The first time that I heard Nirvana was in Jason’s bedroom. He was a year older and lived across the street with his very religious family. Jason had skateboarding magazines hidden in his room, and that’s where he heard about grunge. Nevermind had just been released and the whole world was listening to Nirvana. Except me.

And I didn’t like it. I went home.

Late in junior high, there was a school assembly, some kind of senior citizen awareness or appreciation thing. The seniors played a song that they liked and then we played a song that – apparently – us kids listened to. I’d never heard it before. It was Lake of Fire from Nirvana Unplugged in New York.

I bought that album the next day. And then later I bought Nevermind, and In Utero, and Bleach. Then I bought Incesticide as well as a fan-made album of rarities and outtakes called Outcesticide. I listened to these albums more than I breathed.

I can’t imagine who I’d be today if only I’d stayed in Jason’s room and listened to the rest of that album. I really can’t imagine that I might have been doing something better with that time.