Monday, August 07, 2006

Story of My Life, by Social Distortion

I would rewind the tape again and again. I had discovered SD in 1990, the first track by them I ever listened being Mommy's Little Monster, which I had recorded on a tape compilation of my favorite skate rock. (Yes, I was a skater back then). But I think I must have been seventeen at the most; maybe 1992, I really can't remember, when I first listened to this track. I worked at a stakeboard shop and all my friends were either skateboarders or amateur tattoo artists.

Social Distortion had introduced me to Mr Johnny Cash through their cover of Ring of Fire, but it was this song the one I played again and again. The lyrics spoke loud and clear to my teenage heart: I started listening to them when I was going through a period of isolation, when I was feeling already nostalgic for my junior high years and everything I had never been able to do. I got my first tattoo listening to that song, and soon it became a symbol of the passage of time and the intense feeling of finiteness I would so often drown into. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play.

Life goes by so fast
You only want to do what you think is right.
Close your eyes and it's past;
Story of my life

Now that I think about it, it's probably in some way their fault that it's permanently written on my skin: vita brevis. I listen to this song and it sounds so naïve now, but it still works like a time machine that sends me back to a time in which, without knowing it, I was the happiest. In a way, it defines the way I am, always missing someone, always thinking about what could have been and was not.

Good times come and good times go,
I only wish the good times would last a little longer.
I think about the good times we had
And why they had to end.

This is what punk rock was to me, really. Outlaw love songs for times that would never come back.

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