Monday, May 20, 2013

Smell that? Smells like Nirvana

            This morning I had Nirvana on my mind, in more ways than just the ethereal plane of peaceful existence achieved through long meditation. I literally woke up with Kurt Cobain singing in my head.  I was happy to have the auto jukebox of my mind finally click on after what’s been weeks of silence. There’s something wonderful about having a good song in your head as you start the day.

            Now though, as Monday has begun it’s heartless, foot dragging, monstrous lurking through the corridors of the morning. I am annoyed I can’t remember the exact Nirvana song it was that I woke to with such pleasantness. I’ve been looking through the lyrics on-line and the right song won’t make itself known to me. But as I read through the song lyrics of the other tunes I can hear the jukebox belting them out in my head. There were so many good songs. Sometimes the words were difficult to understand thanks to Kurt’s distinctive mumbling, but I can still remember how it made me feel.

            It reminds me of being young and misunderstood and incapable of expressing myself. I still didn’t know my place in the world and there was the right sound from Nirvana that seemed to make not knowing seem okay. I’m not the angst filled youth I once was, without any comprehension of the real world.  I am an angst ridden late-thirties-something with more knowledge about the real world and more real life to be annoyed with.

            The punk music of my past, Screeching Weasel, NOFX, Blue Meanies, on and on, while still enjoyable to my ears today never reached me in the same way that Nirvana did. When you’re a young man, certain things get etched onto you, like a tattoo on your heart and Nirvana happened to be one of those things for me. I associate them with the first real love of my teenage life, friendship, alcohol, drugs, hair styles and a burgeoning sense of self.

            It is self that I’m still working on and part of me is glad to have Nirvana along for the ride. I’ve always had a hard time knowing my place. Am I a storyteller, a comedian, an artist, a cubicle jockey, a businessman, a painter, a poet, a drunk, a pig, a saint, a melancholic muser, or an empty vessel waiting to be filled? Nirvana and Kurt Cobain’s lyrics always seemed to hit the nail on the head to describe that very question. What am I and what is my place? 

            When an old Nirvana song comes on the radio (Yes, I still listen to the radio in my car) I usually turn it up and sing along. I’m reminded that I still don’t quite know my place and that it is okay to not be sure. But I can sing and I can enjoy the moment. I can still shake my head in agreement with the beat and play the drums on the steering wheel. I can know that no matter what I am, I am.  

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