Alex was the class clown.  He could have had Attention Deficit Disorder before the rest of the world even knew what that was. Had a short attention span, always rocking the boat in class, and friend to procrastination. There was talk that he did drugs, stole from people, and was absent a lot because he had been arrested days before…but I never found out the truth.

We shared an art class together in 7th grade. We saw each other in the halls and were friends/acquaintances in school but nothing more than that. Maybe we took the same school bus, I can’t remember. The one thing that I do remember is that for the weeks until Depeche Mode’s Violator was to be released, it was all he could talk about.

I had not gotten deep into Depeche Mode’s catalog, other than knowing they did People Are People. I had always thought of them as a goth or emo band at a time when I liked my music vanilla, like Wham! Kids that listened to Depeche Mode in my school wore all black, with Manic Panic hair and a pair of Doc Martins on their feet. I stayed more mainstream with my generically coiffed hair, JC Penney polo shirt and sneakers. swerving too far from the middle was something that I didn’t really think about. I knew the goth kids that listened to Depeche Mode, but we didn’t hang out together on the weekends or even ate lunch together. They were a mopey crew.

Can’t remember what the assignment was that day in art class but I remember it being something where we were just drawing on some 8 1/2 x 11 newsprint with pencils or charcoal. Alex said something about drawing the artwork for the new Depeche Mode CD that will be coming out in the next couple of days. I  didn’t pay any attention to him, but for some reason I was irked by the fact that he wouldn’t be quiet about the album. He said nothing about what was on the album or what it was going to sound like. He didn’t talk about it like it was The Second Coming…but he did talk about it constantly.

I had to have it. I don’t know why I had to have it. I just did.

My library didn’t have any Depeche Mode in it at that point in my life but I made it my life’s mission I was going to. Maybe it was a desperate attempt to connect with the emo kids or to connect with Alex on a newer level. In hindsight, neither of those things happened, but I did add Violator to my collection and I understood why Alex would not shut up about it.

World In My Eyes4:27
Sweetest Perfection4:42
Personal Jesus4:55
Waiting For The Night6:08
Enjoy The Silence6:13
Policy Of Truth4:54
Blue Dress5:38