22 October 2006

Center of the World, Again.

When I was twenty-two I was standing on a bridge in Camden Town smoking a cigarette, and I saw a group of tourists walking up from the street. They took some pictures of each other standing by the canal and then one of them pointed the camera at me and took a picture. I had long, purple hair at the time, and I was wearing a purple silk long-sleeves shirt.

I’m not embarrassed. I was young and had to distinguish myself somehow, so for me at the time it meant having silly hair and silly clothes and a cigarette.

Anyway, these people were taking pictures of me, thinking the best way for them to describe to their friends back home what Camden or even London was like in the ‘90s was to show a picture of a young man with a cigarette and a purple velvet shirt that matched his hair.

Young people from all over the world come to New York and to London and to San Francisco in the hope not merely of having a good time and having their quirks accepted by a community of bigger freaks, but often in the hope of defining what makes these places what they are. I didn’t move to London to be a part of something, but to dictate the definition of that something.

Now I live in a small city and I’m ten years older. In my community at the moment I’m usually happy to go to the grocery store without getting into a fight, and finding a parking spot close to my house on my way back. I wish I could say it’s just about getting wiser and understanding the real important things in life, but I somehow feel there’s a bigger problem here. Sometimes I feel there’s something wrong with losing the will or the need to define the world on my own terms.


mary said...

They say 'youth is wasted on the young,' maybe so..but I say there's nothing like the feeling of being unfallable during those years. We dared to be..and you're right..when we lose that we lose something very important to our sense of self.

People in the Sun said...

Maybe that's the definition of youth, having the ability to influence the world and define its character rather than complain about how hard it is to adapt in a world that never waits for you to catch up.

Ricardo said...

I know what you mean and it happened as soon as I turned 30. I felt sanded down and undefined. I fighting to get an edge back but not in the way it was in my 20's if that makes sense. I'm trying to shake it up a bit. I mean, what are we afraid of at this point? Succeeding?

Antonette said...

Hi, I wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog. Don't apologize about your comment, you were very nice. I hope you visit my blog again soon.

I also wanted to say I really enjoyed visiting yours. Your blog is thought provoking.

Love your dogs!

Take Care,

People in the Sun said...

Thanks everyone,

I think starting a blog was a part of this defiance because I really started to feel out of touch, watching these youngsters taking over the world with their blogs and their www's and their what-nots dot coms. I'm still surprised I actually went ahead and started this thing. Now all I need to do is learn to make it a bit more presentable.

Thanks again for your comments.

Jez said...

Personally, at 31, I am less outwardly rebellious than at 21, but I have become much more of a militant. And that includes buying my groceries (locally)!

People in the Sun said...

Jez, that's a step, right? It's a few steps ahead of me, that's for sure. I mean, I know all about groceries-politics but I still go to Super Fresh (which closed down, fired everyone, and reinvented itself with a new name just to avoid union organizing). We all do what we can, I suppose.

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