This page from People’s 1995 Most Beautiful People issue hung on the wall beside my bed for all of high school… and most of college. My mom and sister used to bitch so much when I put Grace on for dinner music. “Ungggh, we don’t want to listen to your whiny mope-rock while we’re trying to shove Tuna Helper in our faces!” An implicit part of this agreement was the requirement that I get up from the table to fast-forward “Corpus Christi Carol.” That was around the same time my mom would do the one-knuckle quiet knock on my bedroom door whenever I played Portishead (which usually included at least five repeats of “Sour Times” and “Wandering Star”), peering around the door’s edge with a scrunched-up, concerned face: “Are you depressed? Are you sad?”
I had this photo on my wall too! My problem was that I was listening to Grace on the cusp of puberty. Teenage boys never live up to the drama in a Jeff Buckley song. I used to listen to Grace while I fell asleep, so it could worm its way into my soul, but the loud guitars of track 9, “Eternal Life,” always, always woke me up after the whole “Corpus Christi Carol” thing.