Come as You Are, even if you can’t remember where the last 20 years have gone…
5:37am on a Saturday isn’t a good time to be asking questions that you want lucid answers to. I couldn’t come up with a plausible defence for my pre-dawn awakening, nor could I explain why one of my shoes had taken up residence on the top of my sofa. My biggest blank (no, not that sort of blank) of the morning came while trying to determine where the last twenty years had gone.
Next Saturday marks two decades since the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind, and the realisation that well over seven thousand days have passed me by since I first heard the riff in the intro to Smells Like Teen Spirit raised a pertinent question: what the hell have I been doing since 1991?
While I’d love to account for the apparent gaps in time with some sort of Rip Van Winkle-like slumber or magical wardrobe, I can’t: I don’t have a mysterious, unkempt beard, and to the best of my recollection, I’ve never seen faun carrying an umbrella. In keeping with Occam’s razor, the best explanation that I can come up with is that life continues to go on around us, whether you want it to or not, and irrespective of any attention you pay to it.
Kurt Cobain had his faults, just like any of us, but he never tried to argue that he didn’t, nor did he pretend to be something that he wasn’t. He didn’t give a fuck what other people thought about him, and made music because he was passionate about it, not because of its potential commercial benefit. I think he understood that life is, in its purest form, a game against the hands of time, and needs to be experienced, rather than watched from the grandstand. The epilogue to his story was tragic, but while he was with us, he lived and observed life, and drew on its influences – both good and bad – to create art that has lived on, while so much of the world has changed around it.