Monday, March 27

This weekend while riding the subway I came across many high school students. Something which was only interesting because it seemed that the the kids I kept running into were the too-cool-for-school type. You know, your typical rich-boy-thug or mock-goth-punker/raver kid who believes peer-pressure is the be all and end all of life and that it's best to keep parents/adults at a distance.

I can remember being fourteen, riding the subway after school, and feeling like it was my duty to bring "counter-culture" to the other dull communters. We were determined to be noticed: it's what made loud conversations about explicit things seem totally necessary. This obliviousness is a phase that hits post-puberty and lasts until university. It makes every kid feel like part of a competition to attract either admiration or intrigue from those around him.

But when I see these kids, I want to find some way to say "you're not impressing me". This feeling usually comes after some pretty thug boys launch into a boastfull discussion filled with slurs and swears after they've caught me watching them. As their audience I want to tell them "that's not the way to get what you want," but I usually just pretend to ignore it all, only looking so I can toss the ocassional scowl in their direction.

The best thing I saw this weekend, however, was a pole dance performed by a boy who had obviously just discovered his sexuality and wanted to show it off. His friends cheered him on as he gyrated between the subway seats and he checked out the other passengers with every twist around the pole. The best part was that he moved to music coming through headphones-- he really was dancing to his own beat. It was painful watching people try so hard to not look, but no one wanted to justify the boy's actions with a glance. I just thought his routine was embarrassing.

But perhaps only because I know that I was once just as oblivious, and I also know a few people who still are. Everyone needs to be a little bit foolish from time to time. Or: maybe I just enjoy judging those around me. I will probably be on a subway many years from now, staring at university students, and wondering why they feel the need to be so strange.