Dispatches from a Renegade Millennial

Dispatch 1: In which I almost succeed in introducing myself…

The TV blares on loudly in the background; I currently have the second of the Tim Burton Bat-flicks spinning around in the DVD tray. I’m too engrossed in my work to pay any attention to it, and besides I’ve already seen all the Batman films a dozen or more times apiece. When I’m not writing these scant words, meant to describe the last few breaths of a dying indie market from which the local millennials (like me) drew our inspiration, I scour through the back search pages of Amazon and look for a few more of those good, wholesome, and entirely independently published collections of poetry written by broken-hearted has-beens with bleak visions of the universe (like me when I’m in a bad mood).

The world is a messed up, crooked place in which to live—and here I sit, etching out strange notes about love and war and art and the taste of a cold soda from out of a can. Just what am I hoping to say with these mad-lib phrases? Who do I think I am to be doing this?

Hey there, my name is James. I am a writer. A champion of the living art. And I have come to tell you a few stories if you will allow me to enter into your newsfeed for a little while.

Ok, so I haven’t yet made art my full-paying, living, breathing career, and I can’t exactly call myself a champion of anything yet. But I am a writer still, and I set out this late Thursday evening to write these words for you. Even if it kills me, I shall endeavor to write this out and do my duties well for John, my friend and editor over at The Daily Fodder (should he have a lapse in judgment and decide to actually publish these columns).

Those of you who are reading this will want to know what my qualifications are for writing a regular column for an online news and media source (even one that’s just starting out).
Everyone has a story to tell, and a few choice words in which to tell it over shepherd’s pie and a few cans of Coke.
I haven’t yet written a novel. The few essays I’ve completed for various homework assignments and for the school paper were lackluster at best. Poetry spills out of my veins at infrequent intervals, and I’m set to self-publish a few books of the stuff—my one worry is that maybe the few reviewers who would notice such work wouldn’t much care for any of it.

No, I’m not much for you to notice. For being a writer in his twenties I don’t exactly possess much of that youthful arrogance to tide me over in the slow months. But one thing I do have is a spare tank of gas in the old writing hand. With a couple of fresh notebooks and enough free pens swiped from the front desk at the university library (where I last worked) I can take some time in between the takeout lunches and the walks from my house toward the nearby Dollar Tree in search of a few books to jot out the things I notice in my little pocket of the universe.

One thing I have to my advantage is that I know some cool people and hang about some hip places. The Millennials and the Generation X-ers who come my way tend to share in the common experience of dissecting social and political artifacts; everyone has a story to tell, and a few choice words in which to tell it over shepherd’s pie and a few cans of Coke.

There is such a wealth of stories out there, and I want to tell these stories as best I can. And who knows, maybe at the end of the year I will have a book out of it. Maybe I can’t finish any novel I start, but at least I can have enough stories to fill a small paperback or something.

Who’s to say? I haven’t a clue how these columns will turn out—I just hope that my friend and editor John from The Daily Fodder won’t sniff out my progressive political leanings and decide to kill the dispatches before they gain any traction. As decent friends we are, we can argue for days on end about who’s the more fiscally and socially responsible (Don’t worry John, I won’t tell anyone how I’ve one-upped you on the battlefield of the mind).
I seek to bridge the gap between my generation and my parents’ generation, and I seek to put together a mosaic picture of the local art scene as its story is told by those who create our art.
The second of the Bat-flicks is one about three quarters of the way through until it reaches the grand climax. I can catches glimpses of Danny DeVito now, dressed in insulated garb and marked up from head to fin to rubber boot—the guy is so utterly repugnant that he nearly pulls me out of whatever creative impulse I can muster to push through and finish writing the introduction to my impromptu column of millennial musings.

An introduction by the way, that refuses to provide any real insight to who I actually am.

I guess you can call me a renegade millennial and a wannabe artist. Over in my little slice that I carved out of the poetry world I try to be known as The Wannabe Artist, and maybe some of that will spill over into what I do over here. I seek to bridge the gap between my generation and my parents’ generation, and I seek to put together a mosaic picture of the local art scene as its story is told by those who create our art. Here and there I may transcribe the conversations between friends and enemies (of which I catch only fragments of during my coffee runs at the local cafĂ©, or when I go for discount movie runs at the theater with my old man).

I have been considering writing a column of some form for some time now; as I’m sure many socially minded young writers are wont to do I felt a need to enter into the news world. I may not be entering the halls of print news, like my idols Roger Ebert, Hunter Thompson and Pete Dexter, but hopefully I will in some way be offering the current goings-on that occur around my home in Virginia Beach. Maybe my words will stretch themselves enough to cover issues of a national level of importance at some point. I don’t know, for I haven’t thought that far ahead.

With writing and everything else in life, I generally don’t think far ahead. It hinders the senses and keeps me from thinking clearly. Flying by the seat of my pants may have its cons, but I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for my mental faculties.

The movie has finished now, and I’m debating whether to put on the third Bat-flick into the DVD player. I reckon that’s the signal telling me to close it out for the time being. Which is a little infuriating because I probably came no closer to actually introducing myself to you than at the beginning of the whole blasted thing. Oh well, I guess that I’ll just have to place a little of myself into every column from here on out; you’ll get to see me open myself up to you in incremental chunks. Ok then, that’s it for the time being. Before I even decide on whether to watch the next movie, I have a load of laundry to dry and a cup of coffee to drink. Which means that I shall bid you goodbye for now, and I will see you next time.

Adios, and thanks so much for listening.


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