It’s Edge Day, 2011. I’ve claimed Straight Edge for longer than I actually understood what it meant.
I’ve always had labels placed on me. Weirdo. Black. Annoying. Disappointment. These are all things that people attached to me for years as a child.. These labels defined who people thought I was. I couldn’t define myself. I never fit into any group. I remember when I was in fifth grade. We were throwing a ball around. My best friend at the time told each of us to use a special skill. One of the kids was a bowler so he should throw it like a bowling ball. Another kid played football so he should throw it like a football player. The best he had for me was to throw a ball like a guy from Dragon Ball Z. This little conversation sits with me today. How do I define myself?
I was always called strange, weird, bizarre and other of those kinds of adjectives. I never could figure out why. I would just do what came naturally to me. Why was that weird?
I still couldn’t define myself as I got older. I was a son and a brother. I played video games. I liked reading books. I liked to annoy people. But there is more to a person than that. I can’t remember the first time I heard the words, Straight Edge. Something prompted me when I was in middle school to look up Straight Edge.
And I found this promo by CM Punk.
I didn’t know who CM Punk was at this time, but this promo made me want to know more about straight edge. I wanted to be real. I wanted to be straight edge. It led me to Minor Threat.
Minor Threat’s Complete Discography was only one of three CDs I listened to. (The others being, Will Smith’s Willenium and 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying) I couldn’t understand the words. I looked up the lyrics once and forgot them. I liked the sound of it. I never looked for any more stuff like them. I didn’t know where to start.
I remember reading the words online. Straigh Edge is a lifestyle for those who don’t do drugs or drink alcohol. I was a D.A.R.E. graduate. I was taught how drugs and alcohol were bad. I hated cigarettes and longtime despised alcohol. I remember refusing standing next to a girl at the bus stop who smoked. I found it disgusting.
It was easy for me to say, “Yeah that’s me. I’m straight edge.” back then. For once I labeled myself. It wasn’t something I could take pride in yet. My friends didn’t do drugs yet. I spent most of my time away that sort of scene. I didn’t have any reason to yet to declare to others how I defined myself yet.
It was a label I kept in my back pocket for years. What an explosive label it was. It simmered for years until high school when an incident really just turned me into the man I am today.
There’s a lot to this label of Straight Edge. You say those words and sometimes it’s like stepping on the tail of the rattlesnake. People get so whiny when you suggest drugs are lame.
It’s brought me a lot of good times and fun. Happy Edge day to you and to all a good sober time!