Today is the 15th anniversary of something pretty crazy happening, something that would go on to provide creative inspiration for songs, poems, articles, essays and even an entire multimedia mini-empire. But it’s kind of a hard thing to talk about, to relate, because 1) It’s been 15 years and honestly, the details are mostly fuzzy at this point and 2) If you don’t find the youthful whimsy of a 17-year-old Pj amusing, you may think I am at least borderline psychotic. So I’ve been wrangling over whether or not to tell (actually, re-tell, but its unlikely anyone out there has seen/heard/read this before) the epic tale that started with the discovery of one simple little item: a domino.
Then again, maybe it’s not the origin story that’s important. Maybe it’s what came after that. Reams of notebook filler paper loaded with quasi-prophetic ramblings. An unfinished, unpublished novel following the fictional adventures of a young man (me) on a road trip across the United States and back again as society comes to a bitter end and a new world order crawls from out of the wasteland. A half-dozen or so songs written, recorded and released railing against hatred and prejudice and all the other stuff about which teenage goth-punks who aren’t interested in slicing their own wrists sing. An abnormal obsession with the combination of the numbers one and five, something fueled by another possibly unhealthy obsession with a certain dead 1960s rock star.
These days, you won’t find me curled up in the corner of an apartment with notebook in hand, scrawling mad rantings for pages on end. You won’t find me sitting in a public park at midnight alone, drawing visions of the apocalypse on loose-leaf paper. You won’t find me balancing on rooftop ledges, half-preaching, half-singing to an audience that may or may not be listening.
But I’m fairly certain that somewhere within every word I’ve written, song I’ve played or emotion I’ve felt each day since Jan. 15, 1994, there exists the intangible influence of that strange, terrifying and mind-opening night.