Hanging in the Limelight

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

Since everyone else in the house would be gone for the weekend, thus leaving me in a position of seeking company, what else could I do but call up my good friend James?  There had been a plan to attempt riding somewhere I could cash a money order, but I had no clue what I would do afterwards since my car is still a paperweight and I had no success getting in touch with Jon to possibly hang out with him.  Instead I just cycled Route 1 for half the afternoon with Los Straitjackets on full blast, as I had found a CD player no one was using that just needed some fresh batteries.

Eventually I received a call back from James, who invited me to come chill with him and this girl that he dates or whatever.  There is something really thrilling about pedaling alongside speeding traffic, the rush of cars slightly drowned out by the music blaring through headphones strapped tightly to my head.  At some point I seem to even forget that I am rolling along the shoulder of a highway

When I arrived at his place we shared a bowl and I obtained some for later use, then climbed into his Firebird for a short drive to his girl’s place.  She is a nice girl and all, but apparently I still have issues being around unfamiliar people and have my doubts about her as well.  Though I want to be supportive as a friend to James since I know he has some sort of feelings for her, it is difficult to fight the desire to protect him, which seems to come from instinct more than anything, on account of being concerned for his well-being.  At the moment I was amused by our conversations and the fact we all drank a shot of 40 year-old whiskey that was the best damn shot I have ever had.

The three of us returned to James’ abode where we shared a blunt and then headed to a local diner.  Teenagers were out en masse that evening, decked out in their mall goth outfits and posing out front with cigarettes they never smoked, leering at the ‘normies’ and making rude remarks.  It never ceases to amuse me that no matter how shocking they try to be, they just seem unable to resist gawking and whispering about me, sometimes making their thoughts quite vocal without realizing the hypocrisy since they would certainly put on the offended act if someone said the same thing about them.  Humorous statements that stood out were “Who is that?” and “Oh my god!

We had to wait for a table since there were so many people, and while doing so there was a commotion in the dining room.  A girl had decided to flash her friends and someone called her a slut, screaming for her to “put those nasty tits away”; guess that escalated into a full on fight where employees were scrambling to move customers away from the scene.  It was too much for us so we left without even getting a table.  James drove his girl back to her place and then it was just the two of us.

For some reason we tried to go play some miniature golf, but the place was closed since it was well into the evening.  Having enjoyed my evening with James, I retrieved my bike and managed to ride it in the dark without dying, which felt like a huge accomplishment when I parked in the yard.

Taking advantage of the empty house, I decided to dye my hair since I was tired of the natural color.  Being able to change small things about my appearance seem to have a positive effect in the self-esteem department, not that the encounter outside of the diner had diminished it or anything. Maybe it is the satisfaction of having control over such choices, the autonomy to do as I please without having to worry about someone attempting to drill their version of beauty into my head.  This has become evident since getting my first facial piercing when I was 18, which people constantly told me I would regret or grow tired of, yet I am now 23 and still have those same lip piercings.  It was pretty awesome that I could just sign a piece of paper and sit in a professional piercing studio to have them done the right way, as opposed to jamming a dirty safety pin in my face or whatever kids do these days to self-pierce.

Anyway, the point I am getting to is that certain aspects of my appearance change frequently – hair, makeup, clothes; there are specific ornaments which are permanent – tattoos, piercings, scars; while they do not ultimately define me as a person, they are an essential element of my existence.  They do not make me better than those who have less or none, they are not a desperate plea for attention [especially since there tends to be a significant amount that is uncomfortably negative], and yet it is undeniable that they set me apart in a way I understand better now than when I began showing an interest in body modifications.

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