We Passed Upon The Stair

Everyone and their brother is talking about the fact that 10 years ago today, Kurt Cobain killed himself. You can check out Wil Wheaton’s take on it or numerous other writers over at Black Table.

I do remember exactly what I was doing when I first heard that Kurt was dead. I was in college trying to sleep after a late night party. It’s almost funny that I made my post yesterday about how much I didn’t like Daylight Saving Time. How difficult it was to cope with that missing hour.

April 5, 1994 I was trying really hard to cope with that missing hour, even if it was a few days before, and was losing badly. Back then I was the master of the snooze alarm. I could manage to hit snooze for 7 minute snatches of sleep for two hours straight. I don’t know how my roommate put up with me.

In those brief glimpses of semi-lucidity in between the blissful dark, I dreamed that Kurt was dead. When I finally decided to give up the charade and enter waking life, I continued to have the strangest feeling that Kurt was gone. I told myself it was just a dream and ignored it.

Of course the first conversation I had with someone started out with “Did you hear…” and I realized that I had actually heard from my clock radio that he had taken his own life. It was a surreal moment–bordering on deja vu. Even if it was only caused by lack of sleep.

I didn’t think much about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana at that time. I had burned out on them after the “Nevermind” deluge, and I steadfastly pretended they didn’t exist. But something about his death, the near-dream-state during which I found out about it, gnawed at me.

I was about six months later that the “Unplugged” album was released. The first time I heard his acoustic version of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World”, I knew I had to buy that CD. An idea had been gestating in the back of my mind for months, and it hit me when I sat down and listened to the entire album. Nirvana was a great band. I had not allowed myself to pay attention to them because of all the hype that surrounded them, and so I missed out while he was still with us.