I dropped in on Langel’s BBQ bash a number of hours back. The experience is one I could only justify myself describing as profoundly odd and uncomfortable in the most interesting fashion.
To say that I didn’t fit in would be an understatement of monumental proportion. The gentleman to my two-o-clock described an encounter with an acid dealer named ‘twig’ and the fellow to his immediate left told his surrounders that he’d known the dead kid they found somewhere I doubt I’d even have heard of. There was much patching and safety-pinning of clothes and it seemed that, and I just plain didn’t know that tobacco can come in coffee cans and must only be taken when hand rolled and passed between good friends.
Fuck if I know, man, the worst drug I’ve ever done was NyQuil – and that shit puts me in my place. Don’t worry, though, I am a casual user – I only take it when I’ve got, like, a flu or something. They say it is a gateway drug. They say its street name is ‘the kwil’ and that if it weren’t for ‘the man’ and his desire to keep us down it would be illegal. I have my doubts.
I bet chewing heroine tastes better than the adult dose of the kwil, though. Can one chew heroine? See? I am not into this stuff.
I was furiously not of the same social space as those around us. This is not a class thing I am describing – nothing of any scale or comparison – but a pure juxtaposition. To see Langel and I together would be, I’d assume, almost comical. You’d imagine a dichotomy, I think, that would seem almost as that of oil and water. I wear a tie to work. As far as I can tell, Langel wears a ripped tee and jeans. I find smudges on my glass coffee table a tad bothersome. The house I walked through this afternoon was a work of art in the medium of free-form object placement with leftovers as accent pieces. I am 511, he’s 6+ – I’m clean shaven, he wears a half beard – I have little personal freak-outs if I miss my deodorant one morning and I’d be willing to bet he showers in his mismatched ‘Roos. Please don’t read my description as anything but a side-by-side, as I hold a respect for this guy that I’ve found almost hard to deal with; I am just pointing out that we look as likely to hang out together as an ostrich and a fucking tiger shark.
There are connections, though. As a matter of fact, we meet mostly to discuss this project we are working on which is entirely a shared interest. When we hang we discuss things – things that make me feel all wound up inside – things like Voltron and Robert Stack; Kung Fu and Optimus Prime. His grasp of technologies that I am interested in is astounding and his musical talent is terribly respectable.
How could we be so different superficially then? I think the question is more easily asked as follows: How can we be so much the same on so many levels when we so obviously move around in wholly different realities?
It’s the marketing. You can blame Takara and Nintendo, He-Man and Thundercats. When I stood in his living room I was in a tiny little portion of my deepest memories of times past. I stared at a wall of NES carts and artifacts, action figures and the like, that I recognized with an almost visceral immediacy. We were both born in an era that stressed an obsession with icons that fed an economic beast that I believe has yet to be rivaled. When you say Zelda, people my age say ‘Fuck Yes!’
We may express it differently, but we are one somewhere deep down, as I believe everyone our age is. It is good to know that no matter what I have a link with others of my ilk. When in doubt, a simple utterance shall certainly find me in the open arms of those who were nurtured from the teets of Ultra Magnus and BumbleBee. Cup tells it and I believe it:
Bah weep granna weep ninni bahn
And damnit, I mean it.
One more thing: This evening I was pinged by an AIM user who believed I was her best friend ‘Nikole’. After assuring her that I’d never, not in my wildest dreams, ever be mistaken for a ‘Nikole’ (the penis is a dead give-away, I am told) we determined that there is a slight differentiation between my SN and Nikole’s. It interests me that I have unwittingly taken part in a ‘wrong number’ call of the internet age. I shared a few minutes of small talk with Nikole’s best friend and was curious to find that we treated one another with a respect and familiarity that you just wouldn’t ever dare with someone calling you at a billon-o-clock at night and asking you if you were someone you clearly aren’t.
To me that says something about our evolving communicative system. That or the MSG from tonight’s Akira-Kurosawa-tastes-good-with-delivery event has made its way to my brain.