"I’m all alone in the world", Jamie thought to herself then instantly rejected it. "Then again, there are millions of other people in the world, and for that matter, millions of angsty teenaged girls like me, thinking that exact thing." Moving off her bed and onto the floor, Jamie wondered at her own self centeredness, "are all teenagers this self absorbed to think that they're so unique that no one understands them and that no one can feel what they feel? No, I flatter myself too much. Of course they all think that, and then they all think what I’m thinking now. That everyone thinks what I’m thinking. Yet knowing that millions of teenagers have thought this exact thought makes me feel no kinship to them. You’d think it would, but no. someone has had this thought, millions of people have felt this disconnected from their surroundings and people in general. That’s just depressing. Or am I just being depressed by the fact that I’m way less unique than I thought I was in my suffering. My suffering, oh yes, the great burdens of Jamie Goldberg. Having friends who confuse me though, I kid myself that they don't, having a family that just 'doesn't understand' and now what? With my new understanding of the fact that I’m just like everyone else my age morph into some girl in a made for TV movie on the Disney channel? No, my understanding means nothing because there's nothing I can do with it. so I’m the same as everyone else, well perhaps not exactly the same as they all think they're different and I know I’m the same." shifting slightly on the floor so she was staring up at the turned off light on her ceiling, Jamie closed her eyes. "Or do I just think that I’m the only one that knows I’m the same. Maybe that's what this whole 'punk' movement is about, denial that we're all the same. Now we're just all the same in bondage pants." Jamie stretched her back and while doing so her arm hit some unidentifiable object on the floor of her room. Shoving whatever it was aside, she began playing with her hair. Even this simple act triggered her carefully trained self consciousness. "Playing with my hair makes me look dumb. I should stop. But whose here to see me? No one. So what does it matter that I look stupid? Nothing. And why does playing with my hair make me look stupid. Because it makes you look nervous, remember dad explained this to you. Yeah I remember. Dad’s explained everything to me. One of these days he'll say something completely wrong and I won't even notice. I’ll think that I will notice, but it'll take me a while to catch it, my beliefs are so carefully based on his. I wonder what at this very moment I believe that is completely close-minded or wrong that I just don't notice because I never thought to examine it. I wonder if that's how slavery worked. No one considered it was a bad thing... until they did. Wait no; someone has always opposed slavery, at least in theory. I wonder what we do now that in a hundred years they will consider us barbarians for. We showered too much; we didn't have respect for the dust mites in the air that we kill when we breathe. I dunno, if I could think of it then it wouldn't be what I’m trying to think of." Jamie let her thoughts trail off while with half her attention she studied the light fixture on her ceiling for the hundredth time. All these hours she had spent staring at it and if she had been asked where the crack in the ceiling was, she wouldn't have been able to tell you. Her thoughts lost in whatever tangential forest of insanity that today her mind held, Jamie wondered if this was another thing that every teenager did. "Out there somewhere I know there's someone thinking this. With so many people in the world, I bet there's someone almost exactly like me. But not truly like me. Or is that just me being dense again. After all what’s so special about me that couldn’t be created. Then again this isn't creation on purpose to try and duplicate me as that would be stupid. This is random chance of two people half the world away having a child like me. Well if there
Was someone like me, they would have had to have been raised in an environment like mine. That whole nature vs. nurture thing. So they'd have to be from somewhere like LA, otherwise they wouldn't be like me and then ... they wouldn't be the person under consideration." Jamie rolled over on the floor to look at the clock. 11:45 and with work tomorrow she needed to get up early. There would be time from introspection later. Time
For precious sleep now. Carefully getting up, Jamie steered her way through the various things lying around on her floor and reached for the light. Then she thought better of it and left it off. Light hurts and her eyes were adjusting anyways. Now she could see that what her hand had hit earlier was the skirt she had worm to work that day. Oh. And that's where her camera was. whuda thunk. Pulling off her jeans and shirt and tugging
On her faithful boxers and smashing pumpkins shirt, Jamie was ready for bed. She guided herself with greater ease, now that she could see, to the door and opened it. Though she never would have admitted it, from some reason, sleeping with the door closed freaked her out. Back to the bed she wandered and fell into bed. Awaiting sleep and knowing it would take awhile; Jamie shut her thoughts off and focused on her breathing. The only way, she had discovered, to fall asleep any faster. To ignore her thoughts, to shut up her mind, and just sleep. Bouncing through her now almost empty mind where hopes that a warm and loving guy of about 16 with shaggy hair and a nice smile would find her in her dreams. And people wondered why she loved sleeping so much...
Later that day, as Jamie stumbled home from a hard day of mind numbingly boring work, back in her own little safe haven from the world, her thoughts lost themselves again. The war to keep her thinking about something worth thinking about or of importance in some way was long lost and she didn’t even bother to try to fight it anymore. No reason to sacrifice innocent lives to a war that could not be won. “Today is a day for the smashing pumpkins.” She thought, “It’s sunny out, the world is happy, and yet I’m not. Thought I have no reason to be unhappy, well I’m not unhappy. That implies negative happiness. It’s not that I’m unhappy; it’s just that where the happiness would be, there isn’t any. Not happy, not unhappy, just kind of numb. Depressing music will depress me, happy music will make me homicidal, I think I’ll go with depressing and take my chances. So smashing pumpkins it is. Where is that damn CD?” Jamie rummaged through her pile of CD’s. Some of her few treasured possessions were in that pile. Her Doors, her Sublime, her Beatles and her Who, her Nightmare before Christmas, her random mix CDs that friends had made her with everything on them from emo to hard core punk to oldies. Her self definition was buried in that to the outsider, ill kept, but to the trained eye, merely well loved pile of CDs. In perfect condition, just messy. Like everything she treasured. Finding her copy of Siamese Dream, Jamie suddenly came to the realization that her boom box wasn’t plugged in. The curse of not enough electric plugs in her wall would forever haunt her. Between the phone, the computer, the amp, and the cell phone charger it was a perpetual battle for supremacy. Which appliance would remain plugged in while another was unplugged for the sake of its brother appliance? The battle continued with the computer in the lead, having never been unplugged. The phone came in a close second, as it was almost as necessary to daily life as the computer. The boom box, radio and amp for the electric guitar where still fighting it out for third place. Their need was as essential to daily life as the computer, and yet since there were three of them and two plugs, in the end one had to be left out. The radio was beginning to trail behind as Jamie started to realize that the radio was not going to play what she wanted to listen to, no matter how hard she wanted it to. Then again, half the time Jamie didn’t know what kind of music she liked, what she should like, who she would like but hadn’t discovered yet, and what this all meant about her. As Jamie sat in her twirly office chair, twirling just because she could, her mind revisited that old problem. “Some days I don’t even know if I like the music I like because I really like it or because I want to like music that through some odd system of judgment, I’ve deemed cool and thus want really badly to like. I’ve come to the realization that I really don’t like most old punk music. It’s fun sometimes, but it’s really not music. Well, it’s music, but it’s not work-of-art music. It’s being pissed off in three chords. And some days you really need to be pissed off in three chords, but take for instance, the smashing pumpkins. With All those layers of music, the message that transcends the words, so you would know what they’re saying even if you didn’t know what they were singing, that’s music. It’s not even all those hours of work you know they put into it that makes it a higher art form. Perhaps I wouldn’t think this if I didn’t connect to them so much. Art you don’t connect to you can always appreciate, but it’s still not the same. Like I can look at thousands of paintings of still lives of apples and vases and feel nothing, but I know that this is art, good art. I respect it as an art form, as art, but I don’t particularly like it. I bet people can listen to this and not like it just because they don’t connect. People never try to respect music they don’t like though. It’s kinda sad sometimes. I respect pop music. I used to hate it so badly. So badly. Then again, I used to be a punk poser who thought she was better than everyone just because she wasn’t the same as them. Yet she was the same as them, and she wasn’t any better. In fact, she was worse. Not that I don’t still think I’m better than everyone, at least now I know I’m wrong, even though I don’t really believe myself. Too much arrogance left in me I guess. There I go being introspective again. If I lie about who I am just for kicks and wonder where birds go, can I be the next Holden? Holden as a girl, now that wouldn’t work at all. And I’m not Holden enough to be Holden. There’s enough of him in me to appreciate him, but if I knew him, let’s face it, I probably wouldn’t like him. Then again, maybe I would. But I wouldn’t have Catcher in the Rye to explain him to me, and being me I’d try to understand him and fail. I try to understand everyone. Half the time I get it wrong. I wonder how many times I’ve gotten it wrong yet have been too dense to notice. Ya never know. Why is it that I can lie here on my floor and not do anything? I should want to do something. I do want to do something. There’s just nothing to do. Maybe all these years of wanting to do something and not having anything to do have trained me to be content to do nothing and study my ceiling without seeing it. Maybe I’ll work on my movie.” Jamie was working on a movie. Nothing she had ever told anyone about. Nothing that she thought was ever going to happen. Just a movie, a movie where there was a character enough like her that she could just write and write and not have to try too hard to figure out what a completely alien character would think or do. The character’s name was Jenny, and Jenny did all the things that Jamie had always wanted to do but was too shy or too scared. She could sprout wings and fly off; she didn’t have to yell at people when she got scared, she was better than that. Jenny could go places by herself and just enjoy being there unlike Jamie who could never enjoy places without being with her friends. Jenny had tons of friends, good friends, friends who weren’t her sidekicks, who didn’t want to worship her and didn’t want to be worshiped by her. Jenny and her friends stayed up till 3 every night talking about music and finishing each other’s sentences but not annoyingly. Just in that cool way where they were surfing the same brainwave. Jamie didn’t let herself live too vicariously through Jenny, she knew that would do her no good. Jamie sometimes wondered if anyone else ever wanted to sprout wings out of happiness and just fly for joy. In her movie, people would be able to do that. And when people wanted to kiss someone, they would. The world would be full of self confident, but no egotistical, people who got what they wanted and knew what they wanted. Jamie had her wings all planned out. Angel wings, but not white and not that oh so over used cliché of black angel wings. Hers would be navy blue. Dark navy blue, but still noticeably blue, and shimmery. They would have silver tipped feathers and they would be beautiful, and some days when she was feeling in the mood for it, they’re have some dark green and some teal thrown in there to match her eyes. Jamie could just she herself in some slinky black dress that made her look stunning, with dark blue shimmery wings with silver in them flying into the wind and finding somewhere to sit by the ocean to watch the moon reflect on the water. Sitting by herself. Then just as the novelty of being in a beautiful dress, being by the ocean at night, and having wings started to wan, and boy more beautiful that could be imagined would soar into the picture. His wings would be green, dark dark green with specs of gold thrown in, like a few golden leaves in dark ivy. His eyes would match his wings, but be slightly lighter. Green eyes with gold specs in them. He’d calmly fly over, looking more like he was swimming than flying, graceful and yet muscular. He’d hold his hand out to Jamie while hovering mid-air, only really good fliers could hover, she’d accept his hand, and off they’d go. It would be like that scene in Aladdin, but sans the carpet and the singing. They’d play in the clouds, play in the water, play with each other’s hair, then go back to that serene grassy spot by the water and she’d lie down with her head in his lap and they’d talk about everything there was to talk about. And not just the serious one’s either. He’d make her laugh, she’d make him laugh, they’d be enough alike to have things to talk about, and different enough to never run out of things to talk about. Jamie had written this all into her movie. The man’s name would be Tommy and he was there in her movie fantasy world along with the friends that she would never have, speeches she would never make, and friends that didn’t exist. Jamie was halfway through writing the scene after the romantic near the water meet of Tommy and Jenny, where the two go their separate ways then see each other the next day where Tommy becomes part of Jenny’s gang of friends and all of Jenny’s friends love Tommy as a person. Jamie yanked her mind out of the silly romantic pit it was falling into with the pseudo-vampires and dark wings and Francesca Lia Block-ish surroundings. Time to find something to do other than write her movie, time to … time to… oh why not, time to read Harry Potter. Putting her thoughts and movie on hold till the next time, Jamie opened up her Harry Potter book to page six hundred and forty two. “Almost done,” she thought to herself, “no, who am I kidding. This is an eight hundred page book. I am so not almost done.” These were her last thoughts as she submerged herself into a different magical land than her own, the land of the 5th Harry Potter.