It was in the “heartland”– the middle of the country, yet everyone had twangy Southern accents.The town didn’t have much money or restaurants or people. Churches in pole-barns, churches whose congregations were made up of only one family, churches in the hills with members who spoke in tongues and churches with stained glass that told you to vote for George Bush. I lived with my parents after the economy tanked the year I graduated from college.
In high school, the bulk of the popular kids were religious.
They rallied to get the Ten Commandments posted in our school, they went on Southern Baptist retreats and wore bedazzled W(hat) W(ould) J(esus) D(o) T-shirts. In any highly religious town, there has to be a flipside.
During lunch I smoked cigarettes in the bathroom, wearing eyeliner and flared Mudd jeans—good girls wore Gap. I still would have probably said I was Christian, but now I was definitely not going to be caught getting baptized.
In exploring my teenage angst, I fell into the local punk rock scene. These kids played shows in church basements, covering MXPX and Slick Shoes.
Afterward, they listened to The Dead Milkmen and NOFX and smashed mailboxes.