Les Miserables

A/N: I… don’t even know what this is. Bleurgh. Brain fart!

“Well, that sucked.”

He simply nodded his head in agreement. He let out a huge sigh as she patted his back. Then they sat in silence for a while, watching a few people ride their boards on the skating park in front of them.

“So, Christmas is gonna be awkward,” she remarked.

“Again,” he finished the sentence for her, “I mean, ever since I can remember none of the holidays in the family have been genuinely cheerful. You see, this is why I believe we all are better off apart from each other. Especially the old folks.”

She hummed in understanding, “Seems weird that they tried to stick together somehow thinking it would work out eventually, but never actually trying to be open enough to discuss it, dunnit?”

“You can say that again,” he sprawled on top of the grass, “like somehow things we’ll magically settle itself.”

“And they say that means there’s love,” she began to chuckle loudly, “what kind of masochist would even think that? No offense to your folks, man. Mine was just the same.”

“None taken,” he smirked, “speaking of which, how is it gonna be this year with your folks?”

“My sister’s gonna meet Ma with her boyfriend for dinner on Christmas eve. Imma travel with Pa, we’ll leave tomorrow. We’ll change places for Christmas day.”

“Seems like you guys found a neat system.”

“It’s better than how it used to be,” she shrugged, “I’m just grateful this year we didn’t get to meet the other relatives. Either they would look at me and my sister with pity, which is totally unnecessary, or they’d start talking shit about Pa or Ma, depends on which side we visited.”

“Ugh, yeah that could be nasty,” he sat up, again sighing loudly, “there doesn’t seem to be any way out of this whole thing. And this whole holiday spirit thing and being home for it only makes me pettier. I’d be looking at commercials one second, and the next thing I know I’d get annoyed on why everybody looks so damn happy. What the fuck.”

She laughed, “Oh man. We never really get used to it even after years of watching them fight, don’t we?”

“At least yours are giving some time off of each other a chance, man. Mine’s just… fucked up AND in denial. I can’t wait for next year to come. I’ll make sure to get accepted at least somewhere half across the country.”

“Yeah, now that Pa rediscovered a long, forgotten hobby and finally managed to get over the thought of being a lonely, useless, old man, I can’t be more excited to start living alone. By the way, come over to the ramen place some time, he’d be happy to see you.”

“Oh, right, I’ll have lunch there tomorrow before you guys leave.” He took his board and got up, “wanna hit the park again?”

“Sure,” she put her snapback on and tied her shoes, “feeling better now?”

“I guess,” he replied, unsure, “I mean, I know they will still be ridiculous once I get home, but oh well, what can I do? Let’s just skate and forget about it for a moment.”

“Sounds good enough,” she went up and picked her board, walking together with him.

As he was about to get on the board, he paused suddenly and looked at her, saying, “Are we gonna be fucked up like them, too?”

Perplexed, she replied, “I hope not. What makes you think that?”

“Looking at it every day of our lives, don’t you think it’ll influence us in any way?” he wondered, “this is depressing.”

“Oh well, shared sorrow is half of it,” she set her board on the floor, “we’ll be fine.”

She held out her fist, and he bumped his with hers, “Happy Christmas, man.”

“Yeah, happy Christmas to you, too.”

As they went faster and felt the wind blowing on their faces, he thought, maybe this is the kind of ‘sticking together’ that’s worth it.


Adolescent Myopia

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

Source: Teen Age Idol

It is excruciatingly hard to admit this, but the closest teenager-me have come to idolize someone was when I was so into this particular member of a K-pop girl group (whom I decided not to name), simply because I think the way she dresses is cool; basically it’s easy to pick her out from the crowd of monotonous cutesy acts and exterior, which is actually the main selling point of the other groups and idols in the industry.

Allow me a moment to cringe for the apparent tastelessness of my teen self and how much I was a loser as I was proud to think I have chosen the non-mainstream, while the word “BASIC” is written in capitals on my forehead. Ugh.

In my defense, I was considerably perceptive enough to see her as nothing but an image created by the company she was in. I mean, at least I wasn’t blinded with her persona on stage or on reality shows that I took them as her traits of personality and how she is in real life. But I still look forward to watching them as she would be there, rocking edgy hairstyles and clothing which I might not be able to pull off in real life. It was partly some sort of gratification through others, if I may.

The other half of the reason was that, as I guess any teenager would, I, too, experienced a certain level of consciousness about my own appearance by that time. I liked her because she projects the way I would like to dress myself, while previously I had never care even a teeny tiny shit on however other female idols or celebs style themselves. Of course, it didn’t go all too well as illustrated from my hair fail story. But to some extent, teenage me found comfort in her against all those peer pressure to look up to the seemingly only way for girls to be considered at least “dressing properly”.

I am so glad that phase is over. It was too exhausting; both self-debating too much about fitting in and feeling too required to achieve a certain look. Oh, and it’s also a little too much failing all attempts to lose weight because I thought that is the only way I can totally pull of her style.

Like some, my fascination eventually also faded out into indifference. Mostly because I reached that moment of epiphany saying, “Oh fuck it, you do you, I do me or whatever that shit is”. Honestly, I don’t remember exactly how or when I got to that point, but probably  because I had other trivial matters I’d rather attend to; basically me developing new interests that don’t necessarily involve thinking about how I look or anything too much to do with the issue of identity.

Perhaps I just turned to a full-fledged skepticist, especially on the question of individuality or humanity as a whole. Uniqueness suddenly appears overrated.