Week 2: People in Basements

28 Nov

People in basements, having  the time of their lives or the loneliest moment of their week.  Split personalities and walks on frozen February shores, the weight of your footstep cracking the ice, turning it into smithereens. You taking pleasure in the crackling sounds, the noise. Wishing you could get up the nerve to want to attempt to care about the environment enough to sign an online petition. Fancying a comfortable future, without financial worries and plenty of people to your beck and call to tell you that jacket looks fantastic on you and oh, my goodness, where did you get the inspiration to make your last piece of.. art. All the while carefully and carelessly taking a swig of your present drink, at regular intervals. Every Saturday or so.

Take all of these elements, pour them in a large enough bowl, combine them with constant yearning for approval, status and gadgets, human connections and human disconnections, throw in a pinch of fashion awareness and ungodly amounts of sexual desire and you get a nice batch of the infinite vortex of self-centeredness that is our twenties.

Served hot.

Music is an integral part of it. It has been for a long time now, fueling our escapism. Rave parties, Woodstock, jazz clubs in the 20s, Sunday afternoon piano recitals in the guestroom, Jane Austen style. Beating into drums with our palms, dust flying out like cinnamon sprinkling over our shoes.

Grandparents. We are perhaps one of the last generations to still meet and greet our grandparents, assuming we’re not going to start living forever anytime soon and shooting hoops with our great-grandpa is gonna just be a normal Friday afternoon. That heart clenching feeling of annoyance with yourself that you aren’t spending much time with that old guy or gal that helped raise you and, among other thing, is a palpable connection to the last century, thick as blood. But remember that vortex mentioned earlier? It only makes room for thoughts about our future and regrets about past relationships. A cruel phenomena indeed. Sorry grandma.

If one lives in the city, there isn’t a moment’s rest. As a kid, the big bright boisterous town is nothing short of a mythical creature, revealing both its fangs and its alluring richness of colours to you. Except then you dare not disturb it, the grownups forbid it. In one’s roaring twenties though, the chain breaks and you’re left staring down the beast, ready to tackle, grinning madly all the way through.  You get scratches and bruises and your wallet gets stolen, your ass gets grabbed and fuck that guy for not stopping so you could cross, who does he think he is. But then you get a whiff of the scented skin of the beast, multi-coloured LSD spiked paradise that fills your eager brain with moments of fullness, metal tasting foggy winter mornings through grey blocks, awe inspiring musical excursions at the Athenaeum, dinosaurs close enough to touch, drunken stupors from which you wake up dancing and stopping and dancing and carefully tracing the outline of a beautiful person’s body and dancing and stopping to kiss someone’s  soft blushing cheek. ‘You smell good, stranger’. Of course, you have no way of knowing whether or not they’re blushing, it’s too dark and smoky, but this is where all the fiction reading comes in.

Working for eight hours straight is not rewarding enough if not done in the wee hours of the night, preferably in the eve  of the deadline. There’s just something about finishing at the last minute, a rush like no other, a sense of accomplishment good boys and girls never really feel, not in the same way, never. Perhaps it has something to do with the conditioning from movies and books that the hero always prevails when all hope was up and out the window. It makes victory all the more spectacular. However, there’s another side to this coin of handing in assignments and projects and illustrations as late as humanly possible: the times when you fail to make it. When it is too late, when the princess was in fact not in that castle, please keep looking. Then you end up looking like a fool, dangling from your conceitedness like an abandoned puppet on a string.

And what better moment to start talking about sex. The thing is, one never stops. Perhaps verbally, but the twenty something year old brain is in a relentless rumour, buzzing on about breasts and love and thighs and ‘It was only a one time thing!’and the mesmerizing curvature of hip bones, betrayal. It’s cocaine for the perverse. But in a sense, everyone’s a bit twisted.

A married person once said: ‘The great thing about being married is that you can finally relax and stop treating every girl you meet like you might possibly sleep together’. It’s this cocktail of social awkwardness and fear and lust that keeps many businesses rolling.

Something pertaining specifically to the dreaded and awesome twenties is also a sense of sadness. Sadness at finally figuring out how the world seems to work, at losing most of the magic, at poverty, at losing the ability to instantly make friends, at having to face things, sadness at your peers, at yourself.  This, of course, works alongside an enviable zest for live,  resulting in sky scraper ups and bottomless pit downs.

One last comment that I would make on being twenty something and living in the city and not having your life figured out yet, is that one is not often as unspecific as this. Remember the vortex of self-absorption? Speaking loudly and proudly with ‘Me’ ‘Myself’ and ‘I’ is standard issue in getting yourself heard and known, making a mark and proving you exist, but not always so. Prime evidence is how I’ve just written out almost a thousand words about myself without once using a single first person pronoun, singular. Now what could be more egotistical that that?

Late, detached yet and vaguely frustrated with the quality of one’s writing, one ends this essay and goes off to find out more.

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2 Responses to “Week 2: People in Basements”

  1. theycallthewind Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    This is great. So glad I got out of the city….

    • unwantedthoughtssupply Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

      Thank you :] eh, the city has its good sides, you just have to know when to open and when to close your eyes I believe.

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