“Stand & Deliver”

An impressionable high school junior is easily shocked by an out gay punk. His name was Chris. He was an amazing modern dancer, mesmerizing to watch. He was other-worldly, frequently dressed in leather spikes, short cropped hair, and war-paint makeup. Adam and the Ants were the big thing of the moment, but somehow I got Chris’s attention with a new 45 single that I had just bought, Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.” This is a full year before the song finally broke TOP 40 in the U.S., and Chris wanted my 45. And so, we brokered a clean trade, Soft Cell for Adam and the Ants. “Stand and deliver your money or your life Try and use a mirror no bullet or a knife.” And use a mirror, I did. Chris gave me tips on making my hair more New Wave, how to dress and look more punk, and, ultimately, guiding me toward a lifetime in the anti-establishment. Thanks, Chris, and rest in peace.