Kurt

Posted: June 5, 2011 in Mental Health
Tags: ,

Today has had an odd effect on me, not necessarily a bad one but odd. If you have read my Movies blog you would know I have watched Back and Forth, the Foo Fighters story, which started as you’d imagine with Dave Grohls membership of Nirvana, my favourite band of the late eighties to early nineties and possibbly of all time. Where I may have competition for whether they are my all time favourite band, I am not in any doubt as to how important Kurt Cobain was in my life.
Firstly you need to understand that my youth was troubled emotionally and I didnt have any idea as to why back then, I had troubling thoughts about suicide, death and violence as well as all the other things that a normal adolescent goes through. I would later come to realise that I wasnt “Normal” but at the time I was confused and angry so the lyrics to most Nirvana songs spoke to me on a much deeper level than was probably intended. Kurt seemed to get what I was going through and even better had put it into beautiful songs, sometimes soft and sad other times heavy with rage, it didnt seem to matter which style he chose it worked for me and I was enthralled by everything he did. I was never one for hero worship, I didnt believe even then that anyone was perfect and therefore couldnt place that much of myself into their stories, as I got older this would become very pronounced and sometimes dibilitating on an emotional level. So although I liked Kurt I wasnt one of those people who claim to love their idols, I loved the music, certainly but not Kurt, Dave or Krist, I just didnt roll that way.
Anyway as everyone knows Kurts story is a short one, he finally decided to end his torture on April 9th 1994, at a time when I was going through a purple patch in my life, I had a very young daughter, was seemingly happily married and had a good job I enjoyed, I can remember the morning the news broke vividly, which is strange in itself as my memory is missing huge chunks about some really important stuff but this I can picture clearly. I was bathing in prepration for a huge football match I was attending, Chelsea in the FA cup semi final for the first time in a generation, We were favourites and I was in a very good mood when the phone rang. My wife at the time brought in the phone, it was my Football buddy and fellow Nirvana fan Alan, Kurt was dead, and I was gutted, we both were.
I dont have a good recollection of the rest of the day, I know what happened and stuff but thats history, you can look it up, the feelings and emotions would have been very mixed, on the one hand my beloved team had achieved something we had only dreamt, of reaching a cup final on the other one of my idols had killed himself.
I do remember being really angry at Courtney Love, someone had suggested, as they always do in these circumstances, that Kurt had been murdered, that Love had been to blame and knowing a little about their tempestuous relationship I was quite willing to believe this harridan had been responsible either for his murder or most likely his suicide. The fall out from that day lasted a long time, and I would be foolish to suggest it had gone, although until this afternoon seeing it on the TV screen I believed it had. I was always on the cusp of suicide, and never really saw this as anything wrong, I wasnt always depressed when I had these thoughts so couldnt see where the problem could be, it usually went like this, I have to do something or go somewhere I didnt want to so I would say to myself if it went sour I could just kill myself, if I was expecting bad news I would think the same, If I cant deal with it I could just die, seeing it written down looks stupid to me now but at the time it seemed very reasonable and was a very real option. I write about this very much in the past tense but it is literally a matter of about two years since this was my life and to realise I dont do this anymore is a powerful thing.

The real problem with the Kurt situation is the fact he checked out, he decided to end it and then did someting about it, some would call him a coward, they dont know his struggles, others would just be amazed that someone so talented and successful could want to end such a great life, but he did and thats where the problem lies. My life in comparison was mundane, uninteresting and wholly pointless to me, even when times were good I was waiting for the axe to drop and change things back to the way they were supposed to be, in short, shit. This negative psyche was never planned, I didnt revel in my misery like some do, I just accepted it as the status quo and lived on awaiting the inevitable end, some times wishing it to come and other times passively waiting for whatever was likely to happen to me. I would mthink about Kurt on these occasions and see him as something of a beacon. If it was good enough for him, if his daughter could carry on without him so could my kids, I didnt know how much of an affect it would have had on Frances back then, if the world still held him in such high regard then my passing wouldnt diminish my lowly position in peoples memories, he had by no fault of his own legitimised my feelings and given me something to use as a template of sorts. I dont want imply Kurt was only a negative influence in my life, it was also a case that I saw what he had done wrong and used this to direct some of the my darker moments, He was key in my decision to never try drugs of any sort for instance. He also inspired me to write stuff down, poetry and fiction were both inspired by his writings and reading his journal later on also acted as a spur.

So my day was odd as I said and it could have been a bad experience for me, in reality just writing this down has been cathartic, seeing in text my former system of thought is sobering and in some ways beneficial, after all you have to learn from mistakes and I cant honestly regard those strange thought processes as mistakes they were certainly not good for me and my life is improved by the lack of these feelings of dejection and I would say that seeing the references to Kurt in the film, on reflection was a good thing. I got to reflect a bit about where he has affected my life, albeit mostly posthumously and it gave me the desire to open a few music files up and listen to some great music, which is always a good thing.

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