Once upon a time, I was in love with GN'R. Like, serious I-want-to-have-your-baby kind of love, except I was ten years old and not menstruating yet. I wrote the following from the POV of my 1988-tween self, a girl once brought to tears because, after requesting a Harley Davidson t-shirt for X-Mas, she was given a pink one. Who the freak wears a pink Harley Davidson t-shirt? The perils of girldom. And honestly, I didn't want to have their collective baby. I just wanted to hang out with them. Which, being a girl, meant I would have to be super-hot and dress like every day is sexy Halloween, which...well, that's a whole other blog post. We're keeping it light here, people.
Axl Rose and Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler and Slash, I'm here! Stuck in the living room with my family, as usual, but I'm thinking of you, Guns n' Roses—the best band ever in the entire history of the world. I don't believe in God or Santa Claus, I just believe in GN'R. Especially Duff McKagen, bassist, and also my boyfriend. Duff, my true love who wears a little padlock around his neck, which is where my heart lives and dies forever.
They have this spacecraft, or whatever it is—a blimp covered in leather, like if a blimp could wear Axl's leather pants, that's what it looks like—it floats just outside and above my house, and from it they watch me through an invisible telescope that connects us. And it's not just GN'R in there, but Tommy Lee and Nikki Six from Motley Crue, Sebastian Bach from Skid Row, Jani Lane from Warrant (RIP!), and from Aerosmith: Steven Tyler, who's my true father—
(fancy video, right?)
--not the father sitting next to me right now, my biological dad**, I guess you could say, his arm around me and his hand on my shoulder, posing for a picture while proving how boring he is, how much he belongs in this ugly wallpapered living room sitting on the stupid blue couch. And we take another picture because it's my birthday, and I'm 10. Not 16 or 18 or 21, not old enough to be a girl in a video and GOD, will I ever be?
My mom keeps taking pictures like she can break me down, like the camera flash is her superpower. But she can't, because I have a stronger superpower, which is the ability to NEVER SMILE. This secret power connects me to my Leather-Blimp Family, and if they catch me smiling with my biological family, they might think that I actually like these people.
The Leather-Blimp family includes Liz, of course, my best friend Liz, who I WISH was here right now. I'm stronger with her. Together we talk back to teachers and torture Gina Z.** because her favorite color is pink, and that color sucks.
(**sorry we shat on your childhood, GZ, what a couple of a-holes)
Together, on dress down day, we wear GN'R t-shirts and chain bracelets we ordered from the back of RIP Magazine. Together we kiss one teddy bear named Duff and one stuffed moose named Axl, and we kiss them again and again, even though their fur's all stiff from our saliva.
Liz: Sleepovers, WWF, Headbangers' Ball, Freddy Kreuger, Stephen King. Liz, whose left big toe looks like Richard Marx, and whose right big toe looks like Rod Stewart. Liz, who I think might have been possessing my body when stupid Jeff S. called me a devil worshipper for the fiftieth time, and I told him I would kill him in his dreams. That was good. Duff liked that one. Duff got that one—
--but my dad wouldn't. Not Steven Tyler, but my actual dad sitting next to me in his normal striped shirt with his usual Old Spice smell. And even though my parents don’t understand me, they still bought me the Appetite for Destruction tape for my birthday, which is cool. It's all I ever wanted—that, and to be a girl in a video. I want to have huge boobs and leather bras and really long hair. I want to be:
Bobbie Brown in Cherry Pie by Warrant
Brandie Brandt in Love in An Elevator by Aerosmith
Or Stephanie Seymour in both the Don't Cry and November Rain videos by Guns N' Roses
And as soon as we're done with these stupid pictures, I will be.
I'll sit on the floor on the ugly oriental rug I have to vacuum three times a week, and I'll unpeel the plastic from the cassette, and pop the tape in my walkman, and press play, and then…a screaming, a howling like a jackal but no, it's Axl Rose at the beginning of Welcome to the Jungle...
...and I'm jumping over my mom's plant stand and exploding through the picture window, and I'm being sucked up into the Leather Blimp with Liz, and we have huge boobs and leather bras and really long hair, and my mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and my stupid sister-- their mouths move but all I hear is "If you got your money honey, we've got your disease!" And my grandpa does one of his coin tricks but I don't smile because I'm smiling somewhere else, and I'm smiling there-- a lot.
And when the tape comes to an end, I'll flip it over and play it again.