I started reading the book Just Kids by Patti Smith. I only just started the book. And so far I just can not help but think about me growing up on Long Island, New York. Patti’s bohemian beginnings were my beginnings. I too was/am the artist. I had my own tribe gathered from a hodgepodge of fringe people who will always be on the outside. These people were my family. We shared poetry. We sang songs. We danced. We indulged (sometimes too often) in mind altering substances. We soon realised that that was not as important as our ability and compulsion to create.
We trampled to the train to escape the Island and go to the City. Me wearing my shit kickers and thrift shop clothes. We were an eclectic lot. We were not trying to be like anyone else except ourselves. Ourselves who had been shunned in cliquish high school and snubbed in university. We ventured to St Mark’s Place. It was our street. Our place. Our time.
That seems so long ago but inside I am that young lady who is quick with her tongue and ready to take on the establishment. But it is the enforced conformity that comes with territory of getting older. Getting married. Getting divorced. Getting sick. Realising you are not so young when your back hurts from standing too long on the platform waiting for the tram. To go to a job that is paying your bills but stealing your soul.
It could be our time again. It could be ours all of the time. If only we could just be who we really are all of the time. Why can’t we?