It is the weekend following the release of a new issue of my magazine and I’m celebrating at my usual haunt, the Mabuhay Gardens, the town’s leading punk venue. By the time I arrive, I’ve already had a bit to drink and a snort or two of speed and I’m definitely, in the words of my dear old dad, not feeling any pain. As I move happily through the crowd, a teen-aged boy comes up to me and taps me on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” he says, “but are you the editor of Damage?” “Yep, that’s me,“ I reply, rather obviously scoping him out and thinking how good looking he is. “Well,” he says, “I just want to tell you that you changed my life.”
“I did what?” I respond, my voice rising in incredulity. “You changed my life. That editorial you wrote in the new issue completely changed everything for me.” As I stand there open-mouthed, he goes on to explain that my words had motivated him to finally declare his independence to his parents. “I told them to just fuck-off and let me be myself. I told them everything that you said.” “And, uh, what did they say back?” I ask. He smiles wryly, “Oh they threw me out and told me to go live on the streets.”

What I didn’t and couldn’t say to him was that I had written these “life-altering” words in a five-minute flurry of methadrine-fueled frenzy, just moments before the magazine was due to leave for the printers. I’d read them back for the first time only a day before and considered them among the worst, most pretentious and false writing I’d ever done.

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