Ten Minutes: Cool Kid

When I was a kid, there was another kid who tried to teach everyone how to be cool. Not on purpose, because he was impossibly gangly and awkward, but because he insisted on doing everything his own way. When everyone was listening to pop, he made us listen to punk. We even had to play in his band where he would claim ownership of solos that were clearly stolen. Everything he did was poetically unapologetic – a product of an incomparable mindset. I once saw him grab a candy bar out of someone’s hand, eat it, and spit it back at them. He kicked someone else in the chest <i>through</i> an acoustic guitar.  It was, in the best way, appalling and unforgettable. At one point, he was living on top of a bank that he was also cashing fake checks at. Nobody wanted to be anything like him, but his aura was fascinating. On the rare occasion he handed out a compliment, it felt genuine and sincere in such a surreal way that made it mean so much more. It taught me that not all the characters in your life need to have good character. 

He was the coolest kid ever and I don’t know whether to be happy or sad knowing that I’ll never meet somebody like him again.