If this is all life has in store for me, I might as well end it now.
This thought repeated itself every night June spent getting wasted with some random group of acquaintances or guys who wanted to fuck her.
Of course, she hadn't ended it.
Not yet at least.
This particular night she was sprawled out on her back, laying on a ratty blanket someone thought to bring along to the bonfire. Next to her some guy she barely knew sipped from a 40 ounce and played his beat up acoustic guitar while a girl, probably Gloria, sang folk punk tunes in her wobbly, raspy from smoking too many cigarettes, voice.
“Coffee, God and cigarettes are all that ya need, it’s all that ya need just to be as free as me…”
Of course, most of them didn’t believe in any sort of god. And they were all drinking beer and shitty whiskey, not coffee. The cigarettes were there, though.
The charm these drunken, rowdy, cigarette and sex fueled nights used to have had long disappeared. It had been about three years since June was first introduced to this faux folk-punk lifestyle where everybody glorified anarchism and hopping trains and making some sort of difference in the world but instead wasted their lives away getting fucked up and going nowhere.
Before all this she was a junior in high school and was on the verge of suicide every weekend when school and her ‘friends’ weren’t there to distract her. One weekend a couple guys from her English class invited her to come along to an underground concert they had heard of happening in the nearest city. It took a lot of begging and pleading but finally her mom allowed her to go, after promising she’d be back no later than midnight.
The venue was actually just some college kid’s basement, the walls filled with graffiti and old band posters. The first band was all fast drumming and shitty guitar playing and a scrawny blonde kid jumping around and screaming but the audience loved it. June had never heard anything like it. The next band had a female vocalist and a banjo and a washboard. As the night went on June stared in awe at the dirty kids with their DIY tattoos and muddy torn up clothes and different colored hair. Every other person had a 40 ounce in their hand. Until that night, she had never even seen one. All her high school friends drank was vodka and Bud Light.
When the night finally came to an end she was covered in sweat and full of excitement. The strange energy and the unpolished beauty of the show and all the attendees were incredible yet so foreign to her. She wanted more. She wanted to become a part of this community.
During the next couple years she continued attending these shows and started drinking 40 ounces and smoking cigarettes and even gained a couple stick n pokes. She fell in love with the lifestyle, even though it was destroying her chances at the life her mother wanted for her.
Two years and a couple months after her first punk show June had her first run in with heroin. She had heard of it before, so many of her folk punk idols struggled with the drug, yet somehow she had remained mostly untouched by the damaged it caused.
She met a guy, Nolan, at a show and they quickly hit it off. He was a talented musician and he actually seemed to listen to her when she talked. He was genuinely interested in her boring life and loved listening to her explain her new favorite books to him. A couple months after meeting him he became distant. He stopped answering her texts and no longer came along to any of the bonfires or shows she invited him to. She was devastated at first, she thought he could be the end of her habit of hooking up with any guy who showed any amount of interest in her. She thought he could have been the one. Weeks passed and she settled back into her promiscuous habits. She decided it was best to move on. That is, until she saw the status on his Facebook page. The status his dad posted, informing all of Nolan’s friends that his beloved son had succumbed to his addiction, an addiction June was not even aware of. He had overdosed.
Ever since that day she no longer found solace amongst her dirty crust punk comrades or the dark basements where her former favorite bands played their music. All she wanted to do was hide in her room and wither away. It wasn’t just Nolan’s death that brought this on, it was always there. She was always a fucked up adolescent, cutting herself and talking about suicide and rebelling against her mother whenever she could. Folk punk saved her life in a way but it also numbed her. It filled the void with temporary things like alcohol and sex and the occasional drug. And now that real life had abruptly come back to her she was lost again.