A Month of Gratitude, Day 4: Words + Guitar

Punk rock saved my life. All of the music did. Later on my tastes would become broader, deeper, more refined. But punk rock would be my first and lasting true love. It was rebellion against a world I would never fit into, a recognition that I wasn’t completely alone, that there might be another path- the one less taken, the one I’d have to blaze through the perfectly trimmed hedges and white picket fences.

I knew all those beige colored houses situated on meticulously manicured lawns were only camouflaging the true evil in this world: the insidious mind-rot of beige colored people with beige colored souls who existed but did not live, who caused no ripples, who thrived on bureaucracy and triplicate paperwork. The hall monitors of the world, who went to sleep each night cuddling the conviction that an unmonitored hall might lead to sheer chaos and that they’d done their duty to keep society from crumbling into the jaws of hell.

Hearing my thoughts made manifest was a revelation, in half-tuned guitars and a driving backbeat, radical feminist and anarchist manifestos bubbling out of my speakers in warbling wails and snarling screams.

The live shows were where my love was carved forever, the throbbing notes seared deep into my skin, spilling out in a blood oath promise I’d press against the sweaty flesh of the writhing, dancing crowds. Whip-smart kids, dripping eyeliner and passion, living a sort of daily authenticity that instagram hashtaggers can only wish for.

When I was stuck in a world that made me want peel off my body and crawl out, punk rock convinced me to stay. It showed me there might someday be a better way, for all of us. Change could come, but only if we were willing to stand and fight.

I dream of quiet sounds
I hear the pretty songs
Hush, hush and rock
Oh give me pretty songs
Oh let me have that sound tonight.

-Words and Guitar, Sleater-Kinney

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