Words By Timothy Straw
Hybrid Theory came out in 2000 and frankly I hated it. What I mean to say is that I
assumed I hated it because I was a 20 year old punk living in Santa Barbara and listening to
nu-rap-whatever the hell-metal was out of the question. It was juvenile for high school kids, and I was so much better than that. I was also drinking daily and using whenever drug was around. I wasn’t a drug addict person but, I was certainly a garbage pail. One night alone brought a handle of tequila, some speed, a little E, a bit of cocaine, a touch of opium and some pills. I know a few things about addiction.
I never actually listened to Linkin Park until I went on a few day binge with an old friend and he
bought their first record and regardless of my crap talking it was catchy. I waited till Meteora to really starting listening to them and I’ve consistently done so, despite the protestations of much cooler people.
I had the opportunity to see them at a KROQ almost acoustic Christmas where they played with AFIand a couple really crappy bands. POD for one was so awful the dude sitting next to me fell asleep.
We went outside and smoked through the Pennywise set. Offspring was amazing as always but, Linkin Park…and Chester’s voice there isn’t words to describe how powerful it is to see a band completely have a whole amphitheater at their beck and call. It was an almost spiritual experience and to this day they are in my top five all time favorite bands to have seen live.
I remember when Minutes to Midnight came out it’s all I listened to, it’s actually my favorite of theirs, and when I’m depressed its one of the records I put on. And now Chester is gone. He left and I understand. I understand how painful life can get. I know that when you’re there, when you’re ready to just fucking go and you’re absolutely sure that everybody would be better without you, Sometimes you think that to continue living would actually be more selfish. That’s what a lot of people don’t understand about suicide. You can’t intellectualize it. It doesn’t make sense and you can’t identify with that pain until you’re in it, it’s all emotion.
A tiredness that runs so deep the only thing to do is just to try to sleep. I don’t condone suicide but, I understand it because I’ve been there. 2005 I drank my fill, swallowed my fill, called two ex’s I was still in love with to say goodbye (they didn’t answer or call me back.) I smoked my last cigarette and woke up three days later. I remember two things about those three days, which my mother told me my guardian angel is the angel of death and that I was never taken to a hospital. Obviously I lived but, for days after I wished I hadn’t. When I got well again I was off drinking. I was unstoppable in my pursuit of death and I knew, without a single doubt in my heart that everybody I knew would benefit without me around. Eventually I got sober. Eventually I drank again. Eventually I was institutionalized. I live, it’s not always easy. Depression is a son of a bitch that doesn’t ever leave.
I understand Chester but, goddamn you. So many hearts have been broken mine included. I feel like I knew you in many respects, I guess maybe a lot of us do. I’m so sorry for your family. I hope the pain stopped but, I wish you could have found a way to live sober like I have. A way to make it through. I’m so sorry, bro.
“When my time comes forget the wrong that I’ve done help me leave behind some reasons to be missed. Don’t resent me and when you’re feeling empty keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest.” Chester, Linkin Park empty keep me in your memory, leave out all the rest.” Chester, Linkin Park.