When I was about 17, I was sure She’s a Rainbow by The Rolling Stones was written specifically for someone like myself in mind. I’m not really sure why, but it fit the bill from my frame of mind. Don’t mind the fact that the lyrics have absolutely nothing to do with growing-up or anything of real value, but I felt like a parade of enthusiasm and inspiration and was sure other’s wanted to be like me. Surely, you can guess I was delusional, no one wanted to be the 220 lb blob of dark eye makeup that put 7 salt packets on 25 french fries during lunch everyday. Surely, I should have known better, right? Looking back, I cringe and wish it was simply over the bad fashion of the era, but punk rock and fat girl were not meant to be fused together and I tried so desperately to make it so. Needless to day, my high school days were only survived by the simple fact that I had more confidence than I should have.
Eventually, She’s a Rainbow didn’t quite give off the same flare and then Ruby Tuesday became my life’s meaning. I was 19 nearing 20, I had had my heart broken for the first time, I was in the middle of drug exploration, I had lost 60 pounds and felt good about myself, I was living on a couch near a college campus and I wasn’t ready to be tied down to anything. Ruby Tuesday was like the paint-by-numbers kit to my life. All I had to do was function within it’s boundaries and I felt secure and safe. When my roommate pissed me off with his high-education and condescending tone, I fucked someone one his floor while he was in class. When the re-bound from my heartbreak showed up at midnight telling me I broke his heart, I laughed and shut the door in his face. When my neighbor came over and asked us to keep it down a bit, I asked if he wanted some mushrooms. When I discovered my other roommates were interracial nudists, I let my friends fuck in the kitchen when we did X. It was a life I had dreamed about because it was the life my mother made sure I wouldn’t have.
These days, I get the same sensation when I listen to songs like She Smiled Sweetly, As Tears Go By or You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Which, at this point in my life, I can assume is the result of entertaining a certain idea of love and being disappointed by the reality of it. However, now, with all the emotional hoshposh of failures, I get to handle it the mature way; getting drunk and scribbling in a journal.
But even looking back, I don’t regret that much of all the stupid shit I did. I had a lot of fun and I killed off demons that I know would haunt me to this day had I not found ways to exploit the remainder of my youth.
Like David Bowie, Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Elliott Smith, David Bazan and many, many, many others, The Rolling Stones will probably stick with me throughout the rest of my life. The prospect of any situations that might call for Sympathy for the Devil or 19th Nervous Breakdown genuinely terrifies me, but at least I’ll armored with good music.