In my last year of high school — which was also my first year at that school, so no one real­ly knew me — I had a cre­ative English class. We were giv­en 15 min­utes of free writ­ing time at the begin­ning of each class, of which I most­ly spent mak­ing ver­bal doo­dles to any kind of cin­e­ma stim­u­la­tion I had recent­ly seen at the time. Around then, it would have been quotes from Monty Python and lines from Casino. Anyone could put a CD in the stereo for every­one to hear, so one week I put my most recent mix in.

In the mid­dle was Creep by Radiohead , and anoth­er guy in class sud­den­ly exclaimed, “A great song!”, amidst the silence of our work­ing minds. Everyone looked at him, then at me, and I felt a red­ness flush on my face.

That was fol­lowed by One by Metallica, and again he said, “Another great song!”, and the same chain of events hap­pened as last time.

He was that edgy kid with bleached blond hair and always got in trou­ble for wear­ing walk­ing shoes with his uni­form. He did his own thing, had his own tastes, and fit in with the crowds he want­ed, not nec­es­sar­i­ly the crowds that want­ed him. I was that awk­ward kid who had no real friends, had a mop for hair, and a per­pet­u­al­ly tac­i­turn demeanour. To have him acknowl­edge my taste for two songs in a row had sud­den­ly giv­en me some kind of street cred because he was far more pop­u­lar than me.

Some of the oth­er kids start­ed look­ing at me dif­fer­ent­ly from then on.


  1. It’s sto­ries like this that make me feel like we are kin­dred spir­its.

    • Hahah, I’m sure there’s a whole Breakfast Club of peo­ple like us.

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