I tried to be punk, but I care too much

This could also be called, "the night I tried too hard". That night, I had it all. Dressed all in black, spiked bracelet, wild hair, and dripping black eye-liner. I entered into the dark, flashing, booming room of fast-music, watching all the kids around me. The we-don't-give-a-fuck attitude was overflowing in the room. This is what my perception of punk rock and goth rock was until I found myself.

That night at The Ranch Bowl I saw familiar faces, mostly from church, who welcomed me in to their little circle. These kids I had seen around, but I never really knew what to think. I guess I thought they were having the same kind of we-don't-give-a-fuck attitude as everyone else, but I soon realized you don't have to act this way to be a punker. These people I hung out with that night were conscious of each other. Not only that, they were conscious of others around them. When they saw they were bothering someone or they bumped into someone they said excuse me. During the break times between bands, they talked to total strangers and made people feel like a part of a community. They were polite, said 'please' and 'thank you' and respected their elders. One looked like a kid I worked with who was into boy bands (but I didn't tell him that). Another one looked like someone you would only see on a talk show.

That night some local bands played. One was a band named System Failure (heavy metal). I was shocked to find that the lead singer looked like the all-American boy next door, yet he had a screaming voice that sent shivers down your spine. It was then I realized more then ever, music reaches across looks and styles. I'm now sure there are plenty of suits out there who dig Heavy Metal and go to shows regularly. After I left that night I had a renewed sense of self. I knew that I didn't need others to re-affirm my identity.

Punk rock was started as an anti-establisment scene against the corporate music scene. If you even remotely dressed like a punker, you were labeled a jerk or a bitch. This is a mostly wrong perception as I have come to realize. It used to be like that, because there was more of an 'every man for himself' mentality. But now, it has become more of a community, where people come to listen to music and share ideas. Yes, there are many people in the scene who have no respect whatsoever for others, but thats more of a personality thing then it is a punk rock thing. It's not even a punk rock thing. It's a rock thing in general. Like this guy I saw on a TV reality show one time (because it's a very credible source). He was a Tommy Lee wanna be. He treated everyone around him like crap and all the while he was saying "Hey, there's more to me than what you see." You don't need to be a shithead to be a rocker.

Now, whenever I go to a show I feel free to be myself. To say, "I love my mom" in public and never feel like I have to leave any part of me at the door.