In high school, I had blue black hair and a pierced nostril. I wore a uniform of sorts. A punk rock tee (usually my Sex Pistols one) and red thermals with monkey boots and I put male boxers over my thermals and a men's thrift store bought vest over my tee. I would line my eyes like Cleopatra and add bright red lipstick.
I was trying to morph from goofy goody two shoes to punk rock girl. Trying to change into someone darker to match my insides. Looking back, I was trying to find myself. And find myself I did, discovering myself in the music of that time. I found solace from the chaos of home in bands like The Smiths, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Replacements, The Pixies, Joy Division, The Sex Pistols and of course, the Los Angeles punk bank X. It was the melodies and harmonies of John Doe and Exene Cervanka that attracted me at first. I was always drawn to the melody within the chaos. Then I read their lyrics and it was pure poetry. Real poetry hidden within the music. It captivated me.
While I no longer look the part of a punk rock girl for the most part, my musical obsessions have remained the same. I still try to go to shows as much as I can. It brings something out in me. I feel free and happy at a concert. Like I can do anything at all. All the misery goes away. The pain of my infertility struggles, my dad's death around this time almost a decade ago, my clients' legal criminal problems, the deaths of all my rock icons this year along with the lingering dark depression I have had since my teenage wasteland years. It all goes away, and vanishes with a poof, with the opening strings of a Billy Zoom guitar riff.
Tonight, my husband and I are celebrating forty years of X at the Roxy in Hollywood. I'll line my eyes with thick eyeliner, I'll put on my high socks and monkey boots and my X tee covered by a blue cowboy sweater and I'll scream with excitement when they come on. I'll sing along to every song jumping up and down like a maniac and remember what it feels like to be young under an Inland Empire sun.