remember when natsume cried himself to sleep because he was so happy kitamoto and nishimura care about him and he cares about them so much and he just wants to keep them safe forever,, i’m crying i love their friendship
“Listening to this makes me feel like I’m sixteen again,” I said to my buddy Adam, when I was 22. We were sitting in the living room of the punk house where he lived and I was crashing at the time, drinking Big Gulp-sized whiskey & Cokes, listening to some punk band or other. “You always say that,” he said. “I do?” “Yeah. Every time we listen to punk, you say it makes you feel like you’re sixteen again.”
When I was 16, I was fucking punk. I’d been on the way to turning out a punk for many years. I became part of the scene at age 15, and by my 16th birthday (New Year’s Eve, 1997) Jessie was a Punk Rocker. So what else was there to do in 1998 but throw myself into living like a punk? What living like a punk meant to me was living a life of adventure, living a life like I’d read about in Cometbus. It meant a life of travel and exploration, of dumpster diving and short-lived love affairs. It meant a life of the most rooftop-scaling joys and the most bone-deep lows. Now, some of that was part of being a teenager (it was so easy to feel like everything was either The Best Thing That Had Ever Happened or The End Of The World). And some of it was intrinsic to who I was (manic-depressive tendencies will do that to you). Some of it was part of the world I’d glimpsed through zines and Sassy when I was tiny and tenderhearted. (That world of art and pain and love, of boys and girls/men and women who did interesting things.) And some of it was as Beat as it was Punk, but there’s no surprise there (I got into the beats at almost exactly the same time I got into punk). Maybe saying that I threw myself into living like a punk doesn’t quite describe it. Maybe what I mean is: for so many years, I tried to keep up the outward appearance of being a good girl, and I was afraid to do certain things (at least in public: I did those things either in private or when I was far away from home). I was afraid of disappointing my parents, and afraid of the ‘cool kids’ thinking I wasn’t cool enough. But by the time 1998 hit, I’d said ‘fuck it, I’m gonna do the things I want to do anyway,’ and I openly engaged in desperate acts (the kind that made me look stupid).
The way I got into Jawbreaker was the way I got into a lot of bands - I’d first heard them a few years prior, on a mix tape from a zine pal, and I’d liked the sound but it hadn’t stuck with me. The timing had been off. At 16, I was ready for Jawbreaker. I bought 24 Hour Revenge Therapy (and Bivouac & Dear You shortly thereafter). 24 Hour Revenge Therapy was like a train (into you like a train), it bounced and chugged along, it screeched into noise but then slowed down into tiny soft moments, barely noticeable but everpresent. It was sadness and loneliness and drinking and love, and it had its depressing moments - and I had my depressed moments during that terrible, wonderful year, but Jawbreaker made me feel almost joyful in my depression. 24 Hour Revenge Therapy was like nothing I’d ever heard before and everything I’d ever wanted, and it became the soundtrack to that year, the soundtrack to the adventures and the mundane moments. I listened to the record in my room while I pasted up my fanzine or sipped from my secret stash of booze. I made a cassette copy and carried it around with me like it was the Holy Grail of Punk, and I listened to it while I rode my bike or wandered around Racine, and while I smoked cigarettes on the garage roof. I took it with me on airplane trips to see my friends back east or to explore the Pacific Northwest, took it on car rides to summer camp in Whitewater and the coffeeshops of Milwaukee and the subdivisions of suburban Illinois and the 24-hour diners of Kenosha and the wilds of Door County. It rode with me on trains and trains and trains between Kenosha and Chicago; I listened to it while I looked out the window at the lake and at the backsides of brick buildings in sleepy suburbs. I listened to it while I rode CTA buses and el trains and found my way to Belmont Ave. or to shows at Metro or the Fireside Bowl. I listened to it while I lay in bed, with the volume low so I could hear the sounds of trains and foghorns (and gunshots and sirens) that came in through my window; at those times, Blake Schwarzenbach’s raspy voice was a punk rock lullaby that sent me off to a restless sleep full of sad and beautiful dreams.
“The Boat Dreams From The Hill” was all my impossible dreams, I listened to it while I walked by Lake Michigan, that blue-grey expanse. I knew it was only Michigan on the other side but it looked to my heart like the high seas, and I thought: “I wanna be a boat, I wanna learn to swim.” And there I was, stuck on the hill - but sometimes rain brought girlish wonder. (Because of the scenery of my life when it was the soundtrack to my life, when I listen to 24 Hour Revenge Therapy now, I often see rain soaked visions of Racine, Kenosha, Waukegan, Chicago. Funny that a Bay Area band reminds me of the midwest.) “Boxcar” was the theme song, is the fucking theme song; I was fucking punk but already hated the elitism, the rules, the way people said there was one way to be punk - their way. I was passing out while you were passing out your rules, and “you don’t know what I’m all about, like killing cops and reading Kerouac.” “Ashtray Monument” is so sad, so sad, that worst part of a divorce or breakup when your whole life breaks apart, and “No one said that this life was easy. Did that no one ever live a life this hard?” (The song came back to haunt me in later years, after the breakup of my first long-term, cohabitant relationship: “Do you remember our whole life? I did the dishes while you read out loud.”) “Condition Oakland” was my life, again I picture Racine, not Oakland, when I hear it. Well, no, now I picture both, but I’m trying not to jump too far ahead in time… It was my life when I was 16, so when Blake sings “I rode down to the tracks,” I see myself riding my bike to the tracks that cut across State Street, standing there hoping for a train to go by so I could read the graffiti and imagine hopping on it (but they just stared back, trainless). When he sings “Climbed out onto my roof, so I’d be a poet in the night,” I see myself sitting on the garage roof that my bedroom closet led out onto, chain-smoking and scribbling in my journal. And then, you know, halfway through it’s beautiful noise and woven in is Jack Kerouac’s voice: “and everything is pouring in, the switching moves of boxcars in that little alley which is so much like the alleys of Lowell and I hear far off in the sense of coming night that engine calling our mountains,” and oh God, oh God. “Ache” made me ache, I felt it in my soul. I believed in desperate acts, and “I never felt like this before. I say that every hour.” That was being a teenager, that sense that every intense thing I felt was completely new to me, to the world. “Do You Still Hate Me?” was the way I felt about everyone, all my desperate crushes and loves (that I usually assumed hated me, or at least didn’t like me as much as I liked them). I wrote them letters that I never sent, letters that said: “Hey, I remember that day. And I miss you.” “Jinx Removing,” was and is one of my all-time favorite songs. It’s a happysad tune that made me jump up and down, because I was too old not to get excited about rain and roads, Egyptian ruins, our first kiss. And “In Sadding Around” - that was another one that came back to haunt me. By the time I was 21, five years after I’d first heard it, sleeping off those last five years took another five.
If I ever see Adam again, I’ll let him read this piece. This is what I meant all those times when I said “this makes me feel like I’m 16 again.” Certain punk albums - the best ones - whether they’re new to me or old favorites I’ve rediscovered, remind me of how I felt back then. They remind me of having 24 Hour Revenge Therapy in my Walkman while I rode my bike, and how, though my heart broke every day, when I heard those drumbeats, bass lines, and guitar chords, when I heard Blake sing: “Boat on a hill, never going to sea,” and I rode my bike down the hill, toward the lake, it felt like maybe I could turn into a boat and float forever.
[originally appeared in Reckless Chants #22; I’m sharing it in honor of the announcement that Jawbreaker will be reuniting to play Riot Fest this year]
Got back from my Canadian Rockies road trip late Wednesday. It was amazing,
draining, at times scary, and definitely epic. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are some
short memorable moments:
On the last day of the trip, I awoke in Montana,
had lunch in Idaho, drank a pint at No Li brewpub in Eastern Washington, and
returned home to Seattle WA. (560+ miles)
After spending hours riding in cold hard rain in
Alberta, I couldn’t feel my hands or feet anymore. As I pushed on through the pass
to Jasper the temperatures plummeted and the hard rain turned into a snowstorm. My heart raced as I tried to keep the
bike rubber side down.
I came around a blind corner at about 60 mph to
see a family of big horn sheep crossing the road.
After each long day of riding, I sampled a pint of
the local brews in BC, Alberta, and Montana.
no matter how stressed and tired and sad i am, when im on my bike its like i can leave behind my worries for at least a while. its rly rare for me to come back from a bike ride without feeling relaxed and refreshed and hopeful
I forget that magical feeling every winter, but eventually the spring returns and i can go cycling again and be reminded of why its one of my favourite sports ever and one of the best things in the world
I was eight-years old and living in Dunbar, West Virginia. My family moved to this state from New York when I was only a few years old. My mother never trusted the neighborhood, and hated that my father had been relocated. Our apartment complex was tucked into a valley passed a trailer park. The narrow road led through the trailers and opened on up the left side into a newer apartment community. The road continued further, but my mother never let me go that way.
I was allowed to ride my bike around the parking lot—which was a good size—and that is how I spent most of my time outside. There were other kids a bit older than me, but I wasn’t allowed to play with them. They came from the trailer park near the main road and my mother forbade me to hang out there.
When I turned ten, a family moved into an apartment across from ours. They had a boy that looked to be my age, so naturally I was excited. He was a short kid, light brown hair and bright green eyes. I remember him looking at me that first day. I was drawn to him. He had a certain aura about him that was impossible to resist.
Clubhouse had exploded and now Chapel was in this old ice cream shop
downtown. Tig was okay with that place until he saw a familiar car
parked across the street. There were a hundred cars like that, but he would recognize that particular one anywhere. It still had
a scratch right above the tire on the driver’s side. He had made that three
“Tig”, he heard Chibs calling behind him and then his brother’s hand
resting on his shoulder, “Brother we… What is wrong?”
“There”, Tig mumbled and Chibs followed his gaze. The Scotsman knew
whose car what that and he couldn’t believe it either.
“Is she back?”, Chibs asked and Tig shrugged, opening the shop’s door, “No,
Tig was already crossing the street, looking around. He couldn’t see
her, but she was close. Her favorite coffee shop was on that street, so he marched
She probably didn’t want to see him, but she wouldn’t be in Charming if
she didn’t have a good reason. He knew it wasn’t him, he had disappointed
her and made her leave town. However, he had changed and wouldn’t
make the same mistake again. Tig couldn’t help the hope on his heart,
making it beats faster, moving his feet towards her.
“Let’s go brother”, Chibs was panting behind him, following Tig through the
block, “It can be someone else”
“It’s not. It’s her”, Tig mumbled, stopping in front of the coffee shop. There
she was, taking her favorite coffee on the counter. One spoon of sugar and
cream, a blueberry muffin. He still remembered it.
Tig looked at her, at all her beauty. Her hair was the same, the
boots were the same and her smile still made his pulse goes faster, his mind
went blank and his mouth get dry. He ignored Chibs and the fact he was looking
creepy standing outside, in front of the window. He waited just one more minute
before she notice him.
He saw the exact moment her eyes widened and a little sparkle on them. He also saw her smile fading and her look change to a hard one, a
sad one. Tig took a step back when she started to walk towards the door,
waiting. She stepped outside and her scent made him swallow, it was still irresistible.
“Hello Chibs”, she said without look away from him.
“Hi lass”, his brother replied, clearing his throat, “I-I’ll be right on…Across the street…If you need me”
She waited until Chibs walk away to talk, “What are you doing here
“I guess I’m not Alex anymore”, Tig chuckled, but without any humor. She
didn’t even blink and he sighed, “I could ask you the same doll”
“I’m here to help my mother to move out”, her face showed no emotions, but Tig
could tell she wasn’t immune to him. He could see her thumb playing with the
invisible ring on her finger, the same one where his ring used to be.
“New house?”, he raised an eyebrow. He had to ask, maybe she was moving
If I played in a
rock n roll band
And I didn’t disappoint you again
Would you take back this
Low down rambling’ man
Cos we were so young and proud
The first time that I let you down
The look upon your face is
All that I see now
I clenched my jaw hard as soon as I saw the ‘Welcome to Charming’ sign.
I didn’t want to be back in that town, but I had too. My mother had lived well alone in the past three years, traveling to visit me, but now she was
sick, she needed me. I was back in Charming to help her move out, that house wasn’t
suitable to her needs anymore.
I left her at the hospital for exams and drove to my favorite coffee shop in Charming. I
couldn’t be back and not taste that coffee. As soon as I entered on the street
I noticed the bikes parked and my heart started to beat faster. They were
close. He was close.
“Don’t be stupid Y/N”, I told myself, “You go there, get that coffee and
get the hell out here. They won’t see you; they won’t know you are in town”
I was breathing deeply when I parked, trying to calm down. I shouldn’t
have come back, I wouldn’t escape them for too long. Gemma probably already
knew I was in Charming.
I entered the shop and ordered. I got my coffee and talked a little bit
with the barista, a guy used to know. Everything was fine until I overheard
someone asking who was the creepy guy outside. I turned around, still smiling,
just to freeze on my place when I noticed Alex standing there, looking at me.
I wondered how he had find me, but I knew the answer. He had seen the
car, the same car from three years ago, and the same one he kicked on the night
I left him. He had left a scratch right above the tire on the driver’s
I didn’t want to see him, I wasn’t there for him. Alex had made
me leave town when he pushed me away. He lived for his club, his loyalty towards
Clay taking the best of him sometimes. I could understand and accept the life,
the club, but I couldn’t stand that blind trust he had on Clay. He couldn’t see
the poison running through the club’s veins, stronger day by day. He thought I
was being a bitch, we fight several times before I give up and leave him for
I had heard the news, my mother still knew what was going on around town
and Gemma had visited her once. She told everything had changed around the club
and that even Alex wasn’t the same. She could say anything she wanted, give me
a thousand reasons for another try, but I couldn’t take the risk.
I saw his blue eyes sparkling when I stepped outside the cafe. He
swallowed and I held his gaze, greeting Chibs who was behind him. The Scotsman
walked away and we stood there, staring at each other. It seemed time hadn’t
passed, but it had and I had changed, I couldn’t make the same
“What are you doing here Alexander?”, my voice showed no emotion, but I
found myself playing with an invisible ring; my thumb rubbing the finger where
Alex’s ring used to be. It didn’t use it anymore, though I still had the
beautiful engagement ring in a little box on my nightstand.
“I guess I’m not Alex anymore”, he chuckled, but I could hear the pain on
his voice, “I could ask you the same doll”
He used to call me doll or baby girl all the time. I breathed deeply, keeping the
emotions away from my face, “I’m here to help my mother to move out”.
“New house?”, he raised an eyebrow, trying to look like a friend asking
a casual question. He didn’t fool me, I could see the hope, that little sparkle
on his eyes. He would hate me, I would hate myself, but I had to do it.
“No. New town”, I answered, “She is moving in with me. We are leaving
I saw his shoulders fall, his lips part and his eyes get cold. It lasted
a second, but I saw his disappointment before he puff his chest, clench his jaw
and raise his head. He wouldn’t let me see his pain, but I could do it anyway,
I always could.
“Good. Good for you”, he said and took a step back. He stared at me and
I thought he would say something, but Alex just gave me a sad smile and turned
his back on me. I watched as he walked away, that confidence he had
telling the world nothing could break him. I knew the truth. He was breaking
inside as much as I was.
And I could list a thousand things
That’s make me take you back again
But I don’t really need you half as much
As I did then
Cos we were so young and proud
The first time that you let me down
The look upon your face is
All that I see now
He had heard Jax talking at Church and voted, but he wasn’t really
there. Tig ignored his brothers at the end of the meeting and rushed
downstairs. He could go to Diosa or find a crow eater somewhere, but he hopped
onto the van and drove to a well known street.
Tig was feeling a fool. He had hope that she was back for good
and believed he could change things. She wasn’t. Y/N was back just for a few
days, just to get her mother on her car and drove away again. He didn’t even
know where she was living, she had made sure to cover her tracks and her mother
wasn’t talking with anyone.
He didn’t know what he was doing there, but Tig parked on the opposite
corner to her house, between two calm streets in Charming, both dark at that hour. The lights were out on the house and he sat on the van, just watching. He
didn’t want her to hear his bike and call the police. It was a stupid thought,
but she probably would do it. Her cold eyes that afternoon had told him she
still hadn’t forgive him.
She would leave Charming again and take her mother with her, that meant
nothing or nobody to make her come back again. His chest was hurting, it was
hard to breath and he was angry, but Tig swallowed all that feelings and stood
there, the bitter taste of defeat on his tongue.
I waited out on your street
Between Maple and 83
It wasn’t really anything but
My mother was sleeping, resting for our trip on the next day. I should
be doing the same, but I couldn’t sleep. I sat on my bed, hugging my legs and
resting my chin on my knees. I could see moonlight through the blinds, but
what I really wanted to see where headlights. His bike headlight and the roar
of the engine telling me he was there.
Tig wasn’t a man who would give up so easily and I realized I had been
secretly hoping for him to come. I dug my nails on my palms to keep me from
crying, I couldn’t cry, I shouldn’t. Time was passing and no sign of him. He
had give up and I was being a fool. Charming wasn’t my home anymore.
Waited there all night long
Digging my nails into my palms
Waited for a light to come on
Waited for your light to guide me home
He watched her house for a while, smoking and thinking.
She had walked away and had made her point when she left
him. Things had changed, but weren’t any easier. She had walked away before and
would do it again. There was no point in stare at her house or walk to the door
and ask her to stay.
“Grow a pair Tig”, he mumbled to himself, “You probably would let her
down again and she would run, just like she did before. Stop torturing yourself”
Tig threw his cigarette out the window and slowly drove the van away.
She would be gone in the morning and life would go on, just like it had been for the past three years.
I am a big boy now
Don’t have to be hanging’ around
I probably would have let you down again
I didn’t sleep and my mother could notice it, but she said nothing, just
put a large cup of coffee in front of me. We had breakfast in silence and I
put our bags on the trunk. She closed the house while I took the car out the
garage. I couldn’t help but look at the street, hoping to see a bike parked
“Stop it Y/N”, I mumbled to myself, “It’s for the best. He would probably
let you down again, men like him doesn’t change, no matter what Gemma says.
Stop torturing yourself”
I helped my mother to get in the car and looked at the house one last time. We would be out of Charming in a couple minutes and
life would go on, just like it had been for the past three years.
And I am a big girl now
And I don’t want you hanging around
You probably would have let me down again
You have asthma but decide to keep it a secret. When you volunteer to go on a run with Daryl you’re more than thrilled. But as you get attacked by a horde of walkers, you get an asthma attack and there’s no way hiding it from Daryl any longer.
word count: 2433
approximated reading time: 12 minutes
It was a sunny day at the prison. The prison. I still had to get used to thinking of this place as my new home. It had been a month since my home, Woodbury, had been destroyed and I was taken in by Rick Grimes’ group. They had been very kind to all of us ever since and even though this was a former prison, a place where criminals had spent their days, it was easy to think of this place as a home, not least because of the people living here now. I walked across the soft green grass when I noticed a bunch of people standing in the courtyard. My curiosity brought me up to them until I came to stand behind a woman I knew from Woodbury. “What’s going on?”, I whispered lifting myself to my tiptoes in an attempt to get a glimpse of what was happening. “Rick’s giving a speech”, she shushed me and shifted her attention back to Rick. I didn’t try to ask any further questions, she wouldn’t answer them anyway. Instead I tried to make my way through the crowd. I couldn’t hear nor see anything from where I was standing, but again my curiosity got the best of me. I wormed my way through the crowd, shoved myself past legs, torsos, and arms that were thrown up into the air as Rick held a passionate speech I could finally understand. A speech about how he was glad everyone had joined the group and how he hoped for a nice and fruitful cooperation where everyone did their bit. There was a feeling of common assent amongst the crowd and some even yelled out their approval promising at the top of their lungs to be a valuable member to the group. I did not do that, but I was more than willing to do my bit, in fact I really wanted to go out on a run… with Daryl. There was something with his wild look and judgmental glances that really made me want to look behind the facade and I knew that going on a run together was the best way to get closer to him. Even though I knew it wasn’t the best idea regarding my condition. My asthma had always been easy to live with, fortunately, but great physical effort was still pretty likely to trigger an attack. However, when my chance arrived I did not hesitate for one second. Asthma or not, I was going to take it.
I didn’t know he was married when I met him. I saw myself falling for that accent, charming scars and smile, not caring about anybody else. Nobody told me Filip was married and the day I found out…Well, it wasn’t pretty…
I had spent another night at the clubhouse, in Filip’s bedroom. Two nights actually, but I wasn’t feeling guilty at all. We had been dating for a while now and let me tell you, that man was worth it.
My shirt was stinking. Someone had spilled beer on it last night and that was how I ended up in this bedroom right in the beginning of the party. Filip probably had a clean old shirt somewhere, so I opened a drawer, looking for one. I found an old Reaper shirt and put it on. I was ready to leave, but then my eyes caught Filip’s bandana falling from the first drawer, which had a mix of things.
“Oh you, Scottie”, I laughed and opened it to put the bandana on its place. I had seen some things Filip kept in there, things from his home, but I always liked to admire those items. He had rings and necklaces and a few postcards from his nephew. I picked up several of those, to look at the beautiful Ireland landscapes when I saw the papers. I saw her name first and that made me picked up the paper. I read it and froze.
I found a tape and put the paper right in his mirror. I thought about wreck his bedroom, but it wouldn’t do any good, I knew it. I gathered all my stuff, everything I ever had left in his bedroom. I looked at the clock. He should be already working at that time, but soon would wonder why I was sleeping yet, coming to look for me. I didn’t want to see him at all, but at the same time I wanted to confront him.
I decided to just go home, I was about to cry and I wouldn’t do it in front of him. Never. I put my sunglasses on and marched out of his bedroom.
“Morning”, Chuck said to me and I ignored him. California sun was already high in the sky when I walked outside. In a normal day I would walk to the garage with a cup of coffee for Filip, but not that day. I got in my car and left the parking lot.
Chibs admired his beautiful Y/N that morning, deciding to let her sleep a little longer while he would start another day at work. She looked so calm and beautiful, he wished to spend all day long with her in bed, forget about the world outside. They had been together for a while now, but he already needed her so much it hurt.
Sun was already high in the sky and she was still inside. Chibs cleaned his hands on a cloth and walked to the garage doors, intending to go wake her up. Tig was smoking outside and called him.
“Your lady is already up”, his brother said and Chibs smiled, seeing Y/N closing the clubhouse door behind her. She didn’t had the usual cup of coffee in her hands though. She had her bag on her arms, the one that was supposed to stay in his bedroom with her things. She marched towards her car without look up and hopped inside.
“What the hell?”, he swore, walking to meet her. However, before he could make it to even half of the way she was leaving the parking lot. She was running, he could tell, but from what?
I didn’t know how I got at home, I just parked my car and entered the house, immediately sliding against the door, sitting on the floor. How could I let this happen? How did I get involved with a married man? I never had been his one and only, his first choice. I was only a substitute to his wife. Where was she? How did I never get to meet her? I felt like I was going to break in a million pieces or lose my mind. I rushed to the bathroom to throw up and stood there, laying on the cold floor.
She said “I don’t know if I’ve ever been good enough I’m a little bit rusty, and I think my head is caving in And I don’t know if I’ve ever been really loved By a hand that’s touched me, and I feel like something’s gonna give And I’m a little bit angry”
Y/N wasn’t answering her phone.
“Maybe she was late for work”, Juice suggested while Chibs paced inside the garage.
“She has the day off”, Chibs groaned, trying her number once more. He let it ring for a while before shove the phone on his pocket. “I’m going after her”
Before someone could stop him, Chibs hopped onto his bike and drove to Y/N’s house. She wouldn’t leave the clubhouse like that, something was bothering her. He sighed, relieved in find her car at the driveway. Chibs didn’t mind to knock, he found the spare key under a vase and walked inside. Her bag was on the floor, like it had been thrown there.
“Y/N!”, he called out, one hand over his gun.
“Oh Christ!”, she cursed from somewhere in the house and soon came downstairs. She had been crying, Chibs rushed to her.
“Love, what happened?”, he tried to touch her, but Y/N took a step back.
“Don’t you dare touch me Chibs”, she never had raised her voice before, or called him Chibs, “Get out of my house!”
“Not until you tell me what is happening”, Chibs clenched his jaw, angry. Everything was fine last night. They had fun with their friends, laugh and danced, they made love and he slept with her in his arms. He couldn’t imagine what might had happened for her to be so angry.
“We are done”, she crossed her arms and glared at him. Chibs felt like someone had punched him. He narrowed his eyes, not believing in her words.
“No, we are not”, he shook his head, taking a step forward, “I won’t let you go that easily love. You owe me an explanation. Why?”
Well, this ain’t over No not here, not while I still need you around You don’t owe me, we might change Yeah we just might feel good
“You are married”, I blurted. I could have sent him away without a word, but my blood was boiling, I wasn’t thinking. I need an explanation, something.
“How…?”, he blinked a few times, surprised.
“Unbelievable!”, I threw my hands in the air, “Why you didn’t told me? Why did you let me believe I was the only one? How long did you intend to keep going with this? Until you get tired of my pussy, find a new one?”
“It’s not like this lass!”, Filip clenches his fists and he took another step towards me. I didn’t move, thought I wanted to actually run, “You need to listen to me. There is more to tell you, things that will help you to understand, truth…”
She said “I don’t know why you ever would lie to me Like I’m a little untrusting when I think that the truth is gonna hurt ya And I don’t know why you couldn’t just stay with me You couldn’t stand to be near me when my face don’t seem to want to shine ‘Cause it’s a little bit dirty”
“Truth?”, I walked towards him and used all the strength I had to shove Filip, “Don’t you dare talk about truth”
“Love…”, he tried to speak. I couldn’t stand him in my house for another minute, I didn’t want to listen his explanations.
“Don’t call me love!”, I walked backwards, running my hands through my hair. Damn, I was so angry, but at the same time I was so frustrated I wanted to kiss him!, “Don’t waste your time asking for forgiveness or declaring your love”, I scoffed, “You lied to me. I won’t be with a damn married man. Goodbye Filip”
I clenched my jaw until it hurts, I wouldn’t cry in front of him.
Well, don’t just stand there Say nice things to me 'Cause I’ve been cheated, I’ve been wronged And you, you don’t know me I can’t change, I won’t do anything at all
“You need time alone to calm down lass”, Filip walked backwards to the door. He was fighting against the tears too, I could see. He wasn’t all cold, all bad biker, “I’ll be back later”
“Don’t bother”, I barked.
“I will”, he glared at me. I knew he wouldn’t give up, no matter how hard I pushed him away, “We will talk and I’ll make you understand lass. Don’t make up your mind just yet”
I wanna push you around Well I will, well I will I wanna push you down Well I will, well I will I wanna take you for granted I wanna take you for granted Yeah, well I will
Oh, but don’t bowl me over Just wait a minute, well I kinda fell apart Things get so crazy, crazy Don’t rush this baby Don’t rush this baby, baby, baby
Filip closed the door behind him and I walked to the window. I watched him leave in his bike and felt my heart breaking even more. He would be back, I knew it. There was nothing to explain, he hadn’t denied it, he was married. Well Filip, you don’t owe me any explanations, I think I got it. Charming has nothing left for me.
I met Rob Liefeld for the first time the same week Sweets #1 came out. It was also the same week of the San Diego Comic-Con and that’s why we were both there. I had a table in the Image Comics section (I miss those days), and Rob Liefeld was directly to my right at the corner table.
Back in the day, I bought X-Force and Youngblood comics, and those that know me well know that I have a very special spot in my heart for the Bloodwulf gun-bike. That stuff is outrageous and a shitload of fun.
Truth be told, the final Marvel books all the Image Creators ( X-Force, X-Men, Spider-Man, Wolverine) are what got me into comics in the first place. New issue number ones, clean entry points, fun art, lots of energy, that era of comics seemed eager to welcome in new readers and I was one of them. That stuff was my entry point. When they made the jump, I followed those creators to Image, and I got in even deeper from there with the second wave at Image and right into Dark Horse, Vertigo, etc. I never looked back.
Still, until that SDCC, I don’t recall ever actually meeting Rob at any convention I’ve ever done, and I didn’t know much about him except for the Levi’s commercial and the Stan Lee video series “Comic Book Greats,” I owned four of the set and Rob was on two of those.
As I normally do for big conventions, I got there a little early to set up. Rob got there around the same time and dropped off a few boxes, then started chatting with old friends. At some point, he started making the rounds to introduce himself to many of the Image creators he hadn’t met, including me. He flipped through some of my original art pages, said a few nice things, I gave him a copy of Sweets, thanked him for helping start Image Comics, and he moved on. As comic book conversations go, it was pretty light, but the guy already had a line wrapped around the corner.
For those that don’t know, SDCC is the best and the worst of all the comic book conventions. Because of the size and the attention, it’s great in so many ways, but there’s also a big downside of the size. The constant meetings, signings, panels, and a massive crowd that makes all of those things difficult to get to, and even harder to get back from. Table time is precious and scarce. Still, I’d say Rob put in a solid amount of time at his table, not an easy task for anyone.
As expected, Rob always had a huge line and spent most of his time signing books. He did reach into his bag and hand off the occasional commission or crank out a quick Deadpool sketch for a kid, but it was mostly signing books and talking comics. And Rob is very good at talking comics. His favorite runs, his favorite creators, the works. My first impression was that Rob Liefeld was a nice guy that loves comics.
Then it happened. Then it happened again. Four or five times during that convention, I heard ‘fans’ pass his table and insult him. Not constructive criticism or playful jokes, but bile-filled insult directed at the man and his work. Out loud. For everyone to hear.
Everyone has opinions on everything, and there’s a TON of comics out there I don’t enjoy, or that I consider downright horrible. But to actually scream an insult to a creator at a convention? I’ve never seen that happen to any creator at any convention, before or since. It was shocking. The fact that it happened multiple times is even more shocking.
To his credit, I never saw or heard Rob react to any of it, he never got noticeably angry or yelled anything to anyone. I was there, inches away. Not one thing. No one would have blamed him if he had gone off on one of those idiots, but he never did. Rob just kept his focus on the people there to meet him and was genuinely happy to meet the fans that support his work. Rob’s work helped get me into comics, I published my first fully creator-owned book at Image Comics, a company he helped start.