A new radio station started up in 1983, and this is why it’s such a watershed year for Annoushka. There is suddenly a new kind of sound to listen to, and she likes new and interesting sounds.

It seems to me that it is also the year Natashka got a radio all her own, but maybe the radio was always there and it’s just that now there was a reason to turn it on.

The radio station brands itself as “independent” and plays something called “alternative rock.” I’m no longer clear on what this means, but what it meant then is that Annoushka was suddenly listening to the Sex Pistols and the Ramones instead of Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration,” a song which still makes her want to have her ears removed surgically. With or without anaesthetic. (Do what you gotta do.)

1983 is the year she discovered punk rock.

For her, it’s like discovering heroin, but without the addiction and unfortunate side effects.

The thing about music is it can express pure emotion. It can express something a bit more universal than one’s own life experiences—and nowhere does she see her life reflected or discussed. What it feels like to be trafficked is expressed exactly nowhere, and she has absolutely no validation for what she thinks or feels or does. But this music, this music can express how she feels.

It might express something different to you, but for her it is a furious kind of joy. Being 10 is about joy for her.

And some of this is that there are things she is being protected from. She knows some things—she knows things are being put inside her body that hurt. She knows she feels worthless and like a thing because of that. But there are many things she does not know and that someone else in the system is taking care of for her.

But she is falling in love. She does not know this exactly, I think, but she knows she feels something. She knows the feeling is a happy one.

It is not the same kind of falling in love that someone else might feel, because the person she is falling for loves her. She doesn’t have the feeling pinned down, but there is something secure about it, something safe.

In 1983, despite everything else, she feels happy and safe and what she remembers about that year is punk rock and jumping on the bed and a furious joy at being alive.

Advertisements