Not A Pink Girl

My life was changed by the death of Janis | October 13, 2009


I remember where I was when I found out Janis Joplin died. I was 10 years old & standing on the playground at my Catholic school in Landover Hills MD. My friend walked up to me & said, “Did you know Janis died?” (you didn’t have to say any last name because when I was in 4th grade, there was only one Janis) I ignored her because I knew it wasn’t true. She walked away. The girl I was standing with (Mima) said, “She died Kathie. She took too much drugs. She’s dead.” I remember looking up at the tree near the rectory & looking at the sun’s rays shining through the autumn leaves. I thought, “The sun is shining, but Janis won’t ever see it again.” From that day on, I read every single thing I could about intravenous drug use & about other abused drugs (pot, mushrooms, peyote, speed, quaaludes). Back then we had Newsweek & Time magazines in our school library so I read everything they published about smack, crank, horse, Mary Jane, you name it. I was trying to understand why anyone would voluntarily inject something into their veins to make themselves feel good. I just couldn’t get my mind around it. I think it kept me from abusing drugs.


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