There’s a reason I know my heavy metal. When I was 15 I hung around mostly with a crowd of heavy metal delinquents. They listened to a lot of Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, and then moved on to Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Metallica, Venom, Slayer, and more! The leader of the group was a guy named Aeon--not Ian, like Aeons of time, he always had to say. He had a delinquent mom who let us smoke pot in the house. He was a kind of king--he could do anything he wanted. It was like he had his own house.
We started drifting apart because Aeon was slowly losing his mind. One night when I wasn’t there, he dropped acid and lost it completely. The next day I saw him he was wearing a lot of rings, bracelets, and necklaces, a striped shirt, and singing along with The Doors: a different person. Soon after, he’d be in the back of history class while we learned about the civil war and he’d make sounds of bombs dropping and exploding until the teacher kicked him out. The administration had him sent to a mental hospital, where I visited him a few times. He was surrounded by girls with eating disorders and suicidals. I actually kind of liked it there--you were allowed to be a freak. They pumped him so full of drugs--both uppers and downers--that they made him much, much worse. He was never the same again.
It was like he was trying to live up to the expectations of being a lunatic. He was acting the part, and eventually it became his personality. It does take a certain degree of lunacy to act like a lunatic all the time. He was always an extremely gifted and intelligent guy. He was a drummer, which was one of the major things we shared. I’d get calls from him through the years. He’d call me from Juvy Hall and say he got put in there for dumping a bunch of dead leaves on a female neighbor’s doorstep. He wanted me to break him out. I don’t know, Aeon, I’d say. Eventually, he started getting disability from the government and his mom kept him around to pay the rent. I haven’t heard from him in around ten years. Sometimes I look at homeless people and wonder if it’s him.
This was my best friend in high school. A year later I discovered punk rock and withdrew.
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