An Introduction for a book never written.
"There were a lot of us that didn’t make it." Jill started to name people, some I knew about and others I’d forgotten. I could add my list to hers and we’d have quite a long one. It is like a casualty list from a war, a war with our inner demons. “So and so put a bullet in his head, she is a crack whore on Colfax, he drowned his liver, she lives on the streets, his father said I could find him in a soup line at the Jesus Saves Mission on Broadway, he overdosed on heroin, she tweaked out on meth, he's back in prison, she lost her shit and lives in an institution.” Yeah, we're at war, some of the best ones are no longer with us.
Denver isn't my home anymore and hasn’t been since the mid-90's. I look at old photographs and fliers and I start to feel a sense of loss; a loss of my youth, a loss of friendships, it was a time of hope, energy, and rage. None of us knew what we were doing or where we were going. We were fuck-ups, rejects, and outsiders, people who were given a different set of instructions on how to live life. We danced to a different beat, a more primal and ferocious one. We weren't like others, we didn’t relate to their society. They pushed us away into a void until we found each other and created our own space. We established our own rules, our own values, and gave society the middle finger. Our parents, teachers, authority figures couldn’t stop or understand us. They labeled us "Punks" and we embraced it.
I think of my friends from back then, the ones with similar tales and how they escaped their certain fate. Many still live on the fringe and will never be reeled in. And there are a couple of others who are still at war with their demons. I keep them in my thoughts. "Listen, keep up the good fight, you're going to overcome."