I attended eleven different schools by the time I graduated from high school.
Contrary to what you might think, I didn’t get repeatedly expelled.
My parents just moved around a lot. And when they got divorced I lived one year with Mom, one year with Dad, and they were always in a new place.
So I was always in a new school.
By ninth grade, I’d had enough. I put my foot down, demanding that one of my parents stay in one place for my last 4 years of schooling, and my Mom agreed.
This meant I could do something that had been hard to do when you’re always the new kid.
And one of my first friends was Daniel. We bonded over music. We could tell what each other listened to because we both drew amazingly accurate band logos on our brown paper bag school book covers.
Van Halen, Styx, Aerosmith, and Rush were on heavy rotation.
We used to roam the streets listening to our Walkmans, trading cassettes and turning each other onto new bands.
He started to drift towards indie rock – The Smiths were a fave. I started to drift toward rap, bought a boombox, and became a breakdancer. But we kept our friendship and we kept trying to convince each other our own musical taste was better.
One of our favourite spots to hang out was on top of this weird, modern art sculpture on a nearby college campus. We used to climb up and lay down on our backs, rocking out, dreaming of bigger lives beyond our small town.
It became an after school routine to meet up there with a new tape or two to share.
And then one day Daniel didn’t show.
And the next day at school I learned about suicide.
Before that day, it never occurred to me that staying here on Earth was a choice. And it never occurred to me that Daniel was about to make a different one.
The sculpture is gone now. Taken down to make room for a new building. But I can still see it in my mind. And Daniel is there too.
So that’s the story.
The song is The Boy with a Thorn in His Side by The Smiths.
Why am I sharing this?
We created Song Saga to help people form deeper connections by sharing the songs and stories of their lives. And to spark memories of the music and moments that matter to us most.
Recently we had a major retailer tell us they didn’t want to stock the game because of the suicide card. They felt it might be triggering for some people and they didn’t want to risk it.
I can see their point, and I’m wondering how you feel.
Should we keep this card? Or remove it in the next edition?
I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments.