Who I Am & Where I Came From

My real name is Rob. I misheard a line from a movie years ago and subsequently adopted the online username AcidEdge76. It’s followed me ever since.

I grew up in rural Wisconsin, an hour away from Milwaukee…not exactly the epicenter of a goth movement, I know.

I used to pathologically lie about my life to make it interesting enough to actually want live. I got picked on a lot for my fantastical imagination. I just wanted a life worth bragging about.

I never really fit into an groups at my school, so I kinda did my own thing. I wanted so desperately to want to ‘fit in’ somewhere, that I actually tried out the ‘born again’ Christian thing in high school. It didn’t work. I still didn’t fit in and I got to see religion for the sham it really is. On top of failing to find my niche, I was wasting my high school teenager years preaching to people instead of having fun and experiencing life. I blame this as the reason I still act like a teenager in many aspects of my life.

I was different. I did things differently. I did things that other people didn’t even consider. I challenged authority…I stretched the rules to their limits.

I learned to revel in my oddity. I strived to be the different one. I sought out ways to distance myself from others. I was the first guy in my high school to pierce his ear. I wanted to be the ‘sore thumb’…not just another face in the crowd so, when another guy pierced his ear, I pierced my other one. Then I pierced them again. And again. Then I dyed my hair turquoise using Great Bluedini Kool-Aid. Then IncrediBerry Kool-Aid. Then Purplesaurus Rex Kool-Aid. I wore a kilt to school because the dress code didn’t say I couldn’t. I wore t-shirts with censored profanity on them because I could. The establishment hated me. I was a threat to their authority. I was challenging their rules faster than they could change them to shut me down. They added more changes to the dress code my senior year than they had in the 10 years prior.

Even though I found solace in being the oddball, it frustrated me horribly to be constantly misunderstood. I didn’t think I’d ever find someone else like me.

Then it happened. A movie was released that introduced me to a life I didn’t even know existed…a world I had never seen before. I saw the movie in the theater every weekend for 3 months straight. It amazed me…enthralled me…explained me…told me that it was okay to be who – and what – I truly am inside. The movie was The Crow and it changed my life forever.

I found the dark, dank world I wanted to live in…a world where anyone could be whoever they wanted to be…to truly be themselves and it was okay because they were being truthful to themselves. This was it…I was a goth at heart and I now had a word to describe where I belonged. I fit in the place where everyone fit in…in the crowds where everyone was free to just be themselves. Many told me it was just a phase and that I’d grow out of it. Guess what – it’s over 20 years later and I’m still goth at heart.

I tried to dress the part, but it felt very disingenuous. It felt like a Halloween costume everyday instead of dressing how I truly feel inside. I was a very awkward Goth for a a very long time. In time, I would settle into a type of ‘corporate goth’, but it took years of growth before I found my own personal style.

After years of wandering aimlessly with no education, no training, no skills, and waning hopes of making enough money to survive, I did the last thing anyone expected a long-haired goth to do – I joined the Army. Soon, I found myself repeating my authority-challenging ways from high school all over again.

I made a mistake along this path and married a woman that was way too young. She had no idea who she was inside and, after she finally figured it out, we didn’t even like each other anymore. She tricked me into getting her pregnant in a last-stitch effort to keep the marriage together, but he ended up becoming part of the wreckage when our relationship inevitably crashed nose-first to earth. Unfortunate.

I managed to keep my nose clean and survived 8-1/2 years in the Army until I found had sufficient skills to move on into the corporate world. They never knew what hit them.

I dressed up in my tightly pressed khakis, a sleekly-pressed button-up dress shirt, and a vivid-colored tie. I slicked my hair down till it was half-respectable and half-spiky. I knew my job and I spewed forth knowledge like the interviewer had never seen before. I was at the top of my profession and I made sure that everyone in that building knew it. The company wanted me so bad that my offer letter came before I had even made it back home. It was time to educate the corporate world.

I walked into the new job Monday morning fully in accordance with the company’s dress code policy…blue jeans…dress shirt…dress shoes….and a mohawk. I was the only one in the building with one. The ‘new guy’ made waves on day one. Months later, another guy tried to come to work with a mohawk and he was quickly shut down. “Be the original, not the copy.” Words to live by.

My first day was over 8 years ago. I retired the mohawk several years ago in favor of a shaved-bald head, but I still stretch the dress code rules almost daily.

I’ve become a staple in the company’s arsenal. My boss frequently brags that he couldn’t ever run the department without me in it. That is what allows a ‘challenger’ to survive…let your work speak louder than your demonstrations.

The unthinkable happened along the way and I found a woman crazy enough to put up with my antics and we eventually got married before having 3 more beautiful kids. She is also one of us that never fit in anywhere growing up and I was fortunate enough to give her a place to fit with me. I can’t really tell if she enjoys my eccentricity or if she just tolerates me. She is a bit of an enigma. I wouldn’t have her any other way.

My unconventional tastes continue to this day into my late-30’s. I’ve developed an appreciation for modern pinup photography and enjoy ‘hot rod’ art by Chris “Coop” Cooper and cartoons from the pen of one Rob Zombie. My taste in music is eclectic at best and my taste in movies matches. I like what I like and dislike what I don’t. I’m ‘me’ and that’s all I ever have to be. I’m happy being weird and different.

This is my world. Peruse my pages and make yourself at home. If you want to know anything, just ask.

Comments
  1. Hey!

    I love your blog!!

    I too am a fellow alternative. Feel free to check out my blog alternative mistress.

    Let me know what you think. 😊

    X

    Like

  2. Just found your blog by accident. Although quite boring myself I love reading about others who have managed to be different and survive. I agree with you about the crow it was an amazing film. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Like

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