Here We Are Now, chapter four (smells like teen spirit)

Here We Are Now, chapter four (smells like teen spirit)

by philip scott wikel

His mother and father were down-to-earth and both were successful writers. They’d taught him a great deal about life and finding a close to connection to the spiritual world. They were children of the 60s, adolescents in the 70s, and could have gone the way of the “freelove,” drug culture, consciouslessness of most of their generation but had found the inner fortitude to resist becoming caricatures in a time when everyone around them claimed to be moving to higher ground. That higher ground had manifested itself in one of three ways; as drug burnouts, materialists who had thought paying lip-service to the higher ground would make them happy, or becoming “average.” Average, to him, now meant complacent, apathetic, culturally illiterate and holding standards for everything from public education to personal hygiene that would make the statue of liberty cry real tears and wish she hadn’t welcomed their grandparents.

Dylan was in a quandry. The world sometimes seemed like a daily hallucination, not the reality he’d hoped for. Where was the world his parents had set out to create? He’d been given a lot and even so, being that he was now in his late teens, he was inclined to rebel against what he believed his parents stood for; that natural impulse to break from the family and set out on one’s own. That natural impulse that, in man’s early development, signaled the movement from boy into man and his readiness to take on the responsibility of his own sustenance. Through the millenia this impulse had now become convoluted to the point where parents had come to expect that anything could happen as their children “found their way.” In the 21st Century dysfunction seems loosely defined, Dylan thought. For instance, being, or having been, a drug addict seemed to many just one of the “rites-of-passage.” Being an under-achiever is something to strive for, funny, and to be proud of.

It seems being a public dumb-ass is funny and makes other dumb-asses feel comfortable with their own stupidity; like misery, idiocy loves company. We’re not talking about being an airhead, we’re talking about thinking illiteracy is funny and ignoring centuries of evolution that should define what it means to be “civilized.”

Holden Caulfield would throw himself off a cliff.

Life, a post-modern Pollock painting,

static yet dynamic

white noise.

How does one develop into a dignified, respectable adult with so few examples to follow? Through his haze of disenchantment he knew there was a way. He felt tired, perhaps overthinking everything or just not thinking on the right things, or, perhaps, just not really living. Gen Y with no direction.

Mom and Dad, Grandpa, thought Dylan. Think on them.


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