Monday, May 25, 2009

I'd Like to Try and Read Your Palm - I Will Trust Your Guitar Until the End of Times

When I was in seventh grade, we were assigned our first personal essays by our English teacher. We had to choose between three topics. I chose the easy one, the "Hero" essay. Many kids in my class chose the same, but they wrote about their parents, grandparents, or any other relatives. I didn't look up to any of my relatives, so I chose to write about someone I did look up to -- Patti Smith.

I poured my heart out into that essay. I cried when I read it to myself. At that point in that cold Chicago winter, I realized that Patti Smith was everything that I needed to be. I needed to be the poetess of my time, I needed to be carefree, I needed to be strong. I felt I was none of those.

I wanted to be like her, I wanted to say whatever the hell I felt like. I wanted my voice to sound like her voice. Patti said that Edie Sedgwick was fire, I think that Patti was fire. Patti did everything with a passion that no one I know can match. I know people that work so hard to match her passion, but they know and I know that only she has the passion for everything she does. She will get on her knees during a show to scream how damn young she was, and a lot of people do that, but she is the only one that is still so beautiful that my heart stops when she does it.

In my essay, I described her magnetism towards me. When I first held her album Horses, I felt that Patti was genius. I wanted to dress like her, and I do on occasion. I thought she, "exemplified total femininity in masculinity" (To quote my old essay). I talked about Patti's personality and how it blew my mind every time. She defies every single assumption ever made about her with such grace and beauty that I can only wish I was as graceful as her.

I ended up recieving an A+ on that essay. I was on cloud nine. My teacher said, when I read it aloud, that I wrote a high school level essay. In her comments on my essay, she said that my paper was brilliant, that it was maybe the most passionate essay any of her students wrote about someone they didn't know. I felt proud of myself. I felt that I wrote in a way that gave Patti Smith every single bit of credibility and respect she deserved and then some.

One thing I didn't portray in my essay was my love for her. How I felt that she was my guardian angel. That her music was my shoulder to cry on from time to time. I still feel that grealtly about her. Patti and her music changed my life when I was in sixth grade. Patti is the one woman I know that has allowed me to be myself. My mother surpresses me, Patti allows me to be truly free. She helped my defy everything people thought of me, she inspires me everyday. She inspires me when I write, when I meet new people, when I'm upset, when I kiss my boyfriend. Patti gave me something I cherish, the abilty to ignore other people's opinions. Patti, as I all ready stated, is my guardian and I will trust her guitar guitar until the end of times.

"People say beware, but I don't care," is something Patti once said and that quotation is something I wrote down and taped to my mirror, it reminds me to not care about surpressing rules. To break all of them. I have the power to be free, and Patti Smith, my insurance, mentor, and patroness, gave me that power. And I promise you, I will never abandon that power for anything.

Patti is everything. Patti is the female Rimbaud. Patti is the kiss goodnight. Patti is the sex. Patti is the boy across the street. Patti is the girl that your mother tells you not to hang around with. Patti is the shoadow in the alleyway. Patti is the flag waving high. Patti is the sound blasting from that stereo. Patti is the friend that will never leave you.

Patti is now sixty-two, and she is still beautiful. Patti is still carefree, Patti is still brave. Patti is perfect. Patti is a goddess. Patti is my patron saint.

"I haven't FUCKED much with the PAST, but I've FUCKED PLENTY with the FUTURE,"
--Patti Smith from the song, "Babelouge" off her Easter album.

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