I was in US History class when one of the students returned from the A/V room. â€œHey, you guys. Some guy on the news is saying Kurt Cobain killed himself.â€ Mr. Chambers, our jolly and loveable teacher, commented, â€œWho?â€ A few kids spoke up to fill him in as randomly as possible, being as the middle-aged instructor knew about as much about popular music as we knew about the music of his generation. Out of nowhere, a girl from the back of the class â€“ Heather, a girl who to my recollection had never spoken out loud in any class anywhere â€“ simply said, â€œHe was my hero.â€ And with that, silence fell over the class for a moment before the regular daily lesson continued and all was forgotten.
A few months later, when my little sister and her little friends suddenly discovered that they’ve always worshipped Nirvana, I couldn’t help but remember Heather and look down on my sibling in disgust. For some people, Kurt Cobain was all they held near to them in days of teenage angst. For the rest, it was a t-shirt.