Band Elegy, pt. 3

The last part of my band musings – for now.

My high school band makes the dream of an “anime-style youth” shrivel up and die. It’s like a raisin, but left under the sun for an afternoon. Even more wrinkled than it has a right to be. It’s fighting for survival, but it keeps getting smaller. Nobody’s gonna eat an afternoon sun-dried raisin. It still tries to appeal, though. Even as it’s getting hauled off to the dumpster, it still tries to shine for somebody – anybody. It gets desperate. It clings to the Ziploc bag as the sanitation worker shakes it around.

It’s hanging on for as long as it can. It doesn’t accept defeat.

But the bag does. It lets go, and the raisin is flung off into the abyss – the point of no return. A silent thud. The lid is shut once more. complete darkness. It is surrounded by others in its likeness. It’s with similar company – remnants of other dead dreams. Dead hobbies. Lost interests. A graveyard of unmet goals – a resting place for broken hopes.

It knows that it’s lost. It can’t possibly come back anymore. But in its tiny, sun-dried and shriveled heart, it still yearns to be eaten. It goes beyond any sense of its own logic, but it still yearns. It still dreams, because that’s its only purpose. That’s its only meaning to live.

It should be dead right now. It should be erased from existence, but its heart still beats. Its soul is still distressed.

And my pitiful dream still struggles to break free.

It is known. It has been known.

I’m not in a big school. I’m not in a small school, either. It’s just – a little below average. One thousand. Nothing compared to those American schools. Which means none of those Hollywood shenanigans – no drama, no extreme bullying, no chance for righteous indignation – just homework, Snapchat, and a moderately-full hallway at times.

I remember telling myself “good things come to those who wait.” “Patience is a virtue.” All the bullshit they feed you in elementary school. I’ve gotten nothing from waiting. I’ve gotten good grades. I’ve gotten decent relationships – friendly relationships. No romantic relationships.

I’ve heard about people having crushes before. I’ve been hinted that someone might’ve had one on me. I’ve tried to grasp at straws – I’ve tried to catch glances. I’ve caught a few. I don’t want to brag – eh, but, you know what, nobody’s gonna get jealous at the results. I’ve ended up the same as any “loner nerd.” I’ve gotten nothing out of those glances. I’ve gotten nothing out of prolonged eye contact.

I’ve tried to tell myself that it was my intention from the beginning. Preserve chastity. Keep the dream of the puritans alive. Keep your emotions intact. Don’t get your feelings hurt. Don’t waste your time.

And I force myself to lose interest.

I’ve tried to reassure myself that I’m “lucky.” That I’m lucky enough to not “get my heart broken.” That there’s no shame in having an uneventful high school life. That the grass is always greener on the other side.

And I listen to the other bands. And I hear how much better they are. And I look back at my own band.

You can guess the rest.


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