But it was important, it was vital, just not in the way that we thought it was. We learned something, many things.
We learned that we weren't alone. For the first time, we chose to be a part of something that was wholly our own. We paid the price of membership, the clothes, the hair, the attitude, the uniform. We learned the strength of numbers, but also that a uniform exterior doesn't mean a uniform interior. We learned that it's possible to choose the symbols of our allegiance and through that we learned to be independent again.
We learned limits. Some of us chose to go down, the whole way down as we watched in awe and horror. Some made it back stronger, some made it back damaged and some didn't make it back at all. It was hard learning that we can't save everybody no matter how much we have in common.
We learned the most important lesson of all. Is it any wonder that the first great love of our life came with a soundtrack? We threw our passions at the sounds coming from a needle scratching plastic and at the figures who made those sounds, both right in front of us in the smokey air and impossibly, electronically far away. On the dance floor we rehearsed setting free the exaltation and energy bottled up inside. Sometimes we ended up bloody and bruised, but that too was practice. We let it all out and to our wonder we saw it reflected back at us from the sweating mass. We learned that if all those people could feel the same way about the music, then that cherished, longed-for individual sitting right there, so near, could be feeling those same longings for us. And just perhaps, it might be safe to set those feelings free. We learned how to love.
So yes, it was important, not the details but the experience and all it taught us. Nurture those memories, follow Memory Lane all the way to Nostagia, those experiences made us who we are.
*I must confess: I wrote this back in February as a Note on Facebook. By coincidence it was the same day Lux Interior from the Cramps died. Not sure why I never posted it here, but I'm feeling all nostalgicy again so here it is.