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Contemporary Gay Teens & Young Adult

I do not have anything against parties. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with them. I know that people enjoy it and it brings people together. I just, personally, hate going to them, especially the kind with dancing and music.

I like listening to music, but not the type of music they play at parties. The loud, pulsing music others like dancing to hurts my ears and brain and makes me increasingly anxious until I can't even think. When I was little I would get violent over it, but now I usually just bury by head in my arms and knees and cry until it stops.

I like meeting new people, but not the type of people who go to parties. People who have no other definition of themselves than who they hook up with and how much they drink. I could never connect with party culture. I just don't get along with a lot of people. It is like talking to a cashier at Walmart: technically communicating, but superficial at best and no lasting connection. That's when I can actually talk to them over the God-forsaken music. Some parties play their music so loud, the people across the street must be deafened. I know because my across-the-street neighbors used to be party animals before I moved.

When I try to request my favorite music, either the DJ refuses to play it because it isn't "Party Music", or everybody stops and looks awkwardly at me, because they can tell I'm the only one that enjoys it. In a place where music choice is central to the environment, why must it be left to the tragedy of the commons? Half the time there aren't even any lyrics and the melody sounds like a blender and a vacuum cleaner competing for attention.

I don't need pop culture. I make my own music, and I like what I create. My girlfriend does, too. Some of it's soft and soothing, other songs are still active but not as noisy and painful. I have a few friends I hang out with one on one at home, and I think I have a good relationship with them. I can put on the music music I want and I dance on my own time, at a volume of my choice, instead of going out with hundreds of people and letting them, collectively, choose music without any awareness of my issues. They just want to have fun, while I just want to stay sane.

My mom says I have to go to this party, though. She says I need to get out more and spend less time inside. She's worried about me being a hermit for the rest of my life, and after much arguing, there is no getting out of it.

It's one of the parties you're supposed to bring a date to, so my girlfriend, Trina and I are going in matching dresses. We'll probably get some weird looks. Hopefully a bigot says something so we can get ourselves kicked out. My mom took us in her gold minivan and dropped us across the street, saying she didn't want to embarrass her amongst other teens who had they're driver's license. Why does she care more about my reputation than I do? She knows I get good grades and everything else parents want of their kids, but apparently if I'm not popular that means nothing to her.

For the longest hour of my life, Trina and I sit on the side. She knows about my noise sensitivity, and the base-heavy music actively causes me pain, even at the farthest spot from the speakers, together with the sounds of people talking and moving around. It feels like a warzone, or a form of psychological torture that won't stop until I confess something. I don't have secrets, but I'd give up any just to make that stop. A mess of bodies moved in ways they seemed to be enjoying, but the crowd of them together made it look like a mess of TV static. Only Trina's touch and her soft words of comfort made it bearable, "The song's almost over, Beth, it'll break in a minute." She's practically shouting, but the noise makes her voice sound like a sweet whisper. A few times I had to stop and escape to the restrooms, where there was a little more wall between me and the noise. The restrooms reek of cigarette smoke, though, and people are still having noisy conversations there.

Finally, the music changes. The DJ announces that it was requested, and that he had to search through sound cloud to fulfill it. Trina says she didn't request it, but it was one of my own songs from my sound cloud. I only have about a hundred fans on there, with no new ones in months. One of the few people who appreciates my music is in this room right now, and pulled a me just to hear it.

Suddenly, this was no longer a survival mission. While the music is bearable, I tell Trina we have to find this new person. We spend the evening looking for them without any success. They do a great job of blending in, or they are like me and can't stand being here for long enough to be found. At least the day wasn't a total disaster, and Trina and I had a bit of fun with that in between songs. I eventually couldn't stand any more and we stood outside the dance for the rest of the night, talking about this and that until my mom came to pick us up.

After we got to my house and while we waited for Trina's mom to pick her up, Trina told me she'd texted one of our other friends to request the song, because she knew I wouldn't, and later that evening I saw a sharp increase in my song's popularity. Other people do like my music, I guess, even if those people aren't always visible.

May 08, 2021 06:11

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