My life is moving too fast. I’ve been living with a handicap for the past month and a half–namely, the lack of a stable housing situation. That has caused me to fall behind in almost all of my classes and forced me to play catchup while hoping teachers and administrators will cut me a little slack. As of this writing, I’m not sure how far that’s going to get me. I don’t mean to make excuses, but even so, being homeless is a pretty good one, isn’t it? I’m not looking for a handout, just a hand up, or whatever it is that the 47% of students who think their school owes them financial aid, housing, and a decent education want. I’m just like you, except that I’m not, is what I’m trying to say. Perhaps if I just post this picture of one of my favorite historical figures, you’ll understand.
I don’t think I can properly put into words how difficult my apartment hunt was. I’ve lost count of the number of places I’ve slept at over the past one year-plus. It split my life apart at the seams, and honestly, there were times during my hostel and couch-surfing days early in the semester when I wondered why I didn’t just go the airport and book the next flight to San Francisco. The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that no matter how much I hated life in New York, it couldn’t be any worse than life in California. I tried to make things work in that state, but it kicked me out. It didn’t want me, denying me suitable long-term employment and any real prospects for the future. When I told my therapist that the only downside to getting into Columbia had been my knowledge that it was going to be a long time before anything that good was going to happen to me again, he told me that it didn’t have to be that way. Of course, nothing that good has happened since I read the letter back in February, but I take his point. I don’t believe in the power of positive thinking. For me, pessimism is not a defensive crouch; it’s just the natural order of things. Most of the time, everything sucks. Every so often, things stop sucking for a moment. I guess what my therapist was trying to tell me was that that pattern is not set in stone, even if it’s the way that things usually work out. I hope he’s right.
(I’m posting this video partially because Dan Savage is my God, and partially because it’s the closest any ad has ever come to making me cry. Every time I get to the cop saying “You are perfect and wonderful exactly as you are”, I just about lose it.)
I didn’t sleep very well last night. If there’s one thing that’s been weighing me down these past couple years, it’s my inability to get a good night’s sleep. Once in a blue moon, I wake up not feeling like shit. And I used to be so good at that.
Most people seek a certain amount of stability in their lives. I seek sustainability, the knowledge that I can more or less carry on as usual without hurting anyone, myself included. It’s difficult, extremely difficult. By now, I have at least figured out that whatever the problem is, it’s not me. So that’s something.
This is completely random, but I recently became aware of British boy band One Direction. Something about them struck me–not that they’re good, exactly, but that they aren’t punch-yourself-in-the-face terrible. Most teen idols make me want to kill myself. (Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers, I could go on.) What irks me isn’t just the generic nature of tweenybop music, but its sanctimony. Most of it is so smothered in sugary girl-I-want-you-so-bad false sentiment that it almost makes me retch. One Direction’s music (well, the one song I heard, which seems fairly ubiquitous by now) is bland, but not smarmy. They’re just late-teens/early twentysomethings who like to sing about girls, being young and, well, girls. If this is the next stage in the evolution of prepackaged pop music, color me impressed. In another thirty years, there may even be a teen sensation that I can actually enjoy. (Not that I’m in the target audience, but I don’t see why I couldn’t enjoy that stuff. I just never have.)
(And since somebody is probably wondering, yes, I would totally hit that. Generally, I like my men just a tiny bit more mature, but I have been known to enjoy barely-legal twinks every now and then, and it doesn’t hurt that the boys from One Direction, unlike most of the other teen idols I can name, don’t seem to mind parading around in their underwear or even being caught naked. So sue me, I’m only human.)
There is a subgenre of fiction that caters to closeted teenage boys. If there is an equivalent subgenre for lesbians, I am not aware of it. It consists of movies and literature in which the shy, nerdy boy gets assigned to tutor the captain of the football team and discovers that (gasp!) he has a secret. And a ten-inch cock. Those are rare even in porn, but some of the stories I’ve seen have a virgin taking all of that at once, which is more fantastical than anything George Lucas ever dreamt of. How is this different from the Mary Sue escapism of, say, Twilight? It isn’t, except that there’s more sex. It is targeted at teenage boys, after all. One or two of these movies/books are actually decent. Most suck. One in particular (that I will not link to or even name) had the nerd get dumped by the jock after the jock’s mother caught them in bed together. The nerd runs off with a surfer (who, in a twist more implausible than finding out that the half-man, half-machine scoundrel you’ve spent the last two movies fighting is your own damn father, turns out to be packing eight fucking inches), then returns to the football player the instant he comes crawling back to the nerd. What a fucking asshole. I never got that lucky. Maybe that’s for the best.
I’ll post part two as soon as I’ve finished it. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely gif and guffaw at this article, which is one of the funniest things I’ve read in recent memory. Until next time, everyone. This hero’s journey is just getting started…