A very good memory

In 2009, when Cash was 15, her parents and all us honorary aunties and uncles rolled out in force to see her band play their debut show at Thee Parkside.

There the four of them were, up there on stage doing the full throwback punkrock thing, with the hacksaw strumming and the chord-shredding screams. It was all super authentic, except…for the crowd. Instead of the typical stony faces you usually find nodding coolly along to such sounds, there was just this sea of beaming, unselfconsciously giddy smiles.

We the people who’d watched this smart, magical, doe-lashed creature grow up were all just so thrilled and proud to be there, watching Cash do her thing, each of us laughing and holding our proud-extended-family cameras high in the air. “THIS IS SO GREAT!” we nudged and yelled at each other. “I KNOW!!!” we yelled back. In my memory we were all glowing, Cash and her band and all these goofy middle-aged people who loved her so much. It was top-life night.

All my memories of Cash have that same sweet glow, from the invented viking maps she drew when she was itty little, to the badges-and-patches business she started instead of the usual lemonade stand, to the impromptu kid-n-grownup pants-dance parties, to the dress she made for her quinceanera at the Make Out Room, to the chocolate fountain she insisted on bringing to Thanksgiving.

This past Saturday evening, despite all our soul-deep hopes, it was confirmed that Cash passed away in the Oakland warehouse fire. There aren’t words to express how sad and wrong this is. For her family, who I love so much. For the all-growed-up musician she became and the people she went on to play with, who will so miss her talent and love. For this ever-shittening world of ours, which just lost a much-needed spark of leavening. For all of us, who won’t get to see what amazing thing Cash does next.