I Am Too Old To Be Goth

Another flashback post from Adult Backwash. This one from columnist Un was published on September 2, 2004.

I am too old to be goth.

Back in my day, we didn’t have a name for ‘us,’ nor was it cool. And even if there was a goth movement in my area, & I would not have been cool enough to know about it, & I wouldn’t have been interested.

I know, the morbidly depressed, sullen, isolated types are supposed to be goth. But I find a fundamental problem with we depressed, reluctant, reclusive types being in a group of any sort.

For one, groups require organization. Organization both provides usefulness, and acts as if there is a future to prepare for. That right there is a complete contradiction for the lethally morose.

Melancholia doesn’t give a crap about organization.

And I hear there is a dress code for goth — the perpetual black, the artful use of makeup to make oneself both pale, yet pronounce features such as the eyes, and I think there is some sort of hair requirement, but admittedly, I don’t care enough to look long enough to decipher it.

If there is anything more depressing than my life, it’s adding shopping for another pair of jeans – I have enough problems just finding jeans to fit me without the added pressure that they are a prerequisite for belonging to a group of people who may or may not agree that my black is black enough for me to belong.

I see distortions of death everywhere anyway. And I have no desire to work on looking more like an unnatural corpse. I have a mirror. So no, I’ll pass on the non-beauty lesson as they’d try to educate me in proper death mask facial cosmetics procedures.

The goths don’t scare me. Really, they amuse me. What does scare me are the millions of me that are everywhere, everyday. You pass by us everyday. And without black garb & creative stage faces, you don’t notice us.

You have likely even passed by me before. I may be the lady in the elevator, in the cubicle next to you, the one you cut in front of at the grocery store, the toon on BW that you passed over last week… Or maybe not you, but you, yes you… yes, you right there. I know you have walked past me before, in front of that Chinese restaurant on 3rd avenue…

Oh well, it’s not unusual. And really, it’s not remarkable. If we wanted to be seen, we’d dress all funky, just to get your attention, and if that wasn’t enough, we’d tell you we are descendants of vampires…

I guess the non-goth-depressed-for-real among us don‘t really care to stand out. It’s too much work.

Too much work to adhere to a dress code. Too much work to create some elaborate family tree that includes blood-sucking-night-creatures-with-magic-powers.

I’ll only mention the kelpies.

Have You Ever Been So Low, For So Long?

This piece, by Un, was published Friday, September 10, 2004, at Adult Backwash.

Have you ever been so low, for so long, that you knew there was no way but up, for the first time in your life, and that only scared the shit out of you? The thought of actually moving, even if it was the dream of ‘up,’ gives a paralysis that only the experienced can know.

Have you ever been so low, for so long, that the thought of leaving your dark gloomy cave was more threat than promise? What if you reached down for that last bit of strength, mustered the will to try, and you made it? You went to a place where you could at least see ‘happy,’ or the smell of it would waft to your nose, what then? Would it all just be taken away again anyway? Or would it be worse.

Have you ever been so low, for so long, that in your misery you felt a safety in the lack of the threat that more would be dumped upon you? Your wish is only to remain hidden from the sight of gods who only see you as a plaything for ways of punishment.

Have you ever been so low, for so long, that it is better to stay where you are? Your life as a mouse in a hole, full of your own excrement, with nothing to eat but the walls & the aforementioned shit, was at least safe from the cat lurking outside the door. Yes, you missed the warmth of the sun. Yes, the promise of fresh food, of running on green grass or plush carpeting was divine. But what about the cat? If not the cat, what about the traps? The poisoned peanut butter? What if you made one remarkable run across the plush green carpet to the lush green grass outside, only to be battered by hurricanes, carried off by a hawk? Bliss would be instant death, but you know better. No ingestion, just some scars & a nasty long drop…

Have you ever been so low, for so long, that the only thing that sustained you was fear? The good news is, fear is everywhere. You fear to hope. You fear to dream. You fear cats, traps, hawks, winds, cars, & even writing.

Have you ever been so low, for so long?