Walking home from through the park on Monday night, we managed to pick up a little follower, a drunken 15-year old who insisted he knew me. He seemed harmless enough and my general attitude to harmless, happy drunks with a sense of over-familiarity is to talk to them and kindly dismiss anything they say regarding knowing me, better to be friendly than to turn them into an angry drunk and have to deal with that.
Generally I find random drunk people sitting alone in the dark at midnight rather odd and vaguely pathetic, I don’t really understand why you would want to do that, but I guess, never having been drunk myself, that I’m beyond understanding such notions. More odd though was the boys attitude and things he was saying. It made me realise just how alien some youngsters seem to me nowadays. Of course, I can hardly base my opinion of all teenagers on an unwanted conversation with one drunk, teenage boy, but nonetheless it was a weird experience.
Essentially, the boy kept insisting he was a ‘grebo’ and that he knew me because I must hang around with other grebo’s, apparently being one myself. This slang a wasn’t familiar with but when I got home a quick search on urban dictionary revealed he meant something along the lines of ‘rocker’. Apparently.
Anyway, after several protestations that I knew neither him, nor any of the people he was referring to, nor any of these other groups of people he kept spouting (emos, goths, chavs, grebos, etc) he just seemed to reset and repeat the questions ad infinitum. It was as if he just couldn’t comprehend that I might not subscribe myself to one of these social castes. It wasn’t as if he disbelieved me, or as if he thought what I was saying was impossible, it was as if not being in some kind of caste was an entirely alien concept his mind and he just couldn’t process and it so just threw any of my protests out of the window as a result. It was a if his mind could not comprehend me as an independent entity and so kept grasping at straws so it could fit me into it’s conceptual world-view.
I found that mind set frightening and disturbing both. When I’m around teenagers of that age, I find I don’t understand them at all, I don’t understand why they do the things they do or ays the things they say. It’s frightening, not in a threatening way but in a more introspective way. When did the world become full of aliens, when did I lose touch with this great swath of humanity that was only 5 years old when I was their age?
I even feel like this to a certain extent with some people only 5 years younger than me or thereabouts, though the effect is lessened somewhat but there is still this strange tint of alienness about them, something unknowable, inconceivable, incomprehensible that I can’t even conceptualise to put into words.
Getting old, I guess.