I recently came across this list of Things To Do On Whidbey Island.
It’s a nice enough list. Plenty of options there; hiking, wine-tasting, whale watching. But I haven’t been back for a visit in years. So I decided to make an alternate list, for anyone who lived through their pre-cell phone, pre-internet teen years in Langley, Village By The Sea…
1. Sitting in the middle of the woods, listening to Led Zeppelin on a boom box, drinking cheap beer that someone’s older brother bought, hoping the cops don’t show up.
2. Trying to impress people with your guitar skills by playing the first four chords of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” repeatedly, standing next to the totem pole near the back entrance of the Dog House Tavern.
3. Waiting in Casey’s supermarket parking lot for someone to show up who knew the directions to the area of the woods where you’d listen to Led Zeppelin on a boom box, drink cheap beer that someone’s older brother bought, and hope the cops don’t show up.
4. Skinny dipping in Deer Lake and Goss Lake.
5. Making deep conversation around a campfire. Like, how preppy girls were so stupid. And how nobody understood that Morrissey’s lyrics were funny, not depressing. Oh and lame people thinking they were so alternative just because they wore all black but they were really just phonies.
6. Hiding out in the upstairs area of Moonraker Books, reading trashy paperbacks.
7. Unearthing a pair of ’70s gold platform boots at the Good Cheer thrift shop and wearing them while representing your school in a state-wide speech and debate competition. And losing.
8. Running out of weed and smoking oregano in your friend’s kitchen, hoping to get high. And failing.
9. Going “flying” on Double Bluff Beach by holding the back of an over-sized windbreaker over your head, running towards the wind and achieving a few seconds of lift-off.
10. Dreaming about getting “off the rock” and moving to someplace more exciting…and realizing years later how incredibly cool it was to grow up there.