The Light

Been reminiscing. Rollingstone magazine just came out with their top 100 albums of the 90’s and I realized – as I was about to complain about all the missing albums – most of my favorites come from the 80s.

The 80’s.  Oh man.  Crazy times.  Fun times.

My parents were pretty self-involved back then, and if they did know what was going with their two oldest daughters, they sure weren’t talking.

My sister and I would sneak out and walk our mini bike to the end of the road for a midnight ride.

We’d sneak out with our neighborhood friends and climb telephone poles with one of their dad’s phone company dialers.

We’d sneak out and go driving – way before we had licenses. Our justification was that it was just like driving a tractor – didn’t need a license for that!

We’d sneak out with older friends and end up in BFE… Hanging out with older kids, trying to understand shit that went way over our heads.

Mostly, I’d sneak out of my house, and ride my bike into the developed neighborhood near school. God. It’s been ages.  We’d all converge in this one fort in someone’s backyard – drinking whatever and smoking whatever. We lived in the veritable styx, just North of the main city. We were probably all 14 or 15.

I remember sneaking out of my best girlfriend’s house one humid June night, running down the road barefoot– when I realized – something was crunching under my feet…

June bugs.

I had an irrational fear of them. Well, maybe it was rational. One landed on me one night in my room, I was pretty young, and I could swear it bit me. But my mother tried to convince me June bugs didn’t bite.  Like, vehemently, trying to tell me they couldn’t.  I remember telling myself, that I recognized it was a June bug. It latched on.  It hurt. Ergo, it bit me.

It was the first time I consciously realized my mother wasn’t the be all end all of knowledge, and I best look shit up on my own.

No matter, the crunching under my feet just made me run faster.  It wasn’t until we reached the yard light that I saw them all swarming.

It’s funny how a little light can reveal your worst nightmares.

So yeah. We ran a little wild up North. Mmm. A lot wild.  I remember getting into Nightclubs when I was 16 – the drinking age hadn’t yet turned 21, and so I expect most security guards didn’t bother carding too much back then. 

Saw so much live music back then. I would probably have to do some kind of magic memory tap in order to remember them all; but between the ages of 16 and 21, I saw some amazing acts.

Prince, Journey, REO, Heart, Queensryche, Cheap Trick, Molly Hatchet, RATT, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, Husker Du, The Replacements, BB King – I could go on….

I partied. Hard. Without drugs. Without getting into trouble with the law.

But still…

I partied myself out of a college scholarship.

I partied myself out of a really great high school sweetheart.

I partied myself into a really bad relationship.

I partied myself into motherhood.

I tell people that having a baby saved me, because I had to wake up and smell the coffee.  I had to think about my relationships with men and how it would affect my son. I had to put my big girl panties on and try to be the best mother I could be.

And I was. And I am. I gave up a lot to do that.

And now that I’m finally sitting in the light again, a light that someone else had to turn on for me, I am realizing that I also gave up on a lot of OTHER people’s expectations…of me.

To be honest, I'd never even considered it. Ever.

Having a child at the tender age of twenty-one was just another rebellious act.


No regrets.


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