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Entry date: 11-6-2023 – Sometimes Life Reminds You (and The Bet) – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,


Last Monday, I was lucky enough to be able to take Liam and Teresa to see The Chats and Cosmic Psychos. I wrote a bit about it (a little bit, actually) on Halloween. Over the last week, there has been this one recurring thought about that night that has continued to pop up for me.


At the show, there was a young guy, probably in his early 20s, I’m guessing, who had a reverse mohawk. Most of his hair was pretty darn short, maybe 3/8 of an inch long, but there was a perfect stripe shaved down the middle of his head. I loved it.


I often joke with my students that if they misbehave, I’m going to give them a reverse mohawk. This always brings lots of laughter and a few confused and/or concerned faces. I have seen a few over the years, but the one I saw last Monday night was awesome and it reminded me why I love punk culture.


That haircut was fucking punk rock embodied. These are all the things I loved about punk from the get-go. It screamed “Fuck you, world” and I love that. Not “Fuck off and die, world,” mind you, but just a good, clean “fuck off!”


It reminded me of the first time I saw actual punkers. I was infatuated with the look. Plaid pants, creepers, weirdly colored or spiked hair. It just spoke to me.


I was already a fan of the sound. For years, though, I just didn’t really know where to look to see it in person. When I started to get some shirts and got my first pair of creepers, I was so excited. Of course, some of the kids at school who were already dressing the part were not a fan of me joining their “club” but whatever. I knew who I was.


I also knew it wasn’t a uniform. It was an attitude. Like any sub-culture, it’s bigger than clothes or music or geographic location. We all just identify the way we identify. When I experience things that are “punk rock,” I gravitate to it.


It was great to see a young guy just doing his punk rock thing and not giving a fuck. The feeling just sort of emanated from him. It made me proud. I guess I have graduated from being a “Father Figure” to a grandfather figure.


Somehow, the punk rock attitude will never go away. There will always be punkers out there, whether they know it or not.


*****


“You’re in a movie, sweetheart. That’s what happens,” Janet said.


“It’s not just about the movie, mom,” Friday replied.


The two of them went round and round about this for a good ten minutes before Friday’s mom, superstar actress Janet Ryan, casually mentioned the name “Jennifer Dunkirk.”


“Why does everyone keep bringing up Jennifer Dunkirk?” Friday asked.


“Dear… (Janet paused)…you have her role.”


“What are you talking about?”


“She was supposed to be the nurse. If she was still alive, she might be the one talking to her mother about Aidan Mann right now.”


Janet’s words hadn’t been intended as cold, but Friday felt a shiver go down her spine anyway. Friday’s mom went on to explain that Jennifer Dunkirk was in a tragic car accident a few days after agreeing to play the role of “Nurse Dayna” in Jimmy’s Brain. Janet had been in a film with Dunkirk a few years earlier and knew the actress a little bit.


“She was only in one scene, that I remember, but she was smart and funny and beautiful. It’s such a shame. You didn’t know her, did you, dear?” Janet asked.

“I didn’t know she even existed, Mom,” said a stunned Friday.


“I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this. I would have thought that someone from the film would have told you. I can’t imagine not talking about it. Poor girl wouldn’t have been on that road if it wasn’t for that odd little Trantella man,” said Janet.


Friday didn’t say a lot more and quickly got off the phone with her mother. Something didn’t feel right about this at all. Why hadn’t anyone talked about her? Why didn’t Vince Trantella mention this?


Friday had a sick feeling in her stomach.


*****


See you tomorrow.



This is kind of like what I was talking about...although the kid at the show was older and had nose piercing.

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