by Sean Thomas
The hormonal orgy of teenagehood is gone, so what now?
|There is something on my head as I write this. It was on my head earlier today when I walked down the shop to buy some cigarettes. It was on my head yesterday when I went to catch the bus. It has been on my head for a few weeks now, and the more I think about what is on my head the more disconcerting I find it to be. It’s a cap, or to be more specific my 13 year olds brother’s cap, sitting right there, on my head. No big deal you might say, but you would be ever so wrong. Because it’s not so much the cap that irritates me, but what this cap symbolises. I’ve never been tempted to wear a cap before now; I’ve never even particularly liked caps. But here it is, on my head, sitting there smugly, like some overly symbolic, overly analysed, well…cap. And so it should be smug too, I doubt the other caps get this much attention, in fact I doubt that any cap in the history of caps has ever been such a muse to someone before. So the cap is justified in its arrogance.
This cap is symbolic of the little talked about, but surprisingly poignant, late-teen crisis, or, as I am now, the earlier twenty-something crisis, as at some point in this recent cap wearing orgy I had a birthday. The most depressing birthday of my twenty year long existence, and not just because I woke up on a bench the morning after with a bad head, no money, and the noticeable absence of my mobile phone. This cap, which I stole form my younger and increasingly enviable brother, shows the death thralls of my teenage excuse. I have always associated caps with the young, thinking them to look quite ridiculous on the head of anyone comfortably into their twenties or above, and so my recent cap wearing extravaganza is, in essence, the pathetic equivalent of the mid life crisis divorcee buying a Harley Davidson, in desperate attempt to recapture his youth. I don’t even like this damned cap.
So, having recently emerged from the hormonal chaos of my teenage years, I am not only incredibly embarrassed my excessive teenage angst, but nostalgic for the poignancy that life seemed to hold in light of the new and confusing hormones being released inside of me. It all seemed to matter so much. Now I’m sickeningly aware that my favourite t-shirt still being in the wash before a big night out is not the end of the world. The end of the world never bloody happens anymore and, as a result, life seems that little bit too bland. Before it seemed that the four horsemen of the social life apocalypse seemed to fly over my head with staggering regularity, giving my life the drama and excitement that you need simply in order to keep the will to live in this age of constant comparison to T.V. I’ve finally entered an age whereby every birthday will be greeted with contempt and denial, as I edge further and further away from the comforting embrace of my teenage years, during which I could get away with any amount of petulance and ridiculousness because, hey, I’m hormonal… Well, I’m not hormonal anymore. I’m a fucking adult. Great.
And this would be fine had I not looked forward to it so bloody much. It seems as though my whole life has simply expectations leading up to this point, and now I’m here, I’m terrified and overwhelmed, desperately trying to have as much fun as possible because I feel that I owe it to my day dreaming 15 year old self to justify the constant impossible nostalgia for the future. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was 21, and all I’ve done is acquire a tragically comprehensive knowledge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Kurt Cobain. I was supposed to be a famous rock star by now. That was the plan! Whatever happened to the plan? It seems to have become less and less ambitious as my hormones balance themselves out more and more. My friend turned 21 the other day. I could hardly bring myself to look him in the eye. The poor bastard.