Those of you around in the early to mid-nineties will know that the title of today’s post is actually a song by the Manic Street Preachers, the group I was utterly obsessed with from around the ages of fourteen to seventeen. I was particularly obsessed by Richey Edwards, the guitarist and main lyricist, who disappeared in 1995, and is now presumed dead. Everything about the Manics framed my adolescence and early adulthood – Richey was the first man I really longed for romantically, so liking him and the band was kind of a sexual awakening in a way; I discovered more and more alternative or indie music after getting into them, and started going out to clubs to see gigs; Richey talked about interesting books and so this exposed me to many different kinds of ideas. This band, and Richey especially, consumed my teenage years. I probably wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t been into that band – or, perhaps, I would have been but it would have taken a helluva lot longer to get there. Let’s face it – I grew up on a dairy farm as an only child with old-fashioned, weird parents. Who the fuck would have exposed me to ideas and culture otherwise if not the Manic Street Preachers!?
When Richey disappeared, I was just about to finish my final year of school and move to the big city to start university. Life was so exciting, and so filled with promise! I can’t say that Richey’s disappearance (and possibly suicide) ruined that experience for me but it – and Kurt Cobain’s suicide – did definitely cast a shadow over that time. I had a sense that something dark and too adult was unfolding in front of me, and that this brave new adult world might not be quite as good as I hoped it would be.
In the last sixteen years, I have completely lost interest in the band, as my musical tastes have matured. To be quite frank, I think they’re crap. But I’ve always had a soft spot for them. Midwestern Man recently bought me a book about the Manics (The Story of the Manic Street Preachers – Nailed to History by Martin Power), so I’ve been ploughing my way through it. I say “ploughing” because it’s not really fun to revisit the past, and the book just ain’t that good. At the end of the day, my fucking teenage idol probably did away with himself, and who wants to read about that? I also don’t want to be reminded about that time in my life when everything seemed so new, so exciting, so heady….when now…everything just isn’t.
I am disappointed by life and by myself. I know that part of the problem is that I always expected too much – from myself, from other people, from life itself, but knowing that doesn’t make the crap feeling go away.
I need something to jolt me out of my lethargy, or maybe I need to learn how to create excitement and novelty in the every day. I feel like being bad. Yesterday I looked at Breakroom Boy’s Twitter feed (I’ve already admitted I’m a weirdo stalker so don’t say a thing!) and read a post about how traffic was bad on the way home from work, so he’d decided to stop off at a certain bar to wait until it got better. It doesn’t take a genius to know what I did next, does it? I would like to add that I get off work two hours later than he does, so I knew he probably wouldn’t be there by the time I arrived hours later…but, still, I thought it would be interesting just to go. He wasn’t there, but I enjoyed the thrill of thinking that he might be.
I’m half tempted to go and see a band I know he’s going to see next week (again, Twitter-feed stalking).
This is not really about Breakroom Boy, to be honest. It’s about adding some excitement back into my life, and having something to look forward to. I don’t know why that has to come from a man, but it always has for me, even since I was very young. If I didn’t have a huge crush on some boy at school, I found life insufferably boring. I can remember feeling that way at the age of seven!