Punk Rock Academy Fight Song – He’s my friend, He’s my alibi

November 23, 2009

Everybody has that one friend. The friend that could talk you into anything, get you out of anything and make you think twice about a whole lot of things. The type of friend who was both the angel and the devil on your shoulder-it just depended what kind of mood they happened to be in that day or even that hour. For me that friend was Herman we were friends since we were about four and he was my next door neighbor for a long while. Hell our birthdays were just three days apart. We were best friends, classmates, team mates and partners in crime who eventually went on two wildly different paths in life. We were a southern California version of a Martin Scorcese flick. One of the most you important things to know about my old friend was that his older brothers had given him the nickname of the weasel. Why you may ask? Well Herman’s brothers were two pretty big guys who were lineman on the high school football team and Herman was small, skinny, sneaky and well pretty much a weasely kind of a guy. Always up to something and always able to get out of most any situation. Herman was reckless, impulsive and care free. Now me on the other hand I tended to be more cautious, thoughtful and afraid of getting in trouble as a kid. My parents loved him but were always more than a little wary of him and his parents loved me and were glad that I was his friend.

We were a perfect fit. We were good cop bad cop in OP cords. He was my excuse to throw caution to the wind and I was his alibi. All he had to tell his mom was “it’s okay i was with Dan” and whatever fear of possible trouble was instantly abated in his mothers mind. The thing about Herman was that he could always convince me into doing something I wasn’t to sure of and it either ended up in me getting hurt, getting in trouble, having the time of my life and on several occasions all three. Over the course of our youth Herman would be responsible for some of my fondest memories and some of my biggest regrets. It’s because of Herman that instead of waiting for my mom to pick us up at elementary school we decided to take a short cut home and I fell into a bunch of prickly pears. It’s because of Herman that walking home from the roller rink in junior high we got chased by a bunch of high school kids who intended to kick our asses-he yelled a litany of profanities at them and then started to run like hell. I got caught, he out ran them and hid in some bushes. It’s because of Herman that I tried jumping off my neighbors roof into my pool and wound up with a concussion. It’s because of Herman we went joyriding in my parent’s truck at midnight and then had to push it home when the battery conked out on us at our friend Gus’s house. It’s also because of Herman that I became a Raiders fan (still not sure what category this falls under), learned to drive stick, played football, had my first shot of tequila and its because of Herman that I eventually learned to surf-which for kids from the San Gabriel Valley is no easy feat.

However as we got older we inevitably grew apart for the reason that Herman’s exploits and fun loving mischief started to take a decidedly more criminal slant. It started off with relatively harmless things like joyriding in our parents cars and then he got into shoplifting and then dealing some weed out of his bedroom window and eventually progressed into full blown drug fueled felonious acts-by him not me. As if following that Scorese script by the time we were 18 I was heading for College and he was heading for prison. Herman wound up doing a good stretch in California’s correctional institutions for a botched home invasion and I ended up doing a long stretch at Long Beach State. I lost touch with my one time best friend and have only seen him once since he first got locked up. About five years ago he showed up at a post wedding party for one our friends in San Gabriel. I was still wearing most of my tuxedo, sporting red hair and tattoos. He was wearing a wife beater, jeans and sporting jailhouse tattoos. We were both pretty drunk and talked for about an hour and I remember him asking me if I ever learned to surf and i told him yeah and it’s because of you. I haven’t seen him since but I’ve heard he’s still been in and out of jail. I do miss my old friend but sometimes the best thing a friend can do is not be there.


-Daniel N-


Read more from Punk Rock Academy Fight Song HERE