Jane’s Addiction: Ritual de lo Habitual

Song: “Classic Girl

Dear High School Me:

The weather is cold and raining, and not unlike the air around you the first time you ever stole one of Mom’s Marlboro Reds because you wanted to see if it felt “cooler” to smoke in the rain, as you were waiting for Keith Randolph to pick you up in his Jeep on the way to school. He overcharged you five bucks a week for the pleasure, but anything was better than getting stuck with those faux-Nazi poseur bullies on the back of the schoolbus.

And just like many an evening you spent during those years, right now I’m in a little room, alone, listening to Jane’s Addiction, writing. Back then everything you wrote was for someone to read that would rarely be seen — scribbled words about love and hope and nightmares so filled with teen angst that sometimes Mr. Petras would ask you to stay after Gifted class to talk about “what’s going on.”

I just remembered how you used lyrics from “Classic Girl” as the opening words for your speech for Academic Decathalon. Man, High School Me, you were a weird, little girl. But I just wanted to let you know that all that writing and yearning and wishing and dreaming was for a reason, and I wanted to thank you for all the hours you spent alternating between talking on the phone for hours and scribbling unsent love letters. Because that time will actually one day pay off, despite what Mom says to you. It’s okay that you never wanted to leave your room.

Because when you get older, all those words will lead to… well, one Saturday night when you’re missing a Christmas party because you’ve got words to write. But check it: they’re words based on other words you wrote… based on other words you wrote! You will one day write yourself into a word vacuum. It’s called “a career,” and you’ll find yourself feeling seriously lucky that other people take the words you’ve been writing even more seriously than you did.

But, if it’s okay with you, I’m not going to start this draft of the script with lyrics from “Classic Girl.” That’s what blogs are for.

Boy, are we lucky there weren’t blogs when I was you.

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