Shoulder to Shoulder

January 29, 2003


If anything is coming my way, I am still unaware and unprepared. I have been there and back, but as I once again try to temporarily settle in, I quickly journey towards the past to discover the courage I have many times displayed. My peers seem to be holding a different level, and as I overhear conversations about their children, and their spouses, and their day jobs, I wonder if they, members of my age group, grew up too fast or if I’m growing up too slow. It might possibly be both. But as it is, I cannot connect, and with my friends few and far between, I cherish my kindred spirits all the more. Just as I have always suspected, I am the underground minority of my aging generation. I don’t want to have babies. I don’t want to get married. I don’t want to be rich. I don’t want normalcy. The nation is in turmoil and our systematic economy is predicted to collapse leaving late bloomers and up and coming generations with bleak futures. I can’t say that I have failed whenever I have tried, but time is running me down, and my conscience is a pain. I fear the business world and feel more inclined to remain within the boundaries of a close community outside of the populace, but as of now my pleasant view consists of a McDonald’s and a Denny’s sitting side by side right across the busy Bay Area Blvd. The heavy sound of traffic constantly pollutes my air, but after smoking a bit of herb, I will often times stand with the backdoor open zoning out on the endless flow of traffic that, after a while, seems impossibly organized yet vulnerable. They pass by the dozens in an orderly fashion that is capable of being disrupted by one wrong move from any distracted drivers. I shut my door to the chaotic pressure building outside. And yes, I miss Yellowstone just like I knew I would, and at the end of two upcoming years meant to be spent home earning my BA in communications, I wonder if I’ll return to geyser country and try to recreate the moment. Well, that’s always been my problem hasn’t it? Never having enough of what is needed to indulge in the moment and attempting to mimic it after it has passed. But this is human nature, is it not? Perhaps I don’t know the world well enough to draw any conclusions. How can I know the world when I continue to surprise myself? It is best to talk to myself so I won’t become a stranger unable to communicate. Indulging my disoriented, mass array of random thoughts, I begin to sort through and simplify what I may have compounded. I am coming clean with, not only myself, but also with those closest to me. I realize my place in this capitalist society, and although I have a nice resume of causes in the past, I am more the activist than ever. I am aware of false consciousness and the conflict that exists within members of the same social class and how this conflict is a controlled virus generated by Zeus-like elites. I want nothing to do with any of it. I want to have enough to get by. I want to be dependent on myself. I want to do what I believe in doing. I want to be the best or at least as good as the competition. I want to conquer fear. But the world will have to wait because I feel the need to procrastinate and bask in the simplicity of “now”. My changes are great when measured by terms of importance, but as it is my signature to fail in learning from the past, I have to relearn and remember what I should already know.

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist