When i was young I liked to steal tapes and CDs from my parents collections and listen to them in my room on my own boombox. I would take ones that had interesting cases, ones that I’d heard my parents playing and liked, returning the ones that I didn’t care for, and hoarding the ones that I did. I attribute a lot of my musical taste today to the good taste of my parents, to the music of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, T.Rex, Nirvana, Shawn Colvin, etc. that I pilfered from my parents’ collections.
At about age 12 I fell in love with a couple Jeff Buckley CDs (or were they tapes?) of my father’s. When he found out about my new interest, he pulled out a wrinkled, folded old Jeff Buckley poster that he’d had somewhere in the garage, a relic from who knows when. The poster was a black and white photograph of Buckley, shirt mostly unbuttoned, leaning up against the hood of a car. He looked so beautiful, so cool and serene. I was only 12, but I loved that poster. I would listen to “So Real” and stare at the photo, the first man I’d ever been deeply attracted to. I knew that he was dead, which made my attraction and affection even more haunting. He was dead. But in that photo he had been alive. I was alive, but someday I would die. I wondered if someone so beautiful would ever love me.
That year my father moved out. I listened to “Last Goodbye” and my parents split up their music collections and I didn’t let anyone see me cry. My mom moved with my sister and me into a new house, and my poster got lost along the way. I’m not sure where it is today.