“What makes most people feel happy… leads us headlong into harm.” –Morrissey
Sixteen years on, and I still remember the chill of an April morning home from school. That false alarm in March had been one thing, but this was downright chilling. Kurt Cobain was dead. I scanned the channels, and the radio, for more answers. Nirvana songs came out, here and there, and the same stories: “Found dead at home,” “Apparent suicide,” “Twenty-seven years old.” I honestly didn’t understand. I had no idea how troubled he really was, and I couldn’t imagine him just disappearing. I’ve never forgotten that sudden feeling of sinking, and the profound wish to just wake up.
It’s sad, now, in the way that so many untimely deaths are sad. In the past few years, I’ve thought about it from time to time, and I suppose there isn’t a lot more to say than what I’ve already said. The date reminds me of what was, and what could have been, and it always brings me back to an afternoon at Summer camp when I was given my first mixtape with Nirvana on it. And, of course, that sound. That roaring, raw, monstrous sound. Moments like that are far too rare.
Here, see for yourself:
This remains, in my opinion, the most touching response to Kurt’s death.