For those of you who don’t know, Garbage is my favorite band in the entire universe. They came into my life at a time when I desperately needed them back when I was 13 and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve told this story millions of times, so I’m sure everyone’s sick of hearing it by now, but long story short, Shirley Manson is the reason I am who I am today.
In the 9th grade, like most kids that age, I was bullied. I never thought I’d ever find the courage to get through that but Shirley helped me find my voice. For someone who was always the butt of the joke, I found solace in coming home, locking myself in my bedroom and listening to Garbage records. Through the music, I found a way to fight back and get through those harrowing days.
In 2005, during my junior year of high school, Garbage released their fourth album, Bleed Like Me. Today’s spotlight song, “Run Baby Run,” to this day still feels as if they wrote it just for me. It’s like Shirley’s sitting on my bedroom floor with me saying, “You’re gonna be okay, darling. You’re not damaged.”
Living in New York City, not gonna lie, takes its toll on me. As an introvert, I need space to breathe and not be hounded by people all of the time. “Run Baby Run” is a metaphor of my life in some way – “Run from the noise of the street and the loaded gun” depicts an average day in the city as things come at you at the speed of light while people will gladly push you into traffic if it somehow conveniences them in some way. Sometimes, all I want to do is run. To where or whom? I don’t know.
As every word mirrors my life in some way, I can’t help but feel incredibly blessed to have a band like this in my life. It really makes me wonder who I would be without them. I never feel like I belong anywhere and often feel misunderstood but once I put on a Garbage record, I am home. That feeling is quite mutual beyond the Garbage fandom and one that has put them on the map for the past twenty years. As I stand in the crowd for their 20th anniversary show in a few weeks, I will be grateful for the one night of not having my stomach in knots, the sheer joy of seeing my four favorite people play for their favorite people and the peace of mind of knowing that for one night, I belong and that I don’t have to run.
“You can keep it pure on the inside
And you know what you believe to be right
So you’re not gonna crack
No you’re never gonna crack”