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.