Loving alternative music, but feeling like an outsider:

“One day in gym class, sitting on the bleachers adjacent to the football field, the popular kids in class came to sit next to me as we waited for everyone to suit up. Among hushed whispers, one of them turned around and asked me who my favorite musicians were. I rattled off Nirvana, the Ramones, and a host of third-tier grunge bands whose names I’m now far too embarrassed to mention publicly. (I’m fairly sure I also talked about how much I wanted to move to Seattle because of grunge; how I actually ended up here was by happenstance.) My intrepid interviewer smiled and mouthed ‘I told you so’ to his friends, who reacted with a small eruption of snide giggles.

“When I listened to rock music as a kid, it often felt like I was sneaking past the guards of racial barriers and into a cool party I wasn’t invited to. But I didn’t want to feel that way. I just wanted to enjoy the music just like everybody else.”