I saw a photo of Kurt Cobain’s daughter in an issue of People Magazine this week, pictured with her mother Courtney Love and her new beau. Frances’ eyes were fixed right at the camera. They were bright blue, just like her father’s. Francis is 8 now, and I remember seeing a photo of her as a baby, a gritty black and white of her laying on her father’s stomach. I can’t remember when it was, after that, when he was assumed to have taken his own life.
Courtney has since put much distance between herself and her past. What will she tell Frances Bean? How do you tell your daughter that her father, though she may not remember him at all, was in a band that led quite a big stir in the music scene several years back, that even though he’s dead, his image lives on the faces of album covers and t-shirts of people passing by? Will her classmates know her mother? Will they even recognize the name of her dad? Their parents might. We do. We will watch her grow up, in the shadow of her mother, a woman we may have hated in her celebrity years ago but now we’ve come to admire.
And I guess, that’s how I begin to feel old. The infant pictured on the cover of Nirvana’s album Nevermind, the same album that boosted Michael Jackson’s album of that year from its #1 spot and began the grunge era of the not so distant past, that infant is now 11 or so, and he is embarrassed his picture is associated with such a band. His favorite band is the Backstreet Boys.
Sometimes, we are only as old as the things we remember. They place limits on everything we thought was constant, never ending. So it is only in spite of how we see things that we are allowed to transcend what we remember. I remember the news broadcasts of Cobain’s death, the interviews in Rolling Stone from the kids who stood vigil outside of Kurt and Courtney’s apartment building, the looks on their faces as if they’ve lost the world. Well, the world can be lost so easily when you’re young, and just as easily it’s regained.
And, I guess, that’s how we all move on.