed tribute to a bad-ass suburban girl. It was less than she deserved, but all I had to give.


Anonymous said...

I should say something about the story, but instead I'll just say that I never realized before that Toddd was involved with that Lords of the New Church song.

Holly A Hughes said...

Wow. Haunting story, and perfectly illustrated by those two songs. Hey, even the Grass Roots put a shadow in their original version. When this song came out I thought it was a cry of rebellion, but the desperation in it seems all too clear now. Pair this with the Blues Magoos' "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet" and I'm amazed we didn't all just check out.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

What a story. What a song. Although the Grass Roots (featuring as Thingy points out, Creed from TV's The Office on guitar) always felt to me like another nice bit of If You're Going to San Francisco summer of love naivete, now i see the shadow of which you & Holly speak.