in Tall Tales

Old Friend

Oh we drink and we smoke and we fight and we fuck
And we bleed and we’ll die when we run out of luck.

– Anonymous
Part of the problem was that I was one of the one’s who actually fell for it. I actually believed punk rock was about unity. I actually believed that it was about standing together regardless of the way we looked. It was about honesty. It was about letting people know who you are. Nobody needed to hide the fact that they were fucked up. This is me, this is my heart on my sleeve. Punk rock was about coming together. It was about accepting one another as fucked up. It was about finding strength in weakness, getting through things together.
I don’t know when everything changed. Punk rockers “pimpin’ their rides” and Tim and Lars singing about “bitches and hos”. Maybe things were always the way they are now. Broken kids crying out, lashing out, searching for something to soothe the fire, to put the pieces back together. But the only community you discover is your own loneliness reflected in the faces around you.
She left home cuz daddy beat her
Out on the street they say they love her
So what if they hit her when they’re not sober
Their parents beat them too

Then when she went home daddy said he loved her
And when mom went out he started to kiss her
And when it was over part of her died
So she don’t go home no more
Run to the shelter the streets are your friend
Situation at home won’t ever end
Here are your brothers your sisters your lovers
We can empathise
She started turning tricks so her daddy wouldn’t touch her again
She started smoking crack to numb the pain
She likes the stupor induced by liquor
Her daddy wouldn’t recognise her
Run to the shelter the streets are your friend
Situation at home won’t ever end
Here are your brothers your sisters your lovers
We can empathise
She slit her wrists when she was twenty-one
And let her broken heart bleed out
Before I could bridge the distance between us the scalper had already busted the kid’s face up pretty good. His lips were split, his nose was gushing. I jumped between them. “Okay, enough. That’s enough,” pulling the kid away. Fifty punk rockers looked on without moving. Fuck you, this scene isn’t about unity.
I don’t know why I’m the only one who really made it out. We used to walk the streets all night together. Curling up on park benches in quiet suburbs watching the sun come up over the trees. Sleeping in industrial parks on the edge of town in tents that would always collapse. They problem wasn’t that they loved too little, the problem was that they loved too much. I’ve never seen somebody love their mother as deeply as Critch did. Even after she kicked him out when her boyfriend moved in… and then again with the next one, and the next one. JP loved his mom and she died. Years later he woke up in a hospital with bandages wrapped around his wrists and a daughter of his own. Curty – Curty could have been anything. Breaking walls, breaking doors, breaking faces, until he too was broken. I sit and share a beer with him and wonder how we drifted so far apart. I remember when I was jumped by six guys. They were serious, spitting in my hair and pulling out brass knuckles. Curty was the only friend that didn’t turn tail and run. He stuck by me – not because he thought we’d win but, fuck, he wasn’t going to let me go down alone. Now we barely have the words to say so we sip our drinks and cigarettes and silently wonder how we can miss each other so much when we get together.

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