From The Ground Up

July 9, 2010
By LaurenBee SILVER, Duxbury, Massachusetts
LaurenBee SILVER, Duxbury, Massachusetts
5 articles 0 photos 2 comments

I was born laughing. Yes, you heard me right, laughing. Some scientists beg to differ with me on this fact, but I know for certain that I was the exception. For one, when I was thrown, ejected, what have you into the world – my mom said the first thing the nurse stated was “You have one happy baby!” and trust me, they don’t tell that to any kid covered in blood and guts, and especially not one who isn’t laughing. But, when they put me in the doctor’s cold, dry arms (okay, I don’t exactly remember this part, but I’d imagine it would go like this) and he pulled on my toes, and then I started to cry. That’s the problem, though, you come into this world all happy, and somebody makes you cry.
My mom still calls me her ‘happy baby’, I’m guessing because that’s how she likes to remember me, especially since I’ve hit what my father likes to call ‘ my turbulent teen years’. I like to be remembered that way too, because happy is different. That’s the issue with society nowadays. Nobody is happy. No, not that Xbox is superseding paperback books, or that our generation’s music sounds a lot like a sex tape gone viral, but we just aren’t happy babies. You know it, too! Don’t give me that look. Yesterday, I was standing in line at Starbucks, like I do every morning, to get my fix on anything a la caffeinated, and I saw one of those guys. You know, the ones in the power-suits and the mess-with-me-and-die eye rays. The one’s who aren’t going places, but are already there. These people always like moving at top speed too. So, when he ordered his mocha-mocha-double-mocha with little coconut crumblies on top, and instead got one of those chocolate-mocha-double- mocha with little vanilla flakes on top, he couldn’t just ask for a new one. He picked up the paper cup, inspected it like it was some kind of ‘alien coffee’, and whipped out his little business card. He then proceeded to explain to counter-girl how she must be internally jealous of his super-success, snazzy suit, and life-goals, while she is doomed to stand behind the faux-granite countertop for the rest of forever. Well, he didn’t actually say that, but it was totally implied. Anyway, while he was going all WWE smackdown verbal-style on the woman who was scrambling to get him the right order, the coffee lay in neutral territory. It had been five whole minutes! Can’t blame a girl. So, I snatched it up and paraded right out of that Starbucks, leaving five dollars for the damsel in distress courtesy of Groucho Marx.
Now, three possible things could have occurred after I left that coffee shop, and only one could have possibly been a detriment to the employee at hand. But, as I sipped my coffee, I figured 2/3 was a pretty admirable fraction. The vanilla flakes added a special touch. I could have been that counter girl, and I totally would have given him a piece of my mind. But not really, because I learned a while ago that it just isn’t worth the time. People in power will be people in power, except when they’re standing in line with everyone else. Then they’re just people in power looking like idiots because they fail to realize how other people need their help and support. Spread that wealth. That’s actually a huge thing in my family, not that were poor or anything but we could probably do with some extra cash. Whenever my dad sees someone like power-suit-Starbucks-boy on the TV or some celebrity in a posh car he says “Jesus, some people have to learn to spread the wealth!” Which, I always found kind of ironic, because my dad doesn’t even believe in Jesus and he was like the original spreader of the wealth. Or whatever. I know one thing for certain – half the people asking for the wealth to be spread didn’t do anything to earn it. They slacked in school, they didn’t go to college, they half-a** their way through crappy minimum wage jobs and they complain. People do a lot of complaining. I think we are all secretly jealous of people in the suits, but I also think they’re pretty jealous of us too. Well, maybe not. Probably not. Fine, they aren’t jealous of people getting paid $8.50 an hour to make Happy Meals, but it gets us through the day just believing that maybe, in some far-out cosmic universe, they secretly wish they were us. Plus, maybe they are secretly sad inside, and the only thing that makes them feel validated is using the power they have – like harassing people at Starbucks. Maybe that’s all they really wanted out of life. I’m now seriously regretting stopping Starbucks man’s rant.
I’m now feeling really bad for stealing his unwanted coffee.
Maybe I’ll give it to the next guy I see in a business suit!
You know what I always thought was a waste of time? Mathematics. In second grade they used to try to teach us all these fancy ways to divide these numbers and multiply those numbers, and it all seemed so easy until they started personalizing the problems. For example; John and Paul went to the record store and bought two records for $5.50. If Numiel joined them with his friend Kadey and they split it four ways, what would each have to pay? Everyone else seemed to be fine but I got all concerned over the records they bought, The Rolling Stones or the Beatles? And if it was the Beatles, that would be funny because John and Paul were part of the Beatles, and then I would have to go fix Numiel and Kadey to Ringo and George. Hey, who would name their kid Numiel anyway? Do you see what I mean here? Math is an issue. Besides, you can’t square God and divide life and get the answer to our existence.
I can prove that I learned something in math class, though. Whenever Mrs. Lancey would talk, I would start drawing. I’m going to tell you up front that I used to be a pretty bad artist. I would try and draw a tree and it would turn into this sideways deformed-looking stick-man. But that was all before the seventh grade, where I started to get really really good. I would draw up and down all my class-work pages, these huge elaborate drawings in different colored pens and different shades of pencil, and at first they weren’t that impressive. My trees still looked like sideways deformed stick men. But by the time June rolled around, my people not only had faces, but curves and ears and expression. Even my trees started looking legit, and that’s saying something. Unfortunately, on my final there was a whole lot of numbers and a whole lot of not-enough-room to draw my Mona Lisa. Minor issue. Actually, my parents called it a major issue. I got to spend a lot of time that summer in my house drawing my parent’s disappointed/angry faces. They kept saying “Katie, you need to learn something about life – it’s not what you want to do, but what they want you to do. Then you can do what you want to do.” But that just led to more questions. Because, who is they? And my parents said ‘they’ was the school system. Then I would ask if I just did what I wanted now I could skip to step two and do what I wanted forever! They told me I could go to my room. Such is society, I guess. Here is my conclusion – I have none. Nobody has one. We go through life as ghosts of our former selves (wherever they may reside) and end up doing a whole lot of nothing, just different forms of nothing, for no purpose. This would seem all gloom and doom, but actually it’s not. You don’t even have to be an optimist to see it! Because if nothing is everything and we are all nothing, we can just focus on being happy ALL the time! Right? Wrong. That made no sense. Which is the point, believe it or not. Annoyed yet? Swell. It’s good for you.

The author's comments:
a manifestation of boredom and an impulsive need to write something - anything - during Latin class. Productivity, for the win!

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This article has 1 comment.

JohnnyBoy said...
on Aug. 18 2010 at 3:15 pm
This is pretty freaking amazing.

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