By Tuesday July 4, most of our party had dispersed, and only a handful of us were left together to enjoy a more private gala. After we ate rice wine haddock over white rice, this gala took a surprising turn into a headbangers ball! July 4, 2006 marks a very important day for me because I experienced my own new discovery: Heavy Metal music. Have you ever read that novel by Umberto Eco called The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana? It is a fascinating variation on the “coming of age” story. The protagonist Yambo recovers from a stroke with part of his memory destroyed. He can’t remember his past. He can’t even remember what sex feels like; consequently, he has turned into a sixty-year-old virgin when his wife deflowers him again. The narrative is full of fascinating description of rediscovering for the "first" time simple sensations like brushing one's teeth.
Well, before July 4, 2006 I’d say I did not have a taste for Heavy Metal music. I preferred world music and jazz. But I was wrong to attribute my dislike to a matter of taste; I was merely a metalhead virgin. At our ball, I lost my virginity. We listened to the Melvins and Black Sabbath. We were literally head banging in Woody and Clara’s living room, and my friends got such a big kick out of it because I have a ton of hair on my head perfect for swinging in a circle. We played a dice-rolling game called Farkle. I won the game, and I dare say it had something to do with the boost the music was giving me. Woody Blackbottom is a professor of philosophy, and he claims to write and think while Heavy Metal plays as his background music. My friends were really supportive of my initiation into Metalhead-dom. I look forward to exploring this new interest, see how it influences my writing. Just the night before my sweet husband and I were making fun of this music calling it “angry white male” music. But I intend to look more closely into heavy metal and see how my mind can change about it. My older brother Charlie used to walk around the house roaring, “bang your head for mental health.” I could never tell whether he was promoting or mocking the genre, but last Tuesday night I felt like banging my head actually worked. I was banging my head and felt that I shook off lots of hang-ups and grief. It felt like transformation and the pleasant sensation of revelation and new discovery and possibility. Imagine the new persona I will be able to take on when I write! On a practical level, headbanging porves completely effective for drying my hair after I shower.