I wasn't one of the cool kids.
I was an outcast, a freak, and I told myself I liked it that way.
Maybe I did. There are words other than depression, although they sometimes come hand in hand.
Or am I being judgmental?
But a decade or so ago, one of the cheerleaders died. Twenty years after high school, twenty years after I last saw her. We weren't friends, but we had a couple classes together.
She was blonde and blue-eyed and beautiful and bubbly and fit, and every Friday she and the others were in their jail-bait uniforms because what good is an underage teenage girl if you can't sexualize her for the foobaw dads to spank themselves silly over.
I'm pretty sure I spanked myself silly over her on more than one occasion, but what goes on in private stays in private, at least until the statute of limitations runs out.
There was no crime, just a lonely boy in his room with a tube of lotion.
So she died, and a few years passed, and I got word that she'd died, and I looked up her obit which someone shelled out to make "perpetual," but none of the usual clues were there.
Died after a long illness means cancer.
Died unexpectedly means suicide. Or a car accident maybe.
The thing to look for is the "in lieu of flowers" requests, they'll always tell you what really happened, but hers didn't have any.
Like the reasons she treated me and the other freaks like human beings, it remained a mystery to me for years.
I remember, I think I remember, maybe I remember a certain sadness in those lovely blue eyes. Dead before forty, was she secretly one of us?
Did I just admit to struggling with depression?
Well, that should have been obvious by now, but I'll never be diagnosed, I ain't that stupid.
And another reunion rolled around, and I finally got the courage to ask if anyone who knew would PM me because she was just such a nice person, a Veronica amongst the Heathers, but Veronica was a bit of a bitch too, especially at the end of the movie.
How did her movie end?
The best of all of them, the one who would talk to us without judging or mocking or telling jokes behind our backs, the one who was even more beautiful (according to the pics in her obit) at thirty-eight than at eighteen got a cough one day that just didn't go away and got worse and worse despite whatever modern suburban medicine could do for her and she's gone.
No idea where this is going, but I wanted to get a version of it down while it was fresh in my head. Names are changed, but the first couple bits are true.
There were three of us in that Home Ec class, three guys that is. Kelly knew he was going to die soon anyway, so he hung himself in an attic in New Orleans, and last I heard Rick was downstate doing eight to ten for manslaughter.
I guess I'm the winner of the group, tending bar at dive in Hokkaido where we sell rotgut sake, instant noodles, and broken-down whores to Russian sailors who are too blitzed to give a fuck.
There's that video where the guy pauses his game, looks out the front door, and sees the steppe.
Had the chance to take an overnight ferry recently. Standing on the observation deck past midnight, staring out at the darkened islands slipping slowly by, feeling the thrum of the engines and the wind on my face. Mrs. A said she could see my grandfather on me in that moment.
He commanded a warship tasked with killing her grandfather.
They both made it through, but they're both gone now.
See you at Yasukuni.
Heritage? No, none thank you. Nor future. Just one of those buds that never flowered, a bump on a bare branch.
The way I always wanted it. The planet doesn't have long now, only five billion years or so, but the biosphere is approaching one of those evolutionary bottlenecks, and I think if I really tried, I could make it to the Extinction.
Probably not, they keep throwing around numbers like “by the end of this century” and with my current age, genetics, and baked-in health decisions, that's not in the cards. But there's always hope.
Hope that things could speed up, that is.
See you at Yasukuni.
The darkness is gone, in the light now.
Tired, so tired. Wings...
Limbs don't connect.
We danced, we danced and sang and sucked the sweet nectar, mated, flew through the air, the warm, bright air, after so long burrowing in the darkness, constriction, tightness and the dual emergence, first from the earth onto the Earth, and then emerging Self from self, new sensations, new abilities from a part so old it was there in the before.
Will be there again.
No more flight, no more nectar.
The eggs are buried and the darkness is growing bright, a blinding not-light that beckons to whence cannot tell.
We danced and we sang.
The Baby Boom generation is generally defined as people born between 1946 and 1964.
My generation, Generation X, is defined as people born between the early to mid-1960s to the early 80s.
Millenials don't have as sharp of lines, but I've seen 81-96 when I looked around. So let's put that on the back of the envelope.
So if we define childbearing age as between, say, 18 and 35 (yes, it is creeping upwards, and yes, creeps have managed to push it downwards since time immemorial, but let's just go with that range, shall we?) an older boomer (my mother, for example) could have spawned a mid-range Gen Xer like me (she was born just after the war, I was born in 1971). A younger boomer, born in 64, could have a child who is outside even the range of the Millennials, having been born in 1964+35=1999.
So basically the whole Millennial generation is the spawn of the Boomers and the Gen Xers.
You think they gave the participation trophies to themselves?
You think participation trophies undermine recognition of real achievement?
Separate names with a comma.