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Your Quarter Life Crisis!

Lots of drugs, not much sex, and a general fear and loathing mark these tales of twenty-something angst.

I Don’t Think I’ll Go to My High School Reunion

By David KawamotoI don't think I'll go to my high school reunion. I'm not interested in who's married and who's going bald. Who quit smoking and who still lives at home. I don't want to know that my shy and skinny lab partner from chemistry class is still skinny and shy, or that the goth chick who tried to start an after-school Wicca club now listens to rap music. I want the person voted "Most Likely to Succeed" to have become a wonderful kindergarten teacher.

I don't want to find out that the kid I bought pot from can now pass a drug test, or that the hippie who staged a one-man sit-in during Desert Storm ended up voting for George W. Bush. I don't want to know that the valedictorian dropped out of college but still makes more money a year than I do. I want to think that the Ayn Rand-quoting loner I knew became something other than an assistant manager at Starbucks.

I don't want to know that the stoners who held half-baked debates about whether Nirvana "sold out" went to law school. I don't want to know that our junior class president put on a lot of weight or that the guy who played third-chair clarinet still wears a mullet. I don't want the arrogant computer geeks to still be on unemployment. I want them to watch nothing but anime and still act awkward around girls.

I don't want to know that no one has heard from Kyle in years. I don't want the suburban cowboy who wanted to be a firefighter to have buddies who died in the World Trade Center. I don't want the bullies who used to terrorize me in the halls to apologize. I don't want the kids who I terrorized in the library to forgive me. I want to let go of my old bitterness as desperately as I cling to it.

I don't want the quiet girl I longed for in second period lit to start talking. I don't want the girl who longed for me to have stopped longing years ago. I don't want to know that the teacher I had a crush on my freshman year was actually a lesbian. I don't want to lose any more of my illusions. I want everything to stay the same. I want everything to have changed.

I don't want to remember how jaded I seemed. I don't want to feel nostalgia for times when I could only look forward to some vague notion of the future. I don't want to be reminded of my lonely nights spent in the throes of existential angst now that people who write pretentious shit like "throes of existential angst" annoy me. I want to never really grow up. I want everything to happen just as I imagined it.

So, no, I don't think I'll go to my high school reunion.

David Kawamoto was born in Valparaiso, Indiana, but spent his formative years in Aurora. He has a degree in history but currently works as a night auditor at a hotel. He has also worked at coffee shops and call centers. His hobbies include going to the movies, trying to write novels, playing video games and drinking alone.


Confessions of a Traffic Scofflaw

By AnonymousPeople ask me how long I've been without a driver's license. And while I'm not really sure, the best answer I can give is since sometime in the mid-'90s. This usually results in a long, hard stare. Especially when I'm behind the wheel.

See, I've never really had good luck with cars. Then again, I'm nearly thirty, freely cruising the streets of Denver without a driver's license, and no government official is any the wiser. So perhaps I am lucky. But let me start at the beginning.

It began at the age of sixteen. Unlike most kids I knew at the time, I actually passed the test on my first try, and as a reward, I got my very own car. In retrospect, those back-to-back bouts of success may have colored my judgment.

During high school, my cloak of invincibility got me through two moving violations (which I had neither the funds nor the inclination to do anything about) and the untimely passing of two vehicles. The latter of which I drove through a chain-link fence and down an embankment while searching in the glove compartment for a nail file.

It never really got any better. Two years and as many cars later, I set off to my chosen hippie, utopian liberal arts college. Despite the fact that this place seemed to be governed by its own set of rules, I managed to have my car permanently barred from campus by the middle of my junior year. Maybe it was the midnight NASCAR sessions around the outdoor running track. Perhaps it was the pedestrian footpaths we frequently used as cross-campus shortcuts. Or maybe it was simply the flagrant and unyielding disregard for handicapped spaces, loading zones, fire lanes, one-ways, Do Not Enters and anything cheerfully designated "Office of the Dean."

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