Written in disturbingly candid tones, this prequel to I Was a Punk Before You Were a Punk tells the story of a disillusioned young man growing up in the wasteland of Winnipeg, Manitoba. As the protagonist quickly learns, substances are a primary source of entertainment in ice-locked Manitoba, and that the easiest way to beat boredom is to get wasted. Music seems to be an outlet for pent-up aggression, but the corporate rock of the early 70s is not enough to fill to the hole. Fortunately, and just in time to prevent a citywide killing spree, a brand new form of music arrives to save the day: punk rock.
The chubby girl and her boyfriend argued their way into a bedroom. Other, suddenly weary burglars began staking claim to the sofas. I looked around at the squalid apartment and my drunken, criminally inclined associates. Oddly, living on the streets didn’t seem so bad anymore. Not with a head full of Valium and wine. Pocketing several cigarette butts, I lurched over to the door.
“Where ya goan?” slurred Bill. He was slumped in an armchair, nodding with a cigarette.
“I gotta get some fresh air,” I mumbled. Shoving open the door, I stumbled down the stairs and onto the street. The sun was rising, spreading dazzling rays of golden light across the tenement rooftops. A police car zoomed by with lights and sirens blaring. I felt strong and graceful, like a gazelle. I increased my pace, and soon I was running, bounding along down the alley. I could see tall buildings ahead and knew that the pool hall would be open, waiting. Cutting through a parking lot, I began to hurdle handrails, flying with feet lighter than feathers. Nobody could stop me. I was the king of the city.
My foot caught the top of a handrail. There was a blinding flash of light as I hit the concrete with my jaw. I picked myself up with skinned and bleeding palms and found a hole in my bottom lip with my tongue. It didn’t hurt much, though. I threw back my head and laughed, gargled with a mouthful of blood.
I was still the king.