My younger sister and I had a conversation about drugs the other day and she was shocked that I've never smoked weed because I "seem like the kind of person who would," which is something people have said to me ever since high school because I was relatively mellow, drew trippy doodles in a sketchbook, was incredibly skinny and long-haired and listened to weird music.
She hangs out with a bunch of suburban hippie and metal kids who are probably a lot like my friends at her age, who skateboard, get stoned, and listen to Black Sabbath and Sublime but she's somehow never heard of Cheech and Chong, which my dad and I introduced her to over Christmas. Kids these days.
Caffeine is my mom's vice of choice and while she swears she's not addicted, she can't go a day without her coffee. I used to make fun of her but then it became my drug of choice as well. I didn't start until I got my first and current "real grown up job" and found that I really did like the taste of black coffee.
It got to the point where it didn't matter if it was good coffee or not just as long as I had it, and I soon realized that between work, Saturday mornings with my mom, and Sunday mornings at church where there is always good strong coffee, thanks a pastor who drinks espresso by the cup and the Ethiopians, I now drink at least 2 cups a day.
"We just ran out of coffee" on my 4am day is a scary sentence to hear because if I don't have it, I'm either sleepy or cranky and can get by but it's just not the same. We put our five dollar bills together so I could make a run across the street at 7:30 in the morning to buy a pound of house blend much to the amusement of the baristas who live off our culturally acceptable addictions.
Now we're stocked up for awhile and I had this totally guilty look when the head honcho came in early while I was in the middle of my early morning coffee ritual / 15 minute break I never take.
Upon return, I was rewarded with a copy of 'Dirt' since mine disappeared around the time all the drama went down and I moved out and I drove out to the burbs to meet up with the family for my uncle's annual New Year dinner. It blew my mind again and reminded me of recording "Down in a Hole" and "Would?" off WMMS onto cassette tape, listening to the radio with my dad, and conversations with my crew of friends back in the day wondering why Layne Staley is dead and Dave Navarro is still alive.
I worried about my little sister and some of the really negative stuff she was listening to coupled with the whole unhealthy self-image propagated by girls on the Internet who think that emaciation and cutting is sexy.
Then again, my musical diet in high school was almost exclusively dead or might-as-well-be-dead rock stars, coupled with the writings of Poe and Hawthorne with most of my art done with colored pencils on black paper.
I still think that Conor Oberst and these whiny indie kids who claim Hall & Oates as their biggest musical influence ever suck, but my boomer coworkers and hipster friends think that what I like sucks too. It must be one of those generational things. Then again, my dad likes this song just as much as I do.