Prompt: A Tragicomedy in Three Sections
When I got caught being drunk I was lying down on my bed in my boxers with a pair of headphones blasting over my ears playing Radiohead. Rest assured, I was an insecure teenager trying to escape the feeling of living in a boring town. I was tired of hearing the ocean waves, the rustling trees, and the yapping gossip. Nature could go screw itself.
I mouthed the lyrics, thinking that my room was an island that no man could set foot on. As Thom Yorke crooned like a baby being yanked from its crib, I opened my eyes and saw that my mom was standing over me. She took one look at me and shook her head. She walked out.
The next morning, I stumbled into the hallway and I saw my dad. He shook his head and laughed. It had been one of those nights.
In fact, the reason that I started to embrace the “when in Rome” attitude to partaking in drink and illicit substance was the utter isolation that I faced by my peers. “Every one is doing it, Kris” my conscience would tell me. But the collective conscience ruled over the anomic of naturally going against the grain. What is cool and normal in a small town was bound to win. I had to go against my beliefs, and thus what my parents raised me up to be.
In retrospect, it was the isolation I felt from my parents. They saw that I was going astray by doing unspeakable things. I traded in studying for my SATs for a chance to chase astral projections that were terrifying, alluring, and disconnecting. It even got to the point where I was the one being chased.
I don’t know if it was being a rebel, not having a brother or sister around, or the fact that church was becoming the same thing every Sunday. Any concerned parent would just see it as a “cry for attention.”
So what is a cry for attention? In the contemporary context, it’s posting a status on FaceBook lamenting how your day is a steaming pile of dump. It’s tweeting about how you met some famous celebrity and how he or she told you how good you look. It’s Instagramming a photo of peas, potatoes, beef, and cheese before it becomes a Sherpherd’s pie.
In the past, my cry for attention was drinking until I reached a point of clarity where I could feel like all the ideas I had were limitless. It was chiefing with my homies out in the carpark. It was trying to win the attention of any girl by writing and writing and writing until she would ignore me.
Now that I am older, it’s a lot more complicated. I have to keep an image. I have to be careful about doing something that could jeopardize my own reputation or that of my parents.
I’m also a lot more conscious of keeping my body a temple. I wake up in the morning and do stretches. I jog. I go skate. I drink less (maybe a beer to settle the aching pains). I’m not a teenager anymore.
But even I know that although the options are endless, there is always a breaking point to the banal routine of smiling and waving at the camera. Hell, I don’t even have a camera.
While I spend my summers cooped up in the high rise overlooking Ichon station (where the hell is that?), I wonder how I could arrive at a platform as boring as right now. It’s almost as if I am back in my room in Alaska, lying down, listening to Thom Yorke practically cry about something that I can’t understand. It’s called inflection Thom.
And now comes the fun part, where I let my mind run loose. Where I take all that energy of sustaining the image of the model minority and turn it into a minefield of loose ends. “But that breaks all blog rules and thematic consistency!” you might say. Well, what the hell else am I supposed to do now? Isn’t the cry for attention supposed to be something akin to the mind of a crazy person? At least I’m not releasing a diss song or a sex tape. Now that, that would be crazy.
The patch-up solution cannot prevent the “crack-up” (or whatever Fitzgerald talked about). Sometimes people just crack up because there’s a piece of them that they keep to their selves and another that goes towards something else. And when that other piece that they sacrifice for the vocation, reciprocity, or reception is ignored, then they have cracked up – or something like that. Fitzgerald’s own recognition of his failure is a reminder that you could either accept that you’re done, or accept that you’re done and not go down without a fight.
If there is a list of things that I’d want to understand, it goes as followed:
– Why do the people you try to gain approval from focus their energy and pride towards a more practical and stable individual?
– Why is approval even necessary?
– Is this even starting to make sense?
– Lists are a terrible way to frame the mind
The remedy doesn’t lie in action: the verb. It’s the act of acting and going at it each and everyday. Take for instance a magnificent artist like Michaelangelo. You think that guy ever lied on his back and stared at the Sistine Chapel ceiling and asked “When will my father ever see that this is a magnificent piece of work?”
Somewhere out there in this electronic mundo, there’s an artist chipping away at photoshop to make sure his masterpiece is pixelated and colorized to his wanting. His father or mother is in the other room yelling at him for being a lazy brat that does nothing but jerk around all day.
Anyway, what does this even mean all mean? I’m starting to sound like Thom Yorke.
P.S. God Bless America