‘90’s Kid

Submitted by James Offenhartz to Contest #4 in response to: Write a story based on the song title: "My Generation"... view prompt

My generation

We were the first to make torn jean knees in style. My parents offered to buy me new jeans because they didn’t get it. Or maybe make the jeans into jean shorts. They thought it looked ridiculous but they didn’t understand. See, in their generation it was all about pressed clothes, slick hair, ironing, and starch. But, with my generation, it was different. We knew we were fucked. It wasn’t even a question. In my generation we were fucked because we couldn’t get fucked and a lot of other things. All the TV shows told us we couldn’t get fucked. Beavis and Butt-head never got the chick. The sister of Doug on Nickelodeon was into Shakespeare, not dating. We learned that we liked chicks, but chicks didn’t like us. I asked women out and all of them said “no”. It’s just something you get used to.  

We also learned about Punk Rock and how to rebel by forming picket lines and destroying our opponents picket lines. We learned rebellious call-backs like they’d say “God loves your unborn child” and we’d scream out “yea, unless they become doctors.  Keep it legal”. We marched on the side-walk outside of governor’s homes to end the death penalty, though.  

Most of us were against George W, Bush and couldn’t believe he got elected. What kind of person votes for a president that can’t even speak English?  

We tried to watch the TV shows that were in style, though. We tried to know all the lyrics to all the cool songs like, Cake’s the Distance. A lot of us dropped out of high school because education was bullshit anyway. We were working after school at fast food joints to earn extra money after school. We believed in our dreams, that anyone could make it if they thought positive. We made videos which didn’t expose ourselves in the bathroom and didn’t watch the news since we knew the news was written by the people who we were against, like the businessmen in their $3,000 suits.  

We also were democrats and damn proud of it. Impeach George W. Bush. The man can’t even speak proper English. He’s a moron. Remember Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11? We knew the people in charge were lying to us. We knew the environment was screwed. So, we did things like climb buildings and hang signs on the building. We did topless protests in parks since why should men get to go around topless while women can’t? We proudly lit the American Flag on fire since we hated this country with all it’s bureaucracy and hypocrisy. We took buses to Washington, D.C. to go on pro-choice marches because it was the right thing to do. We cared. We handed the basket around and asked people to put their money in the basket to support having basketball in our driveways since the upscale neighbors thought it was making too much noise. We started petitions on everything back then and we signed each other’s petitions.  End the racist death penalty, have gay rights for college employees, keep abortion legal and safe.  

I remember going to improv every Friday night with college students. See, college was where all this stuff was supposed to happen. We were supposed to get laid in college, we were supposed to get married in college, we were supposed to have a job after college doing what we loved. We were supposed to have a home, cable, a car, insurance, all doing what we loved. Remember?  If you do what you love, you’ll love what you do. Do what you love, the money will follow. We can manifest everything we want. Just believe. I read every new age book about positivity because that’s what was in style. I read all the Daniel Quinn books. We were smart. Dirty and protesting, but smart and loving. Some day I’ll be famous and then all the women will love me. And. Fuce.  

I remember one time at high school, between first and second period, I was walking down the hall with my book bag trying to get to my next class on time and I saw two women walk toward each other and they gave each other hugs. I saw that and what I wanted to do was go there and get a hug from each one of these women. But then I remembered from the TV shows that women are too good for me, so I walked past them, looking back in envy. I knew if I asked them for a hug they’d just laugh at me and say, “Hell, no. Hug? You? Why would we do that?”

We wore shirts that said, “No Fear” but were afraid. We had lots of different in-style shirts back then: “Co-ed Naked,” “And 1,” “Big Dogs” etc. It didn’t matter what it said, what mattered was that it was cool like the other kids’.  

We created silly things like disagreeing with what someone else said by saying, “That’s a great idea, not”. We sometimes used “psych” instead of “not”. Or we crossed our fingers so other people knew we weren’t telling the truth. We heard music but didn’t understand the words, but we enjoyed the sound of the music like Nirvana’s “Smell’s Like Teen Spirit”. No one can understand any of the words in that song. We played the NES, SAGA 

Genesis, PlayStation, and some of us wished we had the toys the other kids had. Some of us didn’t realize other kids wished they had the toys we had. We were punks and thought punks were cool and we stole things leftovers and right but not in dumb ways like shoplifting. We knew there were security cameras and we’d be caught. We did things like invent Napster which let us download MP3 files for free. But here’s the weird thing. When us dumbass kids heard a song on Napster that we liked, we’d go to the CD store and buy. the CD so we could listen to it and other songs by the same artist. Then Metallica sued Napster and won, so we invented other things to download and get MP3’s and pirated TV shows. We bought CDs from venders on the street which we knew were stolen, but we hadn’t robbed them so who cares? We smoked pot before it was legal. I called it self-prescription. I was depressed, my parents didn’t believe in anti-depressants (because that might mean they were bad parents, and God forbid), so I self-prescribed myself marijuana. I first tried it at the GLCC, back when it was cool, before the bitch took over. It used to be we’d sneak behind the GLCC, smoke pot, and women who were lesbians would be flashing their breasts and men would be showing each other their cocks and it was cool. We were smoking and drinking and trying to escape the fact that any day our lives could end if some goddamn red-neck found out we were gay, or if a classmate found out, and either one of them could kick our asses and maybe kill us. And what if our parents found out. I mean that we were gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans. It’d be better to be dead.  

People were just starting to accept gay people. “In and Out” was in the ‘90’s,, Ellen started in the ‘90’s, “Philadelphia” might be the ‘90’s. There was no internet at the beginning of the ‘90’s, but once the internet was born, we looked up porn every chance we got. Porn.com, jackmeoff.com/, sex.com/, It flooded our in-boxes but that’s why we had passwords, so our parents wouldn’t find out. I remember walking down the halls at school envying all couples who were making out in the hallways. Why can’t I have that? Why couldn’t I have what those people had? I was told to go to coffee shops and talk to people. Wasted three hours and all I got out of it was a crappy cup of coffee.  

   But you’ll see, you’ll find someone. Some day you’ll get married and have your own kids.  Yeah, right.  We wanted that and our parents wanted that. It was the one thing we agreed on but they thought it could happen but we knew it wouldn’t. See, chicks then wanted to wait. They thought they should wait until their mid-thirties/early forties, then settle down. Then, though, they were too old or couldn’t find anyone.  Or they got out of the box and liberated themselves and realized they were lesbians. It wasn’t that they became lesbians, they just stopped pretending to be straight. We were just starting to free ourselves from the social norm box. That’s all.  We had apartments instead of houses.  We had dogs and cars instead of kids.  We attended our churches instead of theirs. We had long hair, no anger management, torn jeans, and were in riots like the WTO march in Seattle.  We had no future and knew Suicide was the answer, but were too afraid to commit Suicide so wound up in the psycho ward. Take off your shoelaces and bras.  They hated wearing bras anyway. Welcome back to the psycho ward.  Time to take your blood pressure again. But I wasn’t crazy. I just knew there was no options for me and an early death was my best option, like all the songs said like “suicidal dream” by Soundgarden and “simple solution” by Nin, or the many songs by Slayer. Then, maybe the other side would be better. It couldn’t be worse, right?

But later some of us grew up, some of us didn’t, some of us ODed, some of us got lung cancer, some of us had to move back home with our folks after college because our dream job couldn’t pay the rent or buy food. Some of us would then grow up and some of us would run away or commit suicide, or both. Some of us tried joining the army for W., which was hypocritical, but we had to eat. One day we’re protesting the war in Iraq, the next day we’re fighting the war in Iraq. Some of us counted the number of times W said the word “evil” after 9/11. Then we saw that he was giving a speech to kindergarteners and continued to give his speech. I had a poster on my wall of all the misquotes of W. But I guess I was one of the lucky ones, because eventually I did grow up, though I kept my long hair and torn jeans. I went back to school on a grant and wound up working as a pharmacist who eventually specialized in medicinal marijuana. We had to account for every 1/16th that came in and every 1/16th that went out. You know, that’s how we used to buy the stuff: I want a sixteenth, or an eighth, or a quarter. Always test your shit before you leave the buyer so you don’t get ripped off and always save your own urine from when you’re clean. It takes a month for the urine to become clean in your own body. Then, just put it in the microwave for fifteen seconds and your fine. I passed every urine test. Now, I’m selling drugs legally and illegally, but just to my friends who I can trust. The occasional OxyContin gets lost in the shuffle but always to the margin of error. Yep. I’m clean and adult. Any day now I’ll find my ideal chick, psyche. Not. Oh, well. At least I’m not living with my parents anymore. The ‘90’s lives in me and will never die.

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