Weirdo-Cool

kathleen ing is free
When I was in 9th grade, I hated everyone. It was 1994 and I wanted to be punk and a club kid but my parents wouldn’t let me go to all night parties. I went to all ages shows with a backpack and platform Nikes. I wanted to be cool, but not cool-cool. Weirdo-cool. I became friends with an older girl who played me Double Dare Ya and Alien She and my brain was on the wall, BUT I didn’t wanna lose my “cool” so I was like “oh it’s just okay.” She was like, “borrow these albums and listen.” And I did. And then like a week later I was like, “Dude: Bikini Kill!” and she was like “See? Told ya so.” We went back and forth on what our fave songs were and convinced some dude who was obsessed with us to drive us all over the east coast whenever they played (we lived in Long Island). When I turned 16 or 17 I went to see BK at The Bank in NYC and Kathleen wanted to get rid of her clothes cuz they were touring. She threw out this red leotard with hearts into the crowd and I caught it. I was slightly ashamed of being a sycophant but then was like whatever, fuck it, cuz it was a damn cool leotard and let’s be real: I was a fucking fan. She also threw out her fanzine called April Fools Day, which years later would be one of my motivators to get sober. I’m now in my 8th year of sobriety, still have that leotard, and the fanzine, and a BK t shirt, and everything everything everything. My favorite band of all time. So much gratitude. Oh and my super cool older friend who introduced me? She’s sober too. Bikini Kill runs through my life til this day like thread through a needle, everything I do is stitched in its color.
-Leslie Arfin

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6 Responses to “Weirdo-Cool”

  1. Thanks Amy Rose!

  2. if you say so, i guess. it just didn’t seem like a clear homage to me, but if that was your intent, i can’t argue that it wasn’t, you know? good piece, anyhow.

  3. Yeah, it was an homage not a rip off! That’s Poetry In Motion baby, everyone knows that. Come on. You think I don’t give props where props is due?

  4. err, Leslie. oops

  5. lovely piece, lesley.

    not sure if that was a rip-off, amy rose. some things are famous enough they do not require a citation as it would merely be a distraction away from the story.
    “separation” is a fitting poem to “weirdo-cool”. that’s my writers opinion.

  6. awesome story, and i’m an enormous fan of both your writing and bk, but the w.s. merwin rip-off at the end? not so cool.

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