I can pinpoint when my adult life began, or at least the part of my life I don't look back on with dismay or regret.
It was the day I saw, on the East Side of Milwaukee, a flier on a telephone pole for a concert by the Tense Experts, a local band.
I immediately loved the name - I've always been a sucker for assonance - and something told me I had to see them in concert. They, too, were 'new wave.'
Now, if you were to see the Tense Experts today, you might be less than impressed. There were four of them, all around twenty, thin and ill-looking, with their hair dyed a flat black.
They had come to make their musical fortune in Milwaukee from Rockford, Illinois, an industrial town not much bigger than Wauwatosa.
They wore only black and sang about dark, desperate things, which in 1982 was still a relatively fresh idea.
I thought they were the coolest thing I had ever seen.