About Being a Punk

To the young, they think they’ll never be old.
For them, they think youth will stay young forever.
This means we can be wild forever.
We can play forever.
We can feel alive forever
and we can live without caution or worry.

When you’re young, tomorrow is just another day.
Nothing really matters.
At least, not really.
When you’re young, you’re still young enough to defy the idea of time.
Time is just a minute away.
And to the young, life is still young
and minutes are more than plentiful.

I remember summertime
(Do you?)

School was out…
I remember the wind blowing through my hair while sitting in the backseat of someone’s car.
We were speeding to nowhere and heading there fast.
We could have abandoned the world at any time, which would have been fine because when you’re young,
you’re young enough to believe that a day is just a another day.

I recall a time at the beach during winter break at school.
God, we were crazy.
We were wild and loud and eager to have the whole world see us
We were “Just a bunch of fucking kids.”.
We were ignorant enough to be brave, which really isn’t bravery per se. More accurately, we were just young kids
We never believed in consequences.

I remember the time we sat behind a church on East Meadow Avenue.
We hid in the back of the little graveyard.
Our eyes were bloodshot and half-shut.
Our mouths were partially opened with glazed-like smile, high as could be, and laughing about the world we lived in . . .
And like, “Who cares,” right?

We all had families.
We all came from “Normal,” dysfunctional, everyday homes.
We all had mothers and fathers, We had our share of problems.
But problems were made for another day.
So why bother?

Let’s just smoke it to the filter.
Let’s be as wild as we possibly can.
Let’s run around and scream like lunatics.
Let’s act like nothing bothers us.
In fact, let’s give the world the finger and tell them all,
“The hell you say!”

I never thought my parents knew anything.
I thought they lived in their own little world.
What did they know?
They kept on telling me that I was too young to understand, to which I replied, “Maybe you’re just too old to understand.”

I never understood why they were nervous or afraid. I never knew why they panicked when something went wrong.
I thought I was invincible.
But yet, at the same time,
I lived in fear and worried about what should I do next.
How do I live this thing they call life and still be cool,
if you know what I mean?

I thought I knew what I was doing.
Of course, I did.
And them, my parents, my teachers, the adults in my life and the authorities that tried to keep me in line; I never thought they had a clue.
How could they?
They never saw the things I saw or lived the life I lived.
They never felt the same needs as me and wondered if any of us are ever really alive.

And that’s just it.
I wanted to feel alive.
I wanted t feel the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.
I wanted to feel the glory
I wanted to be the hero.
I wanted to stand up and prepare to be counted without fear, concern, or even thinking that I might just not be enough.

I never knew what other people thought.
I certainly never knew how other people felt.
I only knew about me.
I knew how I was affected;
I never thought about the way my behavior affected anyone else.
I was hardly sure if other people were actually real..  

Then again, I never really had a broken heart.
I never experienced loss or saw death, up close, and personal.
I saw danger a few times, but so what?
It’s just danger? It’s all part of an image, right?

I always wondered if life was real
(Know what I mean?)
Is love real?
Are you?

Do people really care?
Are feelings real?
And if they are, does anybody really know how someone else feels?

I swore that I was alone.
No one else could understand.
How could they?

They never looked at the world from behind my eyes.
Then again, I never saw the world through anyone else’s either.

And that’s the problem with this world.
It’s the problem with kids today.
It’s the problem with all of us.
We’re all stuck on the same conveyor belt;
all of us worrying about similar things,
all of us just trying to survive,
and all of us are just trying to make it through the day
without getting our feelings hurt.

I never tell anyone you’ll understand when you get older.
I never say you’re just a kid or ask, “What do you know?”
All I say is . . .
I get it. Life is a crazy thing.
We spin around that thing called a sun and year later,
we find ourselves in a different spot asking,
“What the hell just happened?”

One thing I wished I told The Old Man was the truth.
I wished I told him why I was frustrated.
I wish I told him what held me back.
I wish I was brave enough to be honest
and not afraid to hear the truth.

By the way, some people go their entire lives like this.

Some people have no regrets.

But I’m not sure if they actually lived.
Besides, if they have no regrets, I am more than sure they never rode with us in the back of Randy’s van on a Saturday night.

Sometimes I recall those regrets fondly
Sometimes I laugh

And sometimes I just shake my head and say,
“The Old Man was right. I do understand now that I am older!”

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