I fell in love with a boy because he was wearing a button that read ‘Fuck This Shit’. It was High School English Lit. class, 6th period. Our instructor took the sentiment personally and ripped the button from his shirt. This boy and I had been *just friends* up until that day but after that I was definitely crushing on him. Okay, he was tall and had a pair of devastatingly blue eyes but it was the rebel thing that really did it for me.
High School is now long since past and my figurative love vs. hate knuckle tattoos have faded into memory. Or have they? A few weeks ago I went to hear a Ska band. I know what you’re thinking. Pork pie hats, skinny ties and dark suits, me too. We would both be wrong. These were kids. Punks. Beautiful punk kids! Only a true case of arrested development such as myself would find teenagers furiously moshing, stage diving or passed out so endearing. I loved the club, the music, the audience –
I loved it all.
Since that show I’ve been asking myself, why do I feel so at home in places like this club? Amongst a congregation of the disaffected. Surely I should feel lucky. I have a career, a great family, some money saved and good friends. I am a woman and I am free to go where I want, do as I please. I live in Southern California a veritable playground from the desert to the sea. It is the land of plenty and convenience. On most days it’s a cozy enclave of diversity and acceptance. The legendary Lotus Land. Still, I wake up most mornings thinking ‘is this all there is?’. Maybe you do too.
It’s in me. My DNA. Van Morrison has a song Melancholia. In it he sings about melancholy as a condition. Not just a passing emotion to be cured or gotten over but a state of being. Not seriously depressed or mentally ill, just an enduring sadness with an undertone of angst. So many years I’ve hidden these feelings. Put on a happy face! Growing up I was made to feel wrong, even guilty about feeling blue.
Now I’ve made the decision to embrace my melancholy and disaffected angst.
Ha! Maybe I’ll even revel in it. So thanks kids, you’re alright!