“I hate hockey, but can we still be friends? As you can tell, I am a fifteen-year-old boy, and this is true. I lie on my bed and listen to my mom’s old albums. I am listening to Whale Music, and I feel like you know me even though it was recorded before I was born.
Dear Dave Bidini, Did you think the world would have changed by now? When you were growing up, did they have trans?
Dear Dave Bidini, I lied about being a boy. This part is part is true.
Dear Dave Bidini, I asked Sol if he wanted to come over to my place after school tomorrow. He said yes.
Dear Dave Bidini, Sol will be here in a few hours.
Dear Dave Bidini, I just shaved my head.”
I must admit the first line of this story cracked me up when it popped up in the stream of mental chit chat I live with while I was doing stuff in my kitchen one day. See, I love The Rheostatics, and the death of Joe Strummer in 2002 made me resolve to never again miss the chance to tell an artist that their work means something to me, that I value it.
So I wanted to tell the Rheos. But Dave and the hockey thing — that kind of seemed to be in the way. Of course the only way to proceed was to ask myself, “What kind of character would say to Dave that they hate hockey? As an opening gambit?” Surely only a teenager suffering Teenager Brain. The frontal lobe doesn’t develop until the end of the second decade. Forgive your former teenage self. Go easy on teenagers you may find in your life.
This is also a story about a girl having a Positive First-time Sexual Experience — and that resulted in a surprising number of enthusiastic responses. Readers were happy about reading it!
This story, like some of my other stories, is about young adults, without necessarily being for the Young Adult Reader. I wrote it as a former teenager, for former teenagers. Maybe for you?
Also, see if you can say davebidini twenty times fast without laughing aloud. It’s just the scansion.
Dear Dave Bidini won the 2009 Great Canadian Literary Hunt THIS Magazine.