Last week was the 20th anniversary of Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’, which I mostly celebrated by not feeling a need to wear all my dad’s clothes at once or thrash around my bedroom in a hormonal rage.
I did listen to it, though, just to see what it sounds like now. The lyrics seem a little confusing, which is disappointing, because they made so much sense back then. Didn’t they? I distinctly remember hearing ‘In Bloom’ for the first time and thinking: “God, he’s right, nature really is a whore”. Then I earnestly wrote it on my schoolbag with Tippex.
I cried for about six months after Kurt Cobain died. My parents were surprisingly patient for the first week or so: I remember my mum hugging me on the edge of my bed and my dad coming up the stairs with two mugs of tea, mumbling what exactly is it that’s happened again?
Being a sleepy village in North Wales, the little girl from down the road came over to comfort me, too.
“Why would anybody actually kill themselves?” she asked, nine years old and totally perplexed by suicide, suddenly finding herself comparing humans to lemmings.
“He hated himself,” I explained, sobbing. I was fourteen.
Mark says he was fourteen too, and what really helped him was to make a ‘cupboard shrine’ by removing the clothes and shelves from his wardrobe and filling it with Nirvana pictures and incense and candles.
A cupboard shrine! If only I’d thought of that, too.
“Oh god, stop,” says Mark, cringing.
“And if only we’d all had cameras back then,” I wonder. “We could now make a really great collection of Fuck Yeah Cupboard Shrines for the internet.”
Somehow, in the midst of our grief, Mark and I were both savvy enough to carefully file away the cancelled Nirvana tickets we had for Manchester, so that we could be millionaires once we were grown-ups. Not that we agreed with being millionaires or anything. We were Nirvana fans and we hated money! Sort of.
I still have my ticket, wrapped up in my parents’ attic: current value on ebay looking at about €20.
Annie’s blog won the ‘Best Personal’ category twice at the Irish Blog Awards, although some say that was a typo and she was actually destined for the ‘Most Personal’ award instead. She supports her habit by working as a photographer and as a graphic artist on costume dramas. She tweets here.