Thursday, September 17, 2009

What I Miss, or Something.

"Something dies when you grow older, but you do the best you can."
~Jesse Lacey

I just started my senior year of college, and the implications of such a thing have really begun to set in. After this year, it will become very difficult for me to live the way that I currently do, which is generally pretty relaxed and at times even close to effortless. Next year--unless I go to graduate school--I'm going to have to go out there in the real world and get a real job and eventually fall into a steady routine that will include only brief rations of fun (by way of drinking myself to sleep and relentless masturbation). To say that this scares me isn't really accurate, because I'm only afraid of two things in this world: spiders and commitment. I'm not scared to go out and get a job doing something I'm good at at all; I've actually been preparing my entire life to do just that, I guess, and there's not a doubt in my mind that I'm ready to be a professional. So, it doesn't scare me, but it sure as hell saddens me. I've always had a rough time with change, even when I was a little kid. I used to cry uncontrollably if my mom was going out of town for a weekend, and I don't even like hanging out with that lady (kidding about the hanging out but not the sobbing).

This will be the second time I make a leap like this into a very different lifestyle than I’ve ever experienced before. The first was, of course, the transition from high school to college. You move to a different place and live in a completely different way than you used to, and you get your first taste of independence. Somehow, I was able to withstand the transition from high school to college with only a few major fuck-ups that still haunt me to this day, and I try not to think about them. But now, with a very uncertain future lying ahead (that I hope involves a chance to fight Chad Kroeger and bang at least two Spice Girls, as well as find a lucrative career), I don't know what the fuck to think, and so I escape by retreating into the past. It's saddening, sure, because a lot of the thrills I felt then are now altogether unattainable and have been replaced with other (usually more damaging in some way) things or actions. I can't help--and I'm sure you can't either--thinking about these things that are basically lost and gone away, and they make you happy for a little bit and then you just feel empty. Loss of innocence tends to do that to you. One of my best friends told me recently that everyday you get a little bit happier and a little bit sadder, and I completely agree with her. I think these memories kind of amp up that change in emotions, almost to a manic depressive state, but it can help you stay young. I'd like to dispense a little bit about what I miss from my formative years, if only to distract myself from the stomach-level sadness and dread that come from considering the future and, ultimately, growing up. (Maybe, when you have some time, you can do the same. If you want, you can even write them down and e-mail them to me. That’d be pretty cool, right?) Also, if I keep thinking about these things and don't let the memories go away, I strongly believe that it will help neutralize the growing up process and keep the kid in me for as long as I live. Some would say this is unhealthy, and that I have Peter Pan syndrome. Those people are probably correct.

I miss being innocent, a lot. I'm more than certain that parts of me are still innocent, because a complete loss of innocence happens gradually, event by event and thought by thought. Like if your significant other cheats on you or fucks you over, then you lose the innocence that anyone you let intimately into your world is actually someone that loves you and that you love back. You'll never believe that someone is incapable of hurting you ever again. On the other side of the coin, the first time you fuck somebody over you begin to realize how ruthless and terrible you yourself can actually be, and you'll probably never look at yourself as some innocent, Kevin Arnold-like character ever again. I think a lot of the things I really miss about being extremely young directly correlate with a loss of innocence in some form or another. I'm pretty sure that, with the exception of losing one's v-card, it's nearly impossible to put a positive spin on a loss of innocence, and I think innocence goes hand-in-hand with excitement a lot.

I miss being excited. I guess I still get excited, but not to the extent that I used to, and it's definitely about different things. Instead of getting really excited for the end of a school week and going to a Friday night football game, I get excited for a Friday night that usually results in a level of intoxication that prohibits me from remembering just about anything after roughly 11:30 p.m. (On football weekends, getting to this state usually prohibits me from even being able to wake up on time to go and tailgate for the college game that takes place around noon, and is, I think, probably much more important than any high school game in the entire country.) Instead of getting excited on Christmas Eve about Santa coming and showering me with presents or Jesus being born or whatever, I get excited that I don't have to go back to school for a month, and for the free good scotch that my family members always have at our get-togethers. Basically, what I'm saying is that I really only get excited about getting fucked up, or things that I’ll be doing while fucked up, and even though I guess there are a lot of college kids (and alcoholics) who are like that, and I've made peace with it, it’s still kind of rough to accept that I don’t get giddy about shit anymore. I don't know why this happens when people get older, but maybe it's because life starts to get a little more serious. When you have to spend your whole week paying someone else thousands upon thousands of dollars to teach you things you could’ve learned for “$1.25 in late fees at the Boston Public Library,” (yes, a Good Will Hunting quote) it’s kind of tough to get really excited about some fat guy that allegedly flies around the entire fucking world in one night on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and gives you presents (unless you call your sister stupid, then he’ll give you coal) because a baby was born by a woman who didn’t even get to go through the fun of making it.

I miss fake teenage angst and depression. These are two things that the vast majority of teenagers go through at some point, and it usually hits extra hard if they listen to a lot of indy music (which I definitely did). Kids usually pine after a certain boy or girl, and cannot get her, or they do, and then something goes terribly wrong, like one of you just isn’t ready for a relationship (no fucking shit, you’re in high school and life is not a Taylor Swift song; ask Kanye West if you don’t believe me), or you didn’t respond quickly enough to their instant messages. This puts the slighted person into a deep funk that seems very extremely serious to them, but for some reason their parents laugh a lot at them about it. Then they start writing in journals or talking to their friends about “love” and shit like that. It’s hard to explain, actually, just what this spectacle is like. It’s almost like the kid goes into this depression on purpose, almost so they can seem like they’ve been broken and battered, and they walk around just emanating depression from every single movement they make, so that people will look at them and be like “Oh man, Beatrice looks so sad. I can’t believe Henry dumped her because she wouldn’t give him a handjob when they went to see Fast & Furious last week. Love is hard. I heard he didn’t even sit in the back seat with her on the way home when his dad picked them up!”

I miss that, because that kind of fake funk you get into is so, so, so much better than the real thing. When you actually get hit with a ton of bricks and a huge break-up when you’re actually old enough and mature enough to feel real and significant emotions toward another person, it feels god-awful. It’s indescribable, really, and I’m loathe to even try. All I can say is that you get a weird feeling in your stomach, like you kind of might throw up, and then every time you think of it after that, the back of your neck and shoulders start burning (this might only happen to me). This same feeling mimics itself when you’re on the other side of the spectrum, too, which would be when you execute a colossal and irrevocable fuck-up with someone you didn’t even deserve in the first place. It takes a while, and then it hits you just like when you were fucked over yourself, so that’s also pretty rough. (I don’t know where I’m going with this.)

I miss teenage romance. When you could make anything good with a stuffed animal or a teddy bear, and you made mixes of songs for girls without having any idea what the hell these songs meant. (***SIDENOTE: I miss not knowing what Konstantine, by Something Corporate was about. It turns out that this song, which sounds like the most romantic song ever written, and can be construed as such if you continue to let it mean to you what you’ve always thought it meant...which I actually about the singer cheating on his girlfriend. Talk about a fucking surprise.) I miss when you’d write notes to a pretty gal and fold it up all weird and shit, like an origami paper crane, and you’d write said notes in all different colors of gel pen. I miss that. Now, I feel like if I wrote a letter to a girl I’d not at all be taken seriously at all. Maybe because I’m not taken very seriously at all to begin with, but I digress.

I miss high school dances, because these were the times when I became the world’s biggest martyr. I would throw a fit about putting on a suit, because I used to only wear basketball shorts, sweatpants, hoodies, and long sleeve t-shirts. (I miss that, too. I grew up a little bit and realized that a XXL Knoch Knights Basketball t-shirt isn’t really going to score you much in the female affection category.) I fucking hated wearing a suit, and the only thing I hated worse than that was dancing. I honestly barely danced at all at my senior prom. My date danced a lot more than I did, and she was in 10th grade. To be honest, I think I danced more at the prom I went to after my sophomore year of college (why I was there is another story, but it wasn’t particularly by choice and I didn’t have a date), and that is probably one of the saddest admissions I’ve ever made.

I miss feeling bad ass for drinking alcohol. If I could’ve held onto that feeling and felt hard every time I boozed now, I’d probably wear a lot more leather.

I miss study hall, where I could read with no distractions and learn more than I learned at any other point in the day.

I miss not being straightforward with my parents. It used to be like I always had this big secret that I was keeping from them, like they didn’t know anything about the bad things I did. Now that I’m older, I tell them everything, and we say fuck at the dinner table. Talk about a loss of innocence.

I miss getting really, really excited about watching a special TV show at a specific time, before DVR was commonplace. Every single Thursday night I would come home from basketball practice, shower, and sit down to watch the OC while indulging in smokeless tobacco and hoping that my parents wouldn’t come back and find me out. Those were the days.

Alright, this has gone on for a pretty long time, so I’m just going to rattle off the rest of the things I miss (which means I’m too drunk to keep doing this for much longer...that’s what she said): I miss over-the-bra heavy petting, high school basketball, locker room bro-sessions, being scared to death of drugs, I miss the art of seduction prior to Facebook and text messaging, I miss the simplicity of it all, I miss french-kisses being the fucking greatest thing ever, I miss kissing my mom goodnight every single night, I miss the days before the recession (gum-recession), I miss hooking up to John Mayer’s first album, I miss the nub club, I miss ping pong tournaments and bonfires, I miss trying to slowdance to Lifehouse, I miss my long hair, and I miss not worrying.

But, more than anything, I miss feeling no pressure whatsoever beyond the present day and the next, and I miss the mindset that everything would be so much better the older you got.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This is something that I wrote a couple of weeks ago during one of my creative writing classes. Our professor wanted us to write a scene from the point of view of a young, immature child who was witnessing something that adults do that he might not totally understand. I hope you like it.


I wanted some milk because I couldn’t sleep and it always helps me sleep so I had to get mom ‘cause she still doesn’t let me pour my own even though I’m seven and a half and will be eight in November. She’s always worried that I’ll spill it because she says I’m a messy eater and sometimes spill my drinks at the table. It gets all over the floor and we have to pick it up, and she doesn’t like doing that because it makes her mad and she has bad knees so she can’t be kneeling all over the floor all the time. I walked into the living room and her and dad weren’t in there but there were a few empty bottles on the table where I sometimes kneel and color pictures of dinosaurs and Captain Planet in front of the TV. I don’t think there was any milk in the bottles though and it was weird that they left them out because mom and dad always get mad at me when I don’t clean up and I didn’t really think that was too fair but they’re grown-ups and I guess that means they can do just about anything they want. I can’t wait to be a grown-up. I was confused at first because when I woke up I saw that the little alarm clock I set sometimes on the weekends so I can get up and eat doughnuts with dad while he reads the paper and I read the funnies said it was only 11:30 at night and whenever I wake up during that time they’re almost always out in the living room watching TV or reading, but then I remembered that mom and dad had gone out to eat that night at some place special or something (if it was Golden Corral I would be mad because I loved eating there and their dessert is so good and you can have as much as you want), and that the babysitter had put me to sleep. Mom and dad didn’t go places without me too often but when they did the nights were always different and now that I knew that I wasn’t so confused anymore and decided to just go find mom.

I walked to their bedroom and opened the door pretty quiet so I wouldn’t wake up dad. Mom says he is a bear when he doesn’t get his sleep, and I think she’s joking but still I didn’t want to find out. As soon as the little big of light from the hallway night light came into the room though I could see that both of them were already awake and were grunting and making all kinds of weird noises. Mom actually sounded kind of like one of the ghosts in Casper when they’re trying to haunt people and it doesn’t really even work. I think they were wrestling and dad must’ve been about to win because he had mom pinned and she was almost screaming. It didn’t look like he was pinning her that tough or anything but I guess ladies aren’t too good at wrestling and she might’ve been just playing along to make him happy. I thought if I was as big as mom I could’ve easily gotten out of that pin and maybe turned it back around on dad and unless he turned into a bear like mom said he sometimes does I could probably end up winning the match.

I thought about how my mom was being pinned and making noises like she was a ghost and that made me laugh and then they both looked over at me at the same time and stopped wrestling. Dad rolled off of mom and gave up his pin and I felt bad for bugging them in the first place because nobody likes a pest. I told mom that I wanted some milk and she told me to go to the kitchen and she would meet me there in just a second so I did. When I walked out of the room I heard dad sigh and I realized he must’ve been mad that he couldn’t finish mom off and win and I felt bad again because I’d interrupted their play time and they don’t get to play too much because dad works a lot. I got my milk and kissed mom goodnight and went back to bed.

I still felt bad the next day about interrupting playtime because mom said I should never interrupt and so I told dad that I was sorry for doing that. He said it was okay because his birthday was coming soon and him and mom always had a big wrestling match—a royal rumble even, he said—on that day and then he started laughing I think because he was already thinking about the moves he was going to use to pin mom again on his birthday which makes sense because nobody wants to ever lose on their birthday. He said she makes him steak on that day too which will probably help him get strong for the rumble.

I told my older brother—he’s thirteen—about how cool it was that mom and dad wrestle even though I thought it wasn’t really fair because I wasn’t allowed to roughhouse with my friends in my bed but I also didn’t work all the time and got to play most of the day and I was small and I guess I could get hurt if I did too much wrestling even though I made sure I drank a lot of milk so I could get strong bones. I don’t know why but he started to act weird and said that my parents were getting it on which makes sense because the announcer always says that before the big fights my dad sometimes watches on TV with some of his friends from work and Uncle Joe. I still don’t understand why my brother acted so weird when I told him though. Maybe because girls have cooties and wrestling with them is almost always pretty much out of the question even though my mom and dad have lived together since they were only still old kids. Maybe he just doesn’t like wrestling and I think that must be it because he always tells me that the wrestling on TV is fake.