21st Century Kid


I feel like I’ve been suffering from severe A.D.D. recently. I’ve been anxious, unsatisfied and generally looking for some sort of satisfaction. I turned to Mickey on GChat, seeking some amusement.

“I’m borrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeedddddddd,” I whine to her, “What’s going on? Tell me something funny.”

“I think the funniest thing that happened to me recently was I had ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ stuck in my head but I couldn’t remember the words so I just made up random words that sounded like they could be relatively correct,” she told me.

“That seems pretty silly.”

“Things have been pretty boring over here,” she says.

“They’ve beeeeeeeen borrrrinnnngggg hereeee toooooooo,” I scratch into my keyboard.

“I think it’s just because everyones’ bodies are just now adjusting to it not being summer anymore and they’re just tired and bored,” Mickey hypothesizes, “Everyone has just been so groggy and annoyed lately.”

“Seriously. I am tired and groggy too! Even entertainment has been borrrrringggggg.”

Mickey agrees: “I mean, Lady Gaga as a on the VMAs: WTF?? I understand her protecting her identity as an eccentric artist but that was a little much for me.”

I laugh, “That’s true. I started to watch a clip of her as that guy but her voice sounded too girly so I shut it off out of secondhand embarrassment.”

“I couldn’t watch it either: I read an article about it on MTV.com. The only reason I didn’t watch the VMAs was because A Bug’s Life was on and that seemed WAYYY more appealing.”

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA,” I type, say aloud, and snort.

“I mean, it’s just bad scheduling to do a Pixar movie marathon on the same day. I was way too enveloped in Toy Story and A Bug’s Life to care what was going on in alleged ‘teen world’…did I use the word enveloped correctly?”

“Yes, enveloped was used correctly.”

“Awesome! I’ve been trying extra hard to use elevated diction.”

“’Elevated diction’ – even that was elevated! Are you just trying to sound smart in general now or what?”

“In a sense, yes, if ‘sounding smart’ means not sounding like a complete idiot who’s never opened a book in their life,” she Internet laughs, “I’m tired of people/adults not taking me seriously so I’ve been doing my best to sound like I know exactly what I’m talking about.”

Ah-ha: the age where adults annoy you by treating you like a baby when you are not, but you are still in school so they have the right to treat you like a baby (when you are a fully functioning person): I know this feeling too well.

“Who’s treating you like a baby?” I ask.

“Older people,” she says, “I want to show them up by using words I doubt they know the meaning of… or at least that’s what I’m working toward.”

“Good idea,” I assert, “But, beware: that could backfire. I once started using synonyms from a Thesaurus around your age for common words, thinking Thesaurus words I used were 100% perfect to make me sound more eloquent, when I end up looking dumber for using words that did not work within conversational contexts.”

She laughs, clarifying: “I’ve just been using words we’ve been studying for vocabulary and I’ve been avoiding Thesauruses.”

“You should read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I own it but haven’t read it because of crippling A.D.D. but a dear friend of mine once told me, ‘Read this and you’ll sound smarter.’”

“I think I may have read that but I believe it was one of the Great Illustrated Classics.”

I slap my forehead in mild embarrassment, “No, no, no,  not the one where the man is literally invisible. This is the one where the man’s race makes him invisible. He feels metaphorically invisible.”

Mickey ooohs and ah-has, then confesses: “Right! I think I’ve actually gone through the box of your books in the attic and saw that. That sounds amazing and like something I would love to read!”

A pause. She peeps, “Please don’t hurt me: I was looking for more books to read – not snooping through your things!”

I laugh, “That’s fine. I know you aren’t abusing my things… like certain siblings who broke my X-Box and CD collection while I was away at college. I still hate a certain brother for that…”

She giggles. A length of time passes.

“I’m bored,” she confesses.

“So am I,” I tell her, “Well, let’s watch this. I have a feeling we’ll watch it on repeat and make our day infinitely better–”

…and our day was infinitely better.