Prologue

In 1992, 500 years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue, I graduated from high school. While my graduation may seem unimportant in comparison to the discovery of the New World, to me my milestone was so much more. Like Columbus had done so many years ago, I too was about to embark on a journey in search of one thing, but would stumble onto something else that would eclipse the original search.

Sunday, September 27

“Well, that's it.”

Jeremy said, dusting off his hands.

“Yup. That's it,” I thought, as I stood in my doorway slowly gazing around my newly empty studio, which doubled as my home. I had lived there for a year. The first time I ever lived on my own, paying my own bills with money that I earned. My life was gonna change drastically. No more wild parties. No more random hook-ups or drinking 'til dawn with Maggie at The Model. No more coke binges with Ben Johnson at Jones' place. No more crazy photo sessions with Sophie and a bottle of Jose Cuervo.

I loved that place. It was perfect. I had always wanted to live in an industrial space and I got it without even looking. Just like Jeremy. He was more the reason for the changes than leaving my place. Changes I chose because I decided love was more important than partying.

“We should get going. It's really late.”

I didn't want to move. I walked through the empty space recalling the day I moved in, an angry Dennis helping me.

“Let's go.”

I took Jeremy's hand.

Hey, what about your U2 poster?”

“Nah, I'm gonna leave that behind.”

I've always had this thing where I'd leave behind something every time I moved. Trying to teach myself how to let go, I guess.

We climbed into the 15' cube truck, packed to the brim. We had a few family stops to make before the long haul across the vast American landscape. I had already said my good-byes with most of my friends. I was gonna miss them the most. My peers. My generation. Myself reflected a million times over in the eyes of all those who I've known since my fresh faced freshman year at Boston College. My generation.


Chapter 1 

Truth 

My favorite generation is the one known as The Beat Generation. Their attitudes, I feel, best reflect the ideals of my peers and myself. However, after the love-in, directionless, hippie-sixties, the cocaine, nightclub, disco-seventies, and the yuppie, Me Generation, we weren't left much. We have been penned the Slacker Generation, the MTV generation, and so on, but no one has really hit the nail on the head.

There seems to be no new paths to create for us, so we face no revolution of attitude, dress, or music as the true beats faced. Everything has already been done. As Frost once said, “I chose the path less traveled.” My generation not only faces all well traveled paths, but paved ones. Where once children had the prospect of making their lives better for themselves than the lives of their parents, we face a more grim realization. We may never have the house, the station wagon, the dog, and the 2.5 kids; not that any of us really want that, but even if we did, it's just not there. Now, one might say that having a college education can buy one those things, but from my own experience with charging into the world, bachelor's degree in tow, I know different; as does the rest of my generation, I presume.

We are the hopeless, violent, deranged, anxious, tired, and beaten generation. Beaten down, beating out, beaten up, just plain old beaten from our past, our future, and, most importantly, our present. (Ironically, we are also beaten' electronically; where the beatniks had congas, we have drum n' bass.)

We have no focus, nothing to hold on to, no one voice to follow; not that one voice could ever even speak for all of us, as we pull further and further apart from each other in an attempt to all find our roots. We no longer seem to be Americans, rather, African Americans, Asian Americans, and so on. The melting pot has reverted back to its myriad ingredients. Maybe that's why we can't seem to get it together, or maybe it's because of previous generations screwing it all up for us. Who really knows? Maybe it's because the nineties were nothing but a countdown to the Millennium. Every other decade had a style of its own, culturally, politically, and musically. The nineties were a strange blend of retro and futuristic; a cacophonic crescendo of the last 4 or 5 decades climaxing towards the year 2000. Funny thing is that the start of the new millennium was really 2001. But no one seemed to notice that because they were too busy counting.

As the baby boomers continue to run the world, they shove us aside, and search for an answer to the possible technological breakdown at breakneck speed, among other things. We are simply in the way. There's no room for us in politics or business and the ones that actually make it in the entertainment industry are exploited and left in the dust quicker than you can say overnight-success. (EMF, Savage Garden, Letters to Cleo, 4 Non Blondes, Jesus Jones' “Right here, right now”—you see my point.)

We look back to music, art, and films made in earlier times and consider them far superior to that which we, my generation, are producing today. But people made most of the stuff back then the age we are now. Yet for some reason Janis Joplin, Andy Warhol, and Dennis Hopper had more to say in their early twenties than any of us could ever dream of saying. Well, I'm not putting down Janis, or young adults today, but that's just how it seems. I guess we're nothing but a countdown generation.

And I'm certainly not saying that I have the answers, but I'm sick of waiting for someone else to come along and be the new Jack Kerouac.

I'm 24 now, and while many would say I'm just a child, I don't feel like one. But I don't really feel like an adult either. By all rights I should be living like an adult now. I graduated from Boston College in 1996. It's 1998, almost 1999. I'm married, at least. I got that one done with, but we have no jobs, no money, and absolutely no desire to work for the man. (The man: the Caucasian, middle-aged man who tells us that we want to be part of his team to help fill his pockets, not necessarily our own. The man who plays golf while we sweat and break our backs. The man who thinks we are mindless automatons who desire only to be a part of his soul-sucking factory. Fuck that. We want to make our own money our own way for us.)

I used to think that's what I wanted to do, work for the man, but I was in high school then. I didn't know it then, but I was completely unaware of who I was in high school. I never even questioned my identity. In college, I really thought I discovered who I was. I pondered, I wrote feverishly stoned all night long, skipping classes the next day, barely scraping by, being the only true Bohemian on the ultra-conservative BC campus. But again, I had no clue. I'm only just now finding out who I am, and realizing, or finally accepting, that I don't fit in anywhere. Then it struck me: maybe my whole generation feels this way. Maybe that's why all my friends are so lost now. Of course, I'm just as lost as they are. Maybe even more… (read more)