Not in Kansas anymore

By Colin MacEacheron

I came to FSU to become a writer.  I’ve always had some perception or vision of myself as one of those eccentric literary types.  To this day, as my senior year unfolds, I am still proud of the group of creative and thoughtful people who have surrounded me.  I embraced the labels ‘weird’ and ‘different’ and always wanted to stand out, part of that English-major persona, I guess.

There is only one factor complicating my self-perception – no one has ever tried to label me as ‘different’ or ‘weird’.  Sure, my friends do, but it’s friendly. I always anticipated a moment at a club or talking to a cute girl when I’d be approached or interrupted by some snapback in Timberlands spitting Red Bull in my face and hurling sexual diminutives like “pussy” or “faggot” in an attempt to publicly humiliate me.

I never knew it, but for the past four years, as I formed this perception of myself as the ‘different but special’ one, I simultaneously developed a totally irrational perception of other people as ‘enemies.’  To preserve my lofty, mysterious, creative genius from the perturbance of plebeian socialite custom, I shut the world out.  I grew depressed, depraved, caustic and manipulative.  I avoided friends’ phone calls and eye contact in general.  I involved myself with nothing, no one, no clubs, no campus events, no professors, nobody who might have known more about the world than I.  My ‘difference’ wasn’t making that much of difference to me or anyone.

Because of this prolonged confusion (of confusion with knowledge), I now have lots of thoughts in my head I wish I could say better, words in people’s ears I wish I could withdraw, friendships I wish could have lasted longer. 

What’s more, I know in my heart that I hinged happiness and success on some stupid bet that society was structured like some John Hughes movie: jocks and bullies vs. nerds and dweebs.  It took a while, but I have finally realized that I have been the one sucking on Member-berries, failing to see the future, not the truck drivers blasting Toto out of their F-150’s and sporting stars and bars bumper stickers over their Massachusetts license plates.

I thought, to put it more simply, that I was Will Hunting, but I was becoming the Michael Bolton guy. If I’ve learned anything as an English major at FSU, it’s that everyone subscribes to some sense of permanence.  And although I may never get the 50-something-year-olds I work with to agree that The Band is better than Lynyrd Skynyrd, I’ll never stop trying.  And even then, we can all agree that:

“Some people live their dreams

Some people close their eyes

Some people’s destiny

Passes by

There are no guarantees

There are no alibis

That’s how our love must be

Don’t ask why”

¬Toto, “I’ll Be Over You,” Fahrenheit, 1986

I came to FSU to become a writer.  I’ve always had some perception or vision of myself as one of those eccentric literary types.  To this day, as my senior year unfolds, I am still proud of the group of creative and thoughtful people who have surrounded me.  I embraced the labels ‘weird’ and ‘different’ and always wanted to stand out, part of that English-major persona, I guess.

There is only one factor complicating my self-perception – no one has ever tried to label me as ‘different’ or ‘weird’.  Sure, my friends do, but it’s friendly. I always anticipated a moment at a club or talking to a cute girl when I’d be approached or interrupted by some snapback in Timberlands spitting Red Bull in my face and hurling sexual diminutives like “pussy” or “faggot” in an attempt to publicly humiliate me.

I never knew it, but for the past four years, as I formed this perception of myself as the ‘different but special’ one, I simultaneously developed a totally irrational perception of other people as ‘enemies.’  To preserve my lofty, mysterious, creative genius from the perturbance of plebeian socialite custom, I shut the world out.  I grew depressed, depraved, caustic and manipulative.  I avoided friends’ phone calls and eye contact in general.  I involved myself with nothing, no one, no clubs, no campus events, no professors, nobody who might have known more about the world than I.  My ‘difference’ wasn’t making that much of difference to me or anyone.

Because of this prolonged confusion (of confusion with knowledge), I now have lots of thoughts in my head I wish I could say better, words in people’s ears I wish I could withdraw, friendships I wish could have lasted longer. 

What’s more, I know in my heart that I hinged happiness and success on some stupid bet that society was structured like some John Hughes movie: jocks and bullies vs. nerds and dweebs.  It took a while, but I have finally realized that I have been the one sucking on Member-berries, failing to see the future, not the truck drivers blasting Toto out of their F-150’s and sporting stars and bars bumper stickers over their Massachusetts license plates.

I thought, to put it more simply, that I was Will Hunting, but I was becoming the Michael Bolton guy. If I’ve learned anything as an English major at FSU, it’s that everyone subscribes to some sense of permanence.  And although I may never get the 50-something-year-olds I work with to agree that The Band is better than Lynyrd Skynyrd, I’ll never stop trying.  And even then, we can all agree that:

“Some people live their dreams

Some people close their eyes

Some people’s destiny

Passes by

There are no guarantees

There are no alibis

That’s how our love must be

Don’t ask why”

¬Toto, “I’ll Be Over You,” Fahrenheit, 1986

I came to FSU to become a writer.  I’ve always had some perception or vision of myself as one of those eccentric literary types.  To this day, as my senior year unfolds, I am still proud of the group of creative and thoughtful people who have surrounded me.  I embraced the labels ‘weird’ and ‘different’ and always wanted to stand out, part of that English-major persona, I guess.

There is only one factor complicating my self-perception – no one has ever tried to label me as ‘different’ or ‘weird’.  Sure, my friends do, but it’s friendly. I always anticipated a moment at a club or talking to a cute girl when I’d be approached or interrupted by some snapback in Timberlands spitting Red Bull in my face and hurling sexual diminutives like “pussy” or “faggot” in an attempt to publicly humiliate me.

I never knew it, but for the past four years, as I formed this perception of myself as the ‘different but special’ one, I simultaneously developed a totally irrational perception of other people as ‘enemies.’  To preserve my lofty, mysterious, creative genius from the perturbance of plebeian socialite custom, I shut the world out.  I grew depressed, depraved, caustic and manipulative.  I avoided friends’ phone calls and eye contact in general.  I involved myself with nothing, no one, no clubs, no campus events, no professors, nobody who might have known more about the world than I.  My ‘difference’ wasn’t making that much of difference to me or anyone.

Because of this prolonged confusion (of confusion with knowledge), I now have lots of thoughts in my head I wish I could say better, words in people’s ears I wish I could withdraw, friendships I wish could have lasted longer. 

What’s more, I know in my heart that I hinged happiness and success on some stupid bet that society was structured like some John Hughes movie: jocks and bullies vs. nerds and dweebs.  It took a while, but I have finally realized that I have been the one sucking on Member-berries, failing to see the future, not the truck drivers blasting Toto out of their F-150’s and sporting stars and bars bumper stickers over their Massachusetts license plates.

I thought, to put it more simply, that I was Will Hunting, but I was becoming the Michael Bolton guy. If I’ve learned anything as an English major at FSU, it’s that everyone subscribes to some sense of permanence.  And although I may never get the 50-something-year-olds I work with to agree that The Band is better than Lynyrd Skynyrd, I’ll never stop trying.  And even then, we can all agree that:

“Some people live their dreams

Some people close their eyes

Some people’s destiny

Passes by

There are no guarantees

There are no alibis

That’s how our love must be

Don’t ask why”

¬Toto, “I’ll Be Over You,” Fahrenheit, 1986

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