Happy two days before Thanksgiving, all.
I posted a new blog to my podcast’s website this morning. You can find it here.
I thank you all.
The day has finally come.
A close friend and I have started a podcast.
It’s called Anglophilia.
If you’re a fan of British comedies (our subject matter), you may like it.
If you’re a fan of panel style podcasts, you may like it.
If you’re a fan of supporting podcasts hosted by women, you may like it.
Oh, and the co-creator of Father Ted listened to at least the first chunk of our show yesterday:
You can follow us @anglopodcast on Twitter and Instagram.
Access the show on SoundCloud, iTunes, or by visiting www.anglophiliapodcast.com/
I also do a wee bit of writing on the website, so hey, feel free to read more words there.
My arms feel tingly. My vision’s weird. I don’t remember how much water I’ve had today and there’s a dull ache in my temples.
I’m feeling a bit lightheaded. Maybe you should drive.
My phone woke me up at 6am. I jumped outta bed, walked to the phone, and when I saw the message was from a friend sent to an ongoing group text, I said, out loud, “Ya can’t message me now, man.” An hour later, when I was standing in my bathroom getting ready to put my face on, I finally looked at the text. There was a link to some real bad news. Anthony Bourdain. Gone. Cause of death: suicide.
The intensity of my reaction startled me. My knees didn’t go weak, but my ankles did. I leaned over my bathroom counter and planted my elbows against the tile to steady myself. It wasn’t true. He wouldn’t do that. How do they know?
I thought about Asia Argento and how Goddamn in love she and Anthony looked. I thought about Marc Maron and imagined him frantically re-uploading their WTF interview. I thought about tuna tartare. I thought about eating iguanas. I thought about shooting heroin. I thought about Iggy Pop, who once looked into a crowd of people at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and reminded all of us that, “junkies are people, too.”
By the time I got to work and sat down at my desk, I was angry. I was so, so angry at Goddamn Anthony Bourdain. He didn’t owe me anything, but he owed a lot to at least a handful of people. Still, why should I care? It’s not really my business. I didn’t really know him. I’m not really an expert on anything. What the Hell do I know about sadness?
And then, I cried.
I know enough about sadness to know that if you get to a certain point, you think fucked up things. Something might cross your mind that scares the Hell outta you, but if you’re lucky, it’ll scare you straight. “Why am I thinking this way? That’s not me. I need some sun.” It happens. And while it’s maybe not something to bring up on a Wednesday morning to a co-worker you hardly know, it’s also nothing to feel ashamed about. Life is hard. No one knows what’s going on. For fuck’s sake, we’re in space. Name something scarier than that.
For as much of a dork and a jerk and a child as Anthony Bourdain could absolutely be, I loved that dude. Dork. Jerk. Child. I mean all this with Love. I loved dorky Bourdain, even when I kinda couldn’t stand him. I loved hearing him talk about Hunter S. Thompson as if he were just another college kid sneaking his first cigarette. I loved hearing him namedrop all the cool bands he liked. I loved hearing him say “Fuck” one too many times. It was hilarious. And endearing. Sometimes, yeah, it was annoying. But so what? A lot of people I love can display a good mix of those qualities, and hey, I’m sure I can, too.
I think that’s a big part of it. Watching his show was like hanging out with your slightly nerdy, undeniably smart friend who was always down for a good fuckin’ time. I never just watched him: I laughed with him and listened to him and rolled my eyes at him and cursed at him. “I feel like I’m watching the Keith Richards of egg flipping!” “Shut the fuck up, Bourdain.”
Sometimes you hear something terrible like this and you can’t help but feel unsurprised. That might sound fucked up, and look, I’m not saying it isn’t, but do you know what I mean? You’re still in shock, but all the dots connect. The behavior adds up. Not here. Not on the surface. I’m not the only person saying this. I listened to NPR this morning, just like you did. “Shocked.” That’s the word they’re all using. And yes, there’s always more to the story. I know. But this whole thing, though? This whole thing is making me feel creepy. I have the creeps. I’m being reminded that we never have the whole story. Unhelpful. Unfair. Unkind.
This was a person who managed to elevate an art form by taking it down a notch. He got real about food criticism. Seriously, food criticism. How ridiculous, right? Exactly. But all that honesty about hard times in NYC and sweating away in frantic kitchens and kicking drug addiction and struggling with depression didn’t translate into the strength to be honest about just how bad it was.
Or hey, maybe he was honest about it, but not on camera. Or on paper. Maybe that was private. Either way, I lived to see another frustrating, stressful, wonderful day, and Anthony Bourdain did not.
What does it take to be happy? What does it take to silence the bullshit? Clearly not money. Not the adoration of millions. Not travel. Not food. Not love. On camera, he had the kind of life that most of us will only dream of having. Off camera…I guess we’ll never really know.
I’m curious to see what happens next. I’m curious to see who cries “mental health.” This stuff isn’t new, and from the looks of it, it’s on the rise. Why? Why are some people able to come to the edge of the cliff and then wake the fuck up?
In a nutshell, the sad truth is this: I hate to think about that cool motherfucker with the shit-eating grin and know that he was unhappy. It hurts. It hurts a Goddamn lot. His show made the world, of all places, look like paradise. Paradise.
Such a shock. Such a bummer. Such a waste.
For me, it went like this.
At 10:30, I turned off my bedroom light and got into bed. For reasons beyond my immediate comprehension, I saw pink, winged ponies when I shut my eyes. The sight of them was strange, yet strangely comforting. I soon fell asleep.
At 11:25 (or what must have been right around 11:25), I woke up to go to the bathroom. When I got back to my room, I saw that my phone was, as the kids say, blowing up. Three different people had sent me text messages. 14 text messages.
I opened one. It said, “Bowie. Gone.”
At that moment, I was only about 3/4 of the way conscious. What was my friend trying to say? Was he up late listening to old Bowie records and feeling reflective? Was he so blown away by Low he felt his mind was “Gone”? Did he really hate Blackstar?
I remembered I had 13 other texts to read. Then I woke up.
I have 14 texts because people are trying to tell me that David Bowie is dead.
I opened up another message. It was a group text. Two of my closest friends and I have been babbling to each other via text about anything and everything nearly every day for several years. All three of us love using caps lock.
“ARE YOU HEARING THE REPORTS THAT DAVID BOWIE DIED. I’M REALLY FUCKED UP RIGHT NOW.”
I Googled it. BBC News confirmed it. I gasped. Loudly. Then I heard my name from the other room.
One of my roommates came to my door. I joined her in the hallway. She had just read the news on social media. “I heard the noise from your room and figured you just got the news,” she said. I looked up at the wall and saw the sepia print I bought in San Francisco 10 years ago of Bowie and Lou Reed looking rather friendly. I’m not a religious person, but I do love the idea of happy reunions.
I sat back down on my bed and contemplated staying up all night. I wasn’t even sad yet; I just knew I was in for a long one. At this point I was wide awake, but I felt like I was dreaming.
My phone rang. Another friend had heard.
It was at this friend’s house that I first saw Labyrinth. We were 10 or 11 and Bowie’s crotch had completely taken over our slumber party. We returned that VHS to Blockbuster pretty damn worn. Years later, we traded in Labyrinth for Moulin Rouge! and sang “Elephant Love Medley” with the sort of crazed abandon that can only be produced by teenage girls, particularly those who are hopelessly in love with a significantly older, married celebrity. Aw, Ewan McGregor. “We can he heroes / forever and ever.”
I picked up the call. I didn’t even say “hello.” I just said, “Dude.”
“I’m sorry. I hope I’m not waking you up.”
“Do you know why I’m calling?”
We expressed our mutual shock and confusion. Then there were a few more moments of, “Dude” and “I know” and “What the FUCK, man?”
“We both got to see him live,” I reminded her.
“Yes, we did get to do that.”
My friend started to cry. I was numb.
“I’m still in disbelief,” I said.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I don’t know. I just…I never met him or anything, but…he was just always around. I associate him with, ya know, with you guys.”
I thought about the time my mom drove a group of us to San Francisco for spring break. We were in 11th grade. The minivan broke down at one point just outside San Luis Obispo. As my mom waited by the van for roadside assistance, my friends and I stood on the side of the highway. Arm-in-arm, the five of us sang “Ziggy Stardust” at maximum volume.
“I know,” I told my friend. “I get it.”
We talked about our concern for a friend of ours who had undoubtedly gone to bed before the news broke, and how unfair it was that she was going to wake up in the morning and find out her hero had died. Eventually, our conversation reached a lull.
“Ok,” said my friend, “I’m just gonna listen to Bowie and cry some more. Goodnight. I love you.”
“I love you so, so much.”
I hung up. I thought about when my friend and I first watched Trainspotting. We were 14. Frickin’ Ewan McGregor. We knew literally nothing about the movie besides the fact our loverman was the star. Christ. We struck gold that day. How often do you fall in love with an actor and then learn — by accident — he’s notorious for getting naked in his movies? What luck. We rewound that tape like we were two 10-year-olds watching Labyrinth, only this time there was no mystery.
What was that song, though? The one from the opening credits? And what was that song from the scene were Renton ODs and sinks into the floor at the Mother Superior’s house? Those questions haunted me so much I went out and bought a copy of the soundtrack. The song I fell in love with was Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.”
“How’d you learn about Lou?” my dad asked me one evening.
“From the Trainspotting soundtrack.”
“You saw Trainspotting?”
“Have you listened to any Velvet Underground?” he asked.
“Look for them next time you go to download songs off the internet.”
That was the moment dad officially became my guide. He played me Lou’s Berlin for the first time and told me it was the perfect thing to listen to when you’re depressed. He played me weird Iggy Pop songs and drove me to a little record store one afternoon and bought me a copy of London Calling. He put on New Order one slow Saturday night and we danced our hearts out to “Temptation.” For Christmas I was given a small turntable and I fiendishly raided his record collection.
One night he came into my room and handed me his copy of Marianne Faithful’s Broken English. “Put this on next time you really feel like you hate men,” he said.
I was just a bit proud of myself when I picked up a copy of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars from the Sam Goody in the Thousand Oaks Mall. I was 15. It was the summer before 10th grade, and I was desperate for a distraction from my assigned reading. I had already spent half the vacation listening to Raw Power — David Bowie seemed like the next logical step on my teenage rock and roll adventure.
Is there a stranger opening track than “Five Years”? And what’s with the aliens? And what exactly is a “rock and roll suicide”? I had no answers, but I still felt like I had found the key to everything. (Take that, Aldous Huxley.)
The day after I turned 16, my dad played me “Life on Mars?” He called it, “One of the most beautiful rock and roll songs ever recorded.” A little over a year later, he took me and two friends to see Bowie in concert, where he sang “Life on Mars?” Beautiful, indeed. So beautiful, in fact, that I stopped doing my homework for a good month and a half. I had no time for homework — I was too busy listening to Bowie and perfecting my eye shadow technique.
Wait, wait, “Life on Mars?”? That was it — that was the song I needed to play to begin mourning Bowie!
I jumped off my bed and ran to the corner of my room to plug in my ancient turntable. I queued up the song, turned up the volume, and stood in the middle of my room waiting for the deluge. I was ready.
Bowie sounded like a robot that was powering down for the night. Was the speed wrong? I tinkered with the settings. Nothing worked. I turned off the turntable and crawled into bed and listened to the song on my iPhone. It wasn’t the same. I cursed the modern world and I did not cry.
This morning was a flurry of texts and facebook messages. Everyone was sad and no one was ready. We reminisced about important moments of our teen-hood for which Bowie was cosmically present: driving through Topanga Canyon on a Saturday afternoon; convincing our theater teacher to play “Let’s Dance” during our annual holiday play; improvising an interpretive dance to “Space Oddity” in my parents’ driveway. I sat at my desk at work and answered text messages and read opinion pieces and news briefs and wondered how one person could inspire so many.
I was clad in black from head-t0-toe, but I still hadn’t cried.
My phone beeped.
It was dad. He had sent me a YouTube link. “From the tour we saw,” he said. “I’m getting a little choked up as I’m remembering you and your friends holding hands and crying to this song.” As I listened, I, too, became a little choked up, but there was no time for real tears. Not at work.
I’m home now. I’m sitting on my bed in my pajamas and I’m looking at the clock wondering how I managed to stay up this late. I’ve been in this exact situation before — up past my bedtime feeling too wired to sleep and too tired to relax and too anxious about everything I’m doing and not doing — and it’s actually nights like these where Bowie sounds the best. I couldn’t say exactly why — maybe something to do with the night sky increasing a spaceship’s visibility. Perhaps I’ll sleep with my blinds open.
Finally — tears.
Happy election year.
Happy birthday. To me. I’ll be 29 years old in 10 days. I ain’t worried. I could easily pass for 27. I could even pass for 25, maybe, if I grew my hair out, but I’m not going to do that. Too many interesting strangers love my cropped ‘do. In fact, just this evening I was stopped by a homeless lady as I was leaving Trader Joe’s. She told me she loved my hair and that she used to have a haircut just like mine when she was younger.
“My husband used to tell me, ‘You look BUTCH!'”
“I would just turn around and say, ‘Well you’re a PUSSY!'”
I am simply not willing to sacrifice these wonderful interactions for the sake of shaving a few years off my appearance.
If I were to time travel back to the year 2000 and tell 13-year-old me that she’d get to see The Violent Femmes in concert someday, she would erupt in celebratory expletives and jack up the volume on “Blister in the Sun” (which, naturally, would just happen to be playing on her boom box). She’d dance like a fool — much like present-day me dances — before going into a sloppy, yet epic air guitar performance. She’d have no idea that the news was about to get even better.
“Wait,” I would say, “They’re not the only ones playing. They’re opening for your #1 favorite band.”
13-year-old Steff would stop playing air guitar and her eyes would widen in amazement beneath her perfectly blown-out bangs.
13-year-old Steff’s #1 favorite band was Barenaked Ladies. “One Week” blew her mind in 1998, and so her 44-year-old dad took her to Best Buy one Sunday afternoon and bought her a copy of Stunt. She loved the entire album from start-to-finish, and thus began her very first mission to obtain every album previously released by a rock (?) group.
“No FUCKING way!” she’d scream before hitting “eject” on her CD player and replacing The Violent Femmes with Born on a Pirate Ship — the darkest, most brooding Barenaked Ladies album to date.
“BROKE INTO THE OLD APARTMENT!” she’d scream along, closing her eyes and collapsing onto her bed. “THIS IS WHERE WE USED TO LIVE!”
“Bad news,” I would say, interrupting her barenaked reverie. “Steven Page leaves the band in 2009.”
13-year-old Steff would sit up straight and stare into my eyes and demand an explanation. I’d tell her about the cocaine arrest, and her face would fall.
“What year do I see them?” she’d ask.
“…How old are we then???”
“Listen,” I would say, “this is also gonna sound really, really weird, but by the time you see them live, you won’t be a super fan anymore. You won’t even know any of the material that they released after Maroon.“
13-year-old me would furrow her brow.
“It comes out in a few months. Mom’ll get it for you. You won’t like it as much as their other albums, but you’ll appreciate it a lot during the first semester of 8th grade.”
“What the fuck?”
“We will always love and appreciate Barenaked Ladies,” I’d assure her.
A few seconds would go by, and then “Call Me Calmly” would come on. 13-year-old Steff would grab the boom box remote and skip to “Break Your Heart.” She’d become somber.
“But why are we seeing them in concert if we don’t like their new stuff?”
“Because dad’s client is also playing that night, so tickets were easy to come by. Also, in recent years we’ve become highly preoccupied with our mortality, and so we’re determined to cram in as many experiences as we can before we die. Seeing The Violent Femmes and Barenaked Ladies in the same night seems very poetic to us.”
13-year-old Steff would take a moment to process everything. Then she would say, “I like your t-shirt.”
“Thanks,” I would say, admiring her pink Paul Frank kangaroo. “I like yours too.”
“Spider in My Room” would come on. 13-year-old Steff would skip that song, too. Then she’d remember that she doesn’t like the end of the album as much as she likes the beginning, and so she’d walk over to the boom box, hit “stop” on the CD player, and then hit “play” on the tape player. Her hand-me-down copy of Gordon would start up halfway through “Enid.” She’d do some clumsy fast-forwarding before finally arriving at the beginning of “Brian Wilson.”
“The concert is still gonna be hugely important to you, Steff,” I’d continue. “That afternoon at work, you’re gonna realize that you’ve been single for exactly two years. You’re gonna think about all the incredible things you’ve experienced since you were 13 and used to listen to Barenaked Ladies all the time. You’re gonna actually miss sitting at your desk and doing homework and listening to “What A Good Boy” and thinking about your crushes and crying…”
“Wait,” 13-year-old Steff would say, “are you saying we’re gonna have a boyfriend?”
We would spend several minutes talking about this. She’d be confused by my tepid attitude toward the whole thing (“REAL boyfriends?!?” “Yup”) and she’d have all kinds of questions about how I got them to like me (“It just happened”). I’d try to explain to her that it’s important to always be yourself and to never change who you are in order to impress a boy.
“But are they HOT?!” she’d ask.
“Looks don’t mean shit,” I’d say.
“No. But looks don’t mean shit.”
Finally, I’d tell her about the show.
“You’re going to miss Colin Hay because you’re gonna be sitting on a park bench outside the entrance of the Greek Theater eating a veggie sandwich from Italia Deli. Mom’s gonna tell you about a dream she had the night before about Nick Cave.”
“Who the fuck is that?” she’d ask.
“Remember that song from Scream about the ‘red right hand’? He sings that. And he’s going to become hugely important to you when you’re 25. Anyway, you’re gonna be kinda tired when you get inside, but then The Violent Femmes are gonna come on, and you’re gonna wake the fuck up.”
“Do we still like The Violent Femmes?”
“Yes,” I’d say. “We do. And that album becomes a very important tool we use to determine how much we like new people we meet.”
I’d tell her about the young guy sitting next to dad and how dad’s going to give him a bag of potato chips that mom originally brought for us. I’d tell her that she’s going to feel compelled to turn toward the guy and ask him questions about what the band has been up to since Maroon and if the new album is any good.
“After you and the guy are done talking about the band, dad is gonna reach into his pocket and hand the guy a backstage pass.”
“We have backstage passes?!”
“Yes, but you’re not gonna use yours,” I’d tell her. “You’re gonna leave after the show and get stuck in horrible traffic. But yeah, dad’s client is gonna score dad some passes, and dad is gonna give his away to a kid named Rafa who still really, really loves Barenaked Ladies. Steff, you’re gonna feel very proud of dad in that moment, and you’re gonna vow to yourself to try to remember that moment next time dad does anything that annoys you. You’re going to try to remember that dad is a very kind man, and you’re gonna get a little bit teary eyed before the show starts, because you’re also going to be thinking about death.”
13-year-old Steff would sit in silence as she listened to me talk about love and death and backstage passes. I would almost tell her about how dad is going to test her patience an hour later when the band goes into “One Week” and dad grabs her arm and physically pulls her to him and then shoves her into Rafa while loudly proclaiming, “YOU GOTTA BE NEXT TO RAFA FOR THIS ONE!” but I would ultimately decide to let her face that challenge on her own.
“Also,” I would add, “you’re not gonna like the first song that much. You’re not gonna hate it, but you’re kinda gonna think, ‘Aw man, this is way too pleasant. I can’t get into this right now.’ You’re also really, really gonna miss Steven. You’re gonna think, ‘Fuck, Steven brought the edge.’ And then, after the applause dies down, Ed is gonna launch into ‘The Old Apartment,’ and you are going to lose your breath. You’re gonna listen to that song, and it’ll be your 200th time hearing it, but you’ll finally understand what it’s about.”
“No, not quite. You’ll get it, though. And it’s gonna blow your mind.”
“Am I gonna like the rest of the show?”
“Yes,” I’d tell her. “You’re gonna love it. But it’s gonna hurt a little. In a good way.”
13-year-old Steff would remain quiet. She’d have a lot to think about. I’d give her a hug, tell her she’s hilarious and beautiful and not to let middle school get her down, and then I’d hop back in my time machine to 2015.
Nick Cave once gave a lecture called “The Secret Life of the Love Song” at the Vienna Poetry Festival in 1999. A certain theme of the lecture swirled through my mind last night during the Barenaked ladies set:
“We all experience within us what the Portugese call Suadade, which translates as an inexplicable sense of longing, an unnamed and enigmatic yearning of the soul. And it is this feeling that lives in the realms of imagination and inspiration, and is the breeding ground for the sad song, for the Love song is the light of God, deep down, blasting through our wounds.”
This is “the edge.” This is what I’ve always been drawn to in music, even by groups that also sing “nice” songs about Yoko Ono and what they’d do with $1,000,000. “Inexplicable longing.” It’s a powerful thing.
“I know we don’t live here anymore
We bought an old house on the Danforth
She loves me and her body keeps me warm
I’m happy there
But this is where we used to live
Broke into the old apartment
Tore the phone out of the wall
Only memories, fading memories
Blending into dull tableaux
I want them back”
— Barenaked Ladies “The Old Apartment”
I’m worried about an intimate friend of mine who doesn’t know I exist. We’ve met before, but there’s no reason for him to remember. I remember, though. It was brilliant.
It’s Nick Cave. I’m worried about Nick Cave.
I was thinking about him this morning during my drive to work. I was in a real crap mood. Everything just seemed so bleak and blah and I was being a total brat. I’ll put it this way: I’ve been listening to a lot of Nirvana lately. A lot of Nirvana. I need it. I’m living off it. In the morning, when I’m grumpy and groggy and stuck on a crowded, winding freeway, all I want to hear is the MTV Unplugged in New York album. I’m usually turning onto Melrose Avenue by the time Kurt Cobain starts telling the story about Lead Belly’s guitar. “I even asked David Geffen personally if he’d buy it for me.” Kurt, you little punk.
I was feeling very thankful for Kurt this morning as I drove along in my solitary angst — he was making me feel less solitary. This feeling of gratitude made me think of a different time in my life where I relied on an artist to get me through the day — it was 2012, and I was on my first Nick Cave Bender. I was unemployed, I was living with my parents, and I had just gotten my hands on a copy of Let Love In. Something shifted. I lost and found myself again and again in images of the devil crawling along my floor.
Yes, I realize I sound like an emo kid straight out of 2003 when I say that kinda shit, but I suppose that’s appropriate — I was, after all, depressed and living with my parents. Nick Cave gave me something to do. It became imperative to go out and find all of the Bad Seeds albums. I absolutely had to get my hands on all of the concert DVDs. I needed to read all the old interviews and watch all the behind the scenes footage I could possibly scrounge from the depths of the information superhighway. Nick Cave was my comfort and my company. Creepy? I dunno. Maybe? Not really. I was just lonely and bored and sad and filling out job applications seemed a lot less meaningless whilst listening to “Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry.”
When Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds announced in November 2013 that they would be coming to Los Angeles the following summer for a show at The Shrine, I immediately set my alarm for 5am so that I could get pre-sale tickets the following day. Months later, they announced a second show. It sold out within minutes, but I managed to find a pair of tickets on StubHub for a sum of money I’m not proud of paying. (I am proud, though. Secretly.) A third show was added — a solo one with limited seating — and I busted out my debit card one final time. In July of 2014, I saw Nick Cave three nights in-a-row, and it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever, ever done.
I did talk to him. Twice, actually. The first time was during the Q&A that followed the solo show, and the second time was in the parking lot of The Shrine after the second show. He had changed out of his sleek black sport jacket and into a blue velour zip-up sweater. He was busy taking a picture with someone, and when he finished, he turned to face me. I didn’t do or say anything weird — I just asked if he’d sign my friend’s copy of King Ink. He instinctively knew to spell her name with one “L.”
I shouldn’t have been looking at my phone this morning, but I was. I was at a stoplight and I picked up my phone and looked at my Facebook and saw that my friend had sent me an article. The headline sealed the fate of my day: “Nick Cave’s Teenage Son Arthur Dies After Cliff Fall.”
I threw my phone onto the floor of my car and unleashed a guttural, primal, “NOOOOOOO.” The light turned green.
“Never look at your fucking phone while driving, Steff,” I thought. “Never do that again.”
“I know, I know, I shouldn’t,” I answered. “At least I was at a stoplight.”
“I know. But don’t do it again. Ever.”
“I won’t,” I said to myself. “I promise.”
I meant it. I do mean it. Because life is fragile. How we manage to forget that for such long stretches of time is truly amazing.
When I arrived at the office and parked my car and turned off the engine, I picked up my phone from the floor. My cousin had also sent me the article. I read it. It pretty much repeated what the headline had already summarized. A cliff. A fucking cliff. A 15-year-old boy had died after falling off a cliff.
A few months ago, my younger brother and I saw Nick Cave in Hollywood. He was there to read excerpts of his new book. He didn’t sing anything — just talked and read. We were in the second row and I was ecstatic to just be in the same room as my hero, my caretaker, my girly obsession. The first thing he read was an excerpt about a little boy walking across a treacherous bridge. The little boy was him — this was a memory.
Nick Cave’s family was in the audience that night.
With eerily appropriate timing, my younger brother sent me a message that just said, “Nick Cave’s son 😦 “ Before I could respond, he added, “It’s even sadder thinking back on what Nick was saying at that book reading, about being a kid in Australia walking on bridges and the wives tales about the boys that had fallen off.”
I exited the car. When I got to my desk and opened up Facebook again, I saw that another one of my cousins had sent me an article about Arthur Cave.
A co-worker appeared in my doorway. He said, “Hey.” I turned to face him, and I guess my face said everything — the next words out of his mouth were, “I know. I read the sad news. Terrible.”
I sat with the sad news. I thought about Nick Cave, the dad behind the fierce suit and the sexy, bloody love songs. I thought about his wife, Susie, the stunning model who gave birth to twin boys 15 years ago. I thought about Arthur’s twin brother, Earl, and wondered how he must be feeling right now.
Nick Cave, the dad.
I only know Nick Cave’s music. I don’t know Nick Cave, the dad. I’m a superfan, not a stalker. However, being a superfan of another human being’s art is kind of a complicated thing. How do you give back to an artist whose music has helped you through so much? Is it even possible? Perhaps the most efficient and affective way to show respect is by leaving the artist alone — remaining a superfan instead of a stalker. I suppose a letter is always an option, but, unfortunately, a letter isn’t gonna solve shit. Not in this case.
I’ll just continue being a superfan. If he releases another album, I’ll get it. If he goes on tour again, I’ll see him. If he makes another movie, I’ll watch it. If he decides to retire, I’ll support his decision.
I’ll also give my parents huge hugs when I see them tonight. I suggest you all do the same. And stop looking at your phones while you’re in the car. If driving makes you feel anxious or bored or angry, you can always just put on some tunes. I have a few recommendations.
I’m so, so sorry Nick.
Nick Cave wrote another book. It’s called The Sick Bag Song, and tonight at The Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, he read selections from the book to a live audience. I was there, of course. I arrived at 5:45pm and stood in line with all the young goths. My younger brother arrived at 6:30pm and bought us each a Schlitz. A security guard came around and asked if we already had tickets. I nodded that yes, we most certainly did.
“Then why are we in this line?” my brother asked, innocently.
“Because the seats are unassigned.”
“And this starts at…8:00pm?”
I smiled. He smiled. I was happy he had agreed to come to something few people would be interested in seeing with me.
I don’t yet own a copy of The Sick Bag Song, but based on what I witnessed tonight, I can confidently describe it as poetic exploration colliding with memoir. Nick Cave wrote the book during his tour of the United States last year, and, as he said tonight, the narrator is, “A guy who also happens to be on a tour of the U.S. and looks a lot like me.” Each chapter is titled after a different city visited on the tour, although the chapters aren’t telling a story with a beginning, middle, and end. At least I don’t think they are.
The selections I heard were mostly depictions of actual events told with Nick Cave’s signature fantastical doom. In a story about meeting Bob Dylan at Glastonbury, for instance, Nick Cave writes that the torrential rain had formed a lake that separated his trailer from Bob Dylan’s. Naturally, Bob Dylan climbed into a boat powered by a bag of wind to cross the lake — or as Nick Cave said, “moat” — and say “hello.” The boat bit may not have happened, but I have read about Nick Cave meeting Bob Dylan in the rain at Glastonbury. The chapter titled “Los Angeles,” however, is more of a fever dream about a woman on a bed in a hotel in West Hollywood. The narrator calls himself a “small God,” and then, after the woman raises her “gash” to the sky, the narrator becomes an “erect God.” Those are the only details I can recall of the writing. Jim Morrison would have loved it.
(To change things up a bit during the live reading tonight, we were shown a film of Nick Cave reading this chapter. I admire and adore this man, but there are times where I find him downright hilarious, regardless of whether or not he’s trying to be. This film was one of those times.)
Nick Cave himself was in a comparatively pleasant mood. He smiled more than once, and didn’t even get too cross when his headset was having technical difficulties. “It works for Madonna,” he cracked. He also seemed very excited to read from his book. An interviewer sat on the stage with him and asked him questions to keep things moving, and Nick Cave always went back to asking, “Shall I read some more?”
Finally, we reached the Q&A section of the show. I was at a different Nick Cave Q&A last July, during which he seemed horrified to be the star of the evening. That night, I managed to summon every bit of courage I had and ever will have, and asked him a question using complete sentences. He answered it, but I only remember my question and not his answer. I remember speaking clearly into the microphone and thinking, “Holy shit, I’m not fucking this up!” When I was finished talking, I steadied myself on the seat in front of me. My heart was racing and I was sweating underneath my new Free People dress. “Nick Cave is addressing me,” I thought, as I concentrated on my breath. According to my dad, who witnessed the entire thing, Nick Cave gave me a very thoughtful answer.
“I think he really appreciated your question,” my dad whispered. “No one else has asked him anything good.”
I didn’t feel like putting myself through that kind of stress again. Besides, I still haven’t read The Sick Bag Song.
No one in the audience asked a truly great question this evening either, but Nick Cave did a truly great job of remaining dry and funny as opposed to dry and dour. Someone asked him about what he said earlier regarding the narrator that “looks a lot like” him, and whether Nick Cave the man is different from Nick Cave the rockstar. He confirmed, “That just becomes who you are.”
Nick Cave wears fierce suits. Nick Cave is married to a model. Nick Cave idolizes Elvis and has not yet quit smoking cigarettes. This is who he presents to the world, and this is who he is. Amanda Palmer once wrote a great blog about meeting Nick Cave in a hotel after he had picked up his dry cleaning. To me, her anecdote authenticates the whole thing. Nick Cave isn’t being handed a rented suit by a stylist before each show — the suits that transform him from Skinny Australian Guy into Nick Cave are his own Goddamn suits that he drops off at the cleaners.
I wonder how he feels about wire hangers.
More questions went by. “What’s a movie you saw recently that you loved?” “I saw that movie ‘Foxcatcher.’ Fucking amazing.” “How do you feel about music streaming and art no longer being tangible?” “I have a manager that handles all that.” “Are there any new bands that you follow?” “No.”
A young man stood up to ask a question. He was wearing a red sweatshirt.
“I drove here all the way from Alaska to see you,” he said. Nick Cave was sweet. He managed a, “thank you.” The young man continued, “What I really want is to ask you about Gladiator Part II, but instead I’ll ask you about what you said about being the man versus the mask. Does that get difficult? I mean, Tom Waits does it and he does fine with it, but it killed Hemingway.”
Dorky, for sure. Not only was he asking a question that had already been answered, he also referenced Nick Cave’s fabled failure of a Gladiator Part II screenplay. I cringed.
Nick Cave didn’t care about any of that. Instead, he immediately became serious and snapped, “I don’t wanna say anything about Tom Waits.” The guy tried repeating the question with greater clarity, but Nick Cave cut him off: “I can’t say anything about Tom Waits. I don’t wanna go there.”
This absolutely fucking alarmed me. “I don’t wanna go there”? Go where? Is Tom Waits a “there” that you cannot go to, Nick Cave? What’s the T? Spill it, Nick Cave!
Earlier in the evening, someone had asked Nick Cave why artists “stop growing.” He said that he didn’t know because things are “different for everyone.” Could it have been that Nick Cave didn’t want to speak about Tom Waits because he felt he’d be speaking for Tom Waits? Or did he want to avoid the subject of Tom Waits at all costs because he was afraid of letting loose and tearing Tom Waits apart?
Nick Cave got quiet again. “Do you wanna ask a different question?” he said to the young man from Alaska, who replied, “What happened to Gladiator Part II?” Nick Cave didn’t crack a smile as he said, “That’s between me, Russell Crow, and a trash bin.”
The Q&A ended. The theater emptied. My brother and I made our way to our cars. We were in separate lots on opposite sides of the street, so we hugged on the sidewalk and parted ways. As I walked toward my car, I spotted the guy from Alaska. I recognized him instantly, thanks to his red sweatshirt. He was fishing something out of the back seat of his car. I decided to talk to a stranger.
“He got really strange at the mention of Tom Waits, didn’t he?”
He looked up at me, startled. A wad of chewing tobacco peaked up from behind his lower lip. His eyes widened as he realized what I was referring to.
“Oh my God!” he yelled, doing his best not to spit his chew in my face. “I’m so glad someone else noticed that!”
“Yeah,” I said, becoming very pleased with myself for deciding to stop and chat, “I wonder if he didn’t wanna talk about Tom Waits out of respect, or because, ya know, he doesn’t like Tom Waits.”
“Exactly!” he shouted. “That would be so weird!”
“Well, you can’t Google search one of them without finding a picture of the other, I said.”
He spat tobacco juice into a cup.
“It’s Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits,” he said. “I mean, that’s it. It’s them.”
“And Leonard Cohen,” I said.
“Can I hug you?”
Because we live in a fucked up world, I immediately took note of whether or not the back door of his car was still open. I figured that if it were open, he could easily shove me inside and drive me back to Alaska with him. Screw it, I thought. Hug the Nick Cave fan who drove here from motherfucking Alaska and said the words “Gladiator Part II” to Nick Cave’s face. Hug him. Hug a fellow crazy fan who bought a ticket to this random fucking show at The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Hug the guy who is just as distraught as you are by the idea that Nick Cave doesn’t like Tom Waits. Do it, Steff. Just do it. You’re safe. Nick Cave fans don’t kill each other. There’s no crying in baseball. Goonies never say ‘die’.
I hugged him. He hugged me back. When we broke our embrace, he repeated, “I’m so glad someone else noticed that.”
We chatted for another minute about the show. He spit more tobacco juice into his cup, but this time he apologized for his “disgusting habit.”
“I would love to ask Nick Cave if he ever hears from Shane MacGowan,” I said.
He chuckled briefly, and added, “I would love to ask him if he would give me Warren Ellis’s phone number.”
Our BFF moment was over. He had changed the subject from Shane MacGowan to Warren Ellis. I wasn’t disappointed, but there was nothing more to be said.
“Have a safe drive back,” I said.
“You have a good night,” he replied.
I turned and began to walk away. Over my shoulder, I heard him yell, “I am so glad you said something!”
I turned my head and smiled at him, then continued to my car and smiled to myself. I do hope he has a safe drive back, and I do hope Nick Cave at least respects Tom Waits, and I do hope that everyone gets to experience the occasional pleasant interaction with a stranger who is only as crazy as they are.
I haven’t looked my best at work lately. Over the last few weeks, I’ve gotten into the habit of immediately hitting “snooze” when I hear my alarm go off at 6:30am. Forty-five minutes later, I’ll force myself out of bed, pull on whatever jeans and t-shirt I can find crumpled up in a heap on the floor, and ease my feet into my blue and purple Adidas. After rolling some deodorant against my stubbly pits and rubbing cornstarch into my oily, sweaty scalp, I’ll consider myself good to go. The t-shirts are usually stained, the jeans are usually smelly, and, while it may be a great alternative to dry shampoo, the cornstarch tends to leave a powdery build up in the part of my hair.
I’m sexy. And you know it.
My appearance doesn’t affect anyone else’s workday. That is, I didn’t think it affected anyone else’s workday until the foxy Frenchman made a comment about it on Tuesday.
The Frenchman is one of the most amusing people in the office. He asks hilariously European questions, such as,”Stéphanie, if I were to put a banana in ze freezer, what would happen?” When I first started at this company a year ago, he used to ask me questions about the bun I would wear in my hair: “How deed you make eet so pear-fect? Eet eez like a dough-nut!” He has great arms despite his claims that he never works out. He rides a motorcycle. He’s classic.
“Stéphanie,” he said to me on Tuesday when I passed him in the hall, “Remember when you used to dress nice at work?”
I flipped him off.
“No, really,” he continued. “Do you remember?”
My only indication that this was an earnest question lost in translation as opposed to an outright dig was the fact that he was smiling the same doofy smile that was plastered across his face when he once asked me if his pants were too tight. Still, I wasn’t thrilled to be put on the spot.
I said, “Fuck you” and walked away.
Maybe he should have kept his mouth shut. Regardless, I knew I didn’t look nice. Far from it. For weeks. I asked myself, Would you like to put more effort into your appearance? The answer was Yes. I asked myself, Is this for the foxy Frenchman, or for yourself? The answer was, For my damn self!
Wednesday went fine. I got out of bed at 7:00 instead of 7:15, which gave me just enough time for a quick shower. I put on a black tank top, a blue cardigan, jeans that had been hanging up in my closet, and knee high boots. The foxy Frenchman told me, “See? You are like a new person!” I flipped him off.
Thursday was the same. I got up at 7:00, sprayed sweet-smelling dry shampoo in my hair, and put on a clean dress. When I got home that night I took a shower, blow dried my hair, and selected a dress to wear the next day. I chose a Free People dress I had splurged on in July during an intense “Oh My God, What Am I Going To Wear To All The Nick Cave Shows I’m Seeing This Week?” shopping spree. I didn’t end up wearing it to Nick Cave, but I did wear it to Neutral Milk Hotel. I felt like a Harvest Moon Princess.
“Look at me,” I thought to myself as I got into my bed at 9:30 on Thursday night. “Look at how much better I feel about my appearance, all because I am making an effort to make a minimal amount of effort.”
This morning began as the two previous mornings had. Up at 7:00. Contacts in. Deodorant on. Sweet-smelling dry shampoo sprayed. After I put on my Harvest Moon Princess dress, I heard my roommate call my name and ask if I was ready to leave. I wasn’t ready. Not quite. Still, I grabbed my car key from my purse and followed her downstairs to the garage. We each have a place to park, but our spaces are tandem — one of us is always blocking the other in, regardless of how convenient that is. It’s a bit of a pain, but my roommate and I seem to have an understanding. There’s not much we can do besides communicate with each other when one of us has to get the hell to work.
She pulled away. I re-parked my car. When I got out and walked to the door that leads to the lobby, I saw that it was open ajar. This door is usually shut and locked. Shit, that’s lucky, I thought. I don’t have my key with me. I pushed the door open, walked through the lobby, and stepped into the elevator. I felt the weight of my car key in my hand. My one key. My car key. I gasped.
I didn’t have the key to the lobby, which meant I didn’t have the key to the apartment, which meant I was in a situation. About a month ago, my parents warned me that if there were too many keys hanging on my keychain, the weight of everything could mess up my car’s ignition. Ever since that conversation, I have been keeping my car key separate from all the others. In my hurry to move my car so that my roommate could leave for work, I had forgotten to grab all of my damn keys. (Note to self: come up with a slightly better way of keeping your keys organized.)
I arrived at my floor and ran to my apartment. Locked. I ran around the corner to where the apartment manager lives and knocked on his door. No answer. I knocked a bit more assertively. Nothin’. I banged on his door with both hands. Still nothin’. I got down on my knees, opened the mail slot in his door, and yelled, “HELLLOOOOO?”
I gave up and ran back to my apartment. I tried the handle again. Still locked. I thought that since only the door handle lock was locked (as opposed to the dead bolt), perhaps I could force it open by jiggling the handle repeatedly and slamming my booty against the door. I tried this for a few seconds. It worked about as well as one might suspect it would.
Nervousness began to kick in. What time is it? How unimaginably horrible is the traffic getting with every passing second? Should I go out and find a pay phone and call the office to tell them I’m running late? How the hell will I get back inside the building if I do that? I’m not wearing shoes! I can’t go to work without any shoes! Underwear! I didn’t have time to put on underwear before I went downstairs!
Staring down at the lock, I tried to think of ways to force it open without slamming my booty against the door. Never in my life had I successfully picked a lock, but what if I could do it now? Along with all the other innocent, yet miscalculated things I regretted doing that morning, I cursed myself for removing the bobby pins I had used to pull back my bangs while I washed my face. Guess lock-picking is out of the question.
Suddenly, I remembered a scenario that took place in an episode of Friends I had once watched when I was a kid. The three women (I don’t remember all of their names) were trapped outside in the snow. They were with some guy (not any of the main guys — it was someone else), and they needed to get inside of somewhere (either a cabin or a car). The man asked which of them wore the biggest bra size, and he explained that he could use a part of a bra (underwire? clip?) to pick the lock. He said he needed to know who wore the biggest size, because that woman would have the biggest…the biggest lock-picking tool. Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox argued with each other over which of them had bigger boobs (neither of them wanted to have the biggest boobs, which made me feel very insecure as a pre-teen with significant breasts), and then Lisa Kudrow was like, “Shuttup bitches, I’ll give him my bra.” I changed the channel after that. Did the bra trick work? What part did he use? No idea.
Standing in the hallway at what was now probably 7:45am, I carefully pulled my left arm out of its sleeve. Then, I reached both hands around my back and undid my bra clasp. I slid the bra off my left arm, and then quickly put my arm back in my dress sleeve. I repeated the process on the right side, slipping my sleeve off, slipping the bra off, and then covering up as swiftly as possible.
Once I had the bra in my hands, I wasn’t sure what to do. It was a flimsy old thing that needed to be replaced, so I wasn’t too upset about having to destroy it. Still, I wasn’t sure where to start. At first I tried to force my car key under one of the clasps in hopes it would help it slide out of the fabric. When that didn’t work, I took the bra in both hands and started to pull in opposite directions. After a brief, yet furious struggle, the tip of one of the underwires popped out. It was too big and too blunt to fit in the lock. Curses. I hooked the bra clasps together, and, once again, pulled in opposite directions. After a few seconds of twisting and pulling the pathetic bra while contorting my face into all kinds of ridiculous expressions and aggressively whispering, “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” one of the clasps popped out of the fabric. I bent the small piece of metal into a straight line, and then gently stuck it in the lock. Unsure of what to do next, I started wiggling the metal up and down, side to side, clockwise, and counter clockwise. When I tried the up and down motion again, the damn thing snapped, leaving half of it in my hand and half of it lodged inside the Godforsaken lock.
The feeling of defeat was palpable. I had no shoes, no underwear, and now, thanks to a desperate, half-formed idea inspired by an old episode of Friends I never finished watching, no bra. My purse was inside my apartment, along with my phone, my makeup bag, my black sandals I had planned to wear, and the food I had planned to bring with me for lunch.
Should I just go to work?
I remembered I had a pair of brown boots in my trunk. They would work. I still had my car key, which was a good thing. This doesn’t have to be that big of a deal.
I walked back downstairs and opened my trunk. I zipped up my boots and got in the car. I put on my sunglasses, slid The Pogues’ Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash into my CD player, and thought about how much easier this morning would have been if I had the ability to walk through vaulted doors.
I got to work on time. Early, in fact. I had time to drink a cup of tea and enjoy the silence of an empty office. When I was finished, I walked into the bathroom to check out how my boots coordinated with the dress. I was pleasantly surprised. I will definitely be wearing this outfit again. With socks, next time.
For a few more seconds, I admired my appearance in the mirror. My hair looked polished. My outfit was groovy. My makeup-free face looked pretty great, too. I felt confident. I didn’t feel like an artificial, overly done-up version of myself, nor did I feel like the lazy, slightly smelly version of myself I had recently been showcasing. I was just me. Silly old me, with a pretty dress, no socks, and a torn up bra in my trunk.
When I returned to my desk, I opened up my email. I threw a few old messages away and printed out my boss’ daily edition of The Hollywood Reporter. I was about to get up to get a second cup of tea when I heard someone enter my doorway.
“Stéphanie,” said the foxy Frenchman. “Zat eez a great dress.”
I flipped him off. As he walked away, I smiled as I imagined how I must have looked while I was struggling to tear my bra in half. Maybe after I get my next paycheck I’ll treat myself to Chantelle. And a keychain.
“How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?”
That’s the attitude I try to have when it comes to the death of someone I loved, yet never met.
In 2013, I lost three of my best friends. The news was devastating every time. Did I know them personally? No. And yes. And not really. And very well.
Why did I consider them my friends? All of them had just, I dunno — all of them had gotten me through so many confusing, shitty, or just plain boring times. I hope I don’t sound too crazy when I say that. I’ve never stalked anyone and I understand the difference between fantasy and reality, but yeah, these people meant a lot to me. They still mean a lot to me. I can call them my “friends” if I want. And I was sad when my friends made their exits.
Still, the question remains: “How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?”
Lou Reed? He ain’t dead. He can’t be. I still love him very much and I still have “Sweet Jane,” so nothing has changed.
James Gandolfini isn’t dead, either, and neither is Tony Soprano. (My theory, anyway.)
Peter O’Toole. My dearest, darling Peter O’Toole. The coolest. The smartest. The hottest. The craziest. That voice. That height. That hair. I think about him all the time and I miss him all the time, and yet, as long as I can get together with my friends every December and laugh and cry and yell and drink champagne while watching The Lion in Winter, Peter O’Toole can never die.
This morning, as soon as I got to work and turned on my computer, I found out that Rik Mayall died. Today. Rik Mayall died today. Weird. So very weird. And sad. He was still, well, young…
Just last week, I was listening to The Pogues and wondering when Shane MacGowan would die. I was also wondering why Shane MacGowan hasn’t died already. Seriously.
I should stop. I don’t wanna give the universe any ideas.
My point is, I was already thinking about my remaining heroes and wondering who I’d lose next. Apparently, not Shane MacGowan.
Oddly enough, I was also thinking about The Young Ones last week. I don’t remember why or how, but, quite suddenly and inexplicably, I felt inspired to find the Dr. Marten’s boots song on YouTube. After watching it, I spent a good hour and a half searching for cheap Dr. Marten’s online. No avail.
The next day, a co-worker of mine mentioned The Young Ones. He’s Scottish. I said, “I fucking love The Young Ones.” He said, “That’s too weird.” I asked him why. He said, “It’s just weird that you even know that show.” I asked him why. He said, “I dunno. I mean, it’s British and it’s old and it’s weird…I mean, I was watching that when I was in high school.” I said, “So was I.”
If you knew me in high school, you must recall that I was a pretty cool teenager. I mean it. Like, the coolest. For example, when I was 15 or 16, I begged my mom to buy me orange suede ADIDAS like the ones Ewan McGregor wears in Trainspotting. I felt so badass whenever I wore them. Like, so very, very badass. I also begged her to buy me a pair of plaid pants, because, ya know, Scotland. Or something.
There’s really, like, very minimal plaid in Trainspotting. I realize that now.
The coolest thing, though, was that every Saturday afternoon in tenth grade (after improv practice, no less) I would go to my friend Kaley’s house for Britcom. Yes. Britcom was our somewhat exclusive club that involved eating ice cream and watching British comedies until our eyes hurt. We wrote a constitution at one point. I don’t remember what was in it except for The Golden Rule, which came from an episode of Father Ted: “If anyone is ever talking to you again, think about what you’re saying and then don’t say it, and then just run away somewhere.”
The Young Ones was one of Britcom’s staples. Every David Bowie reference made me feel so damn validated. I went out and bought a Madness record and listened to “House of Fun” on repeat. I began referring to my English teacher as a “fascist bully boy,” despite the fact that she was a She. I seldom said, “I don’t have any money” — I usually launched into a Neil impression and said, “We haven’t got any breaaaad.” When I was feeling boy crazy I was a “Bitch funky sex machine.” I wrote “Boomshanka” on things I shouldn’t have written “Boomshanka” on. I even once got a Starbucks barista to write it on the sleeve of my Americano. I think I still have that sleeve somewhere.
Rik Mayall is dead. The people’s poet is dead. I’m sad for his wife and his family. I’m sad for Ade Edmondson. Like I keep saying, though, “we still have his poems.”
My VHS tapes of The Young Ones were dragged from my parents’ house to my college dorm (there was a VCR in the downstairs common room), and when I moved out of the dorm and into an on-campus apartment, I made sure to buy a TV that had both a VHS player and a DVD player. Why? Well, how could I live without Neil, Mike, Vyvyn, and Rick? They were university students, after all.
I still have those tapes. I’m not ever going to get rid of those tapes.
Aw, Rick. Thanks for helping make it nearly impossible for me to legitimately enjoy 99.9% of the current comedies on television. No giant sandwiches falling from the sky? No jokes about Leonard Cohen being a vampire? No pervasive political undertones? No, thank you.
There was also the music: Dexy’s Midnight runners doing “Jackie Wilson Said” and multiple Madness appearances and that great scene with friggin’ Motorhead…
What the hell is that shot of you guys being pushed on that…what is that? That’s a luggage carrier thing, right? Well, it slays me. Every time.
Ah, Rick. Thank you. Your show is so damn cool. So, so cool. It had everything the teenage version of Steff wanted in a show, and, since 27 year old Steff is very similar to the person she was 11 years ago, it’s still one of my all time favorites. It’s part of me, really. An appreciation for The Young Ones (or the ability to sit through several episodes in-a-row) is my litmus test for whether or not a man is husband material. (Husband, not boyfriend. Those are two different things.) Watching an episode of The Young Ones is my solo go-to activity when I’m having a shitty day. The music that plays during the end credits is what I hear in my head when I’m exceptionally happy.
Aw, Rick. RICK. My favorite pseudo-intellectual-anarchist-hipster-bachelor-boy. You’ve never failed to make me smile. You never will, you friggin’ weirdo.