When I selected my shirt for the evening I’m quite sure I put consideration into the reaction it might evoke- I was likely hoping for curiosity, questioning, and maybe even a bit of intimidation. The music I had gotten into over the past few years made me feel those things in spades, and I misguidedly assumed that anyone in my eventual surroundings would share them. The shirt was either from the band Suicidal Tendencies or Overkill, and whichever one it was, the imagery and language were kind of severe; I was 15, and neck-deep in a somewhat frightening underground scene that I thought was the coolest thing in the world, partially for those very reasons.
We had gone to Buffalo (more specifically, Orchard Park) to visit our aunt, uncle, and cousins, and for me that meant sneakily watching rated “R” movies that I probably would not have gotten to see otherwise, shoplifting prolifically with my cousin at the local mall, or attempting to matriculate with his somewhat uppity social circle. I stood out in demeanor (as well as appearance) at such gatherings however my general pleasantness had always allowed for nice conversations with a few of the girls that tended to be around. The party this time around was at the house of a well-to-do boy whose parents were out of town… cliché, yes, but that is what kids did in the world I was visiting. It seemed like a merry-go-round of traveling social events based on adult absence and availability of cheap alcohol. I didn’t get it, and it in no way resembled my life in Rochester, but I was there and decided to ride the ride.