Look me in the eye and tell me I’m satisfied.

I should not listen to the Replacements’ Let it Be and Pleased to Meet Me albums unless I am in a very good mood and with friends. Hello, PTSD trigger!

That kind of memory has an intense good/bad rush for me. I am at once suddenly held down hard by a weight of sadness and regret, and also nostalgic and grateful for it all: being in my early 20s, screaming out lyrics back at the band, living on rage and spaghetti, getting permanently broken by my first love, hitting bottom and never really leaving. The whole decade took place at 3 am with a chili cheeseburger in my lap and someone’s mix tape in the deck. I want it back and I wish it all never happened.

Music was everything. It was the glue that held us together as friends, the bread we lived on, the soundtrack to every high and every car crash, the obsession that got us thrown out of school, and for many of us a career. We all lived from the neck up with occasional genital excursions. None of us knew how lucky we were.

Holden didn’t catch us in the rye and I went over the cliff, but what a hell of a ride it was, singing the whole way down.

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