My hiding like this had happened once before, when I got Sinead O’Connor’s The Lion and the Cobra.But unlike Sinead O’Connor, Nirvana seemed something else besides just capital-A Angry.

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R.’s father was beating him for not being an A student. Nirvana was the perfect soundtrack to it all, just as it was the perfect soundtrack for many Angry teenagers outside of Poland who were also resigned to their circumstances.

This I quickly learned upon arriving in a small Canadian town that was once summed up by one of its residents thusly: “Welcome to Woodstock.

If the trains won’t kill you, the drugs will.”I went back to Poland every summer after we emigrated to visit.

The Berlin Wall was a dam that had broken three years before, and was well on its way to becoming e Bay merchandise.

The Western world was steadily flooding the Eastern world with all kinds of garbage: Mc Donald’s, New Kids on the Block, Vidal Sassoon conditioner samples.

And we gobbled it all up, even the unsanctioned Mars bars.

But besides garbage there were a few gifts: Ives Rocher cosmetics, shiny lycra leggings, and angry music that wasn’t Metallica (which was the music of older kids)—specifically, Nirvana.

The name seemed profound and epitomized the opposite of what life was then like in Poland.

For me the band arrived with a sudden roar one day while sitting in the back of physics class, or maybe it was chemistry.