Existential angst - 1982

Serious as a heart attack - that's you all over.

It’s February 1982 – You’re A Teenager – You Live In L.A. – You’re In High School – You Are So Serious It’s Scary.

Existential angst - 1982
Serious as a heart attack – that’s you all over.

KROQ-FM, Pasadena – February 4, 1982 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

You weren’t always this way – somewhere around the 11th grade it hit you: life is serious and you’re all going to die and there’s no escape. Ever since your English teacher handed you a copy of The Stranger by Camus as a reading assignment you’ve been questioning life and what exactly are you doing here. Your recent discovery of Siouxsie and The Banshees probably figured in there someplace too. You are the perfect storm of emotions – Existential Angst best describes you – suddenly the world is as serious as a heart attack and you don’t feel you have the right to giggle about anything.

But it’s not just you – your friends have taken to wearing all black lately and have discovered Diane Arbus photos and Sylvia Plath – you all get together at lunch and read passages of The Bell Jar to each other. Your Homeroom teacher calls you the Sullen Cadré and “The Festival Of Dark Clouds” when you walk into class. People are starting to avoid you – you have perfected the Death Stare. Your boyfriend actively avoids you and hasn’t called you in weeks. He tells his friends you creep him out. You sigh and shrug your shoulders. You are thinking about writing poetry – you are thinking about black nail polish. You are thinking . . .a LOT.

Your mom tells you it’s a phase – you’ll grow out of it. You gaze into space – she doesn’t understand. She wouldn’t understand – she’s one of the Happy People – you’re not a happy person. The world is not a happy place – you have proof.

You also have tickets to Disneyland in two weeks. You’ve wanted to go since you were 10. The Happiest Place on Earth. The irony.

Maybe you can take a break – just for the weekend. The choices. Who said sixteen was easy?

And while all the contemplation is going on, there’s KROQ in the background, sounding just like it did on February 4, 1982.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.




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