So, FLCL has fucked me up. It fucks everyone up, on some level, but man has it fucked me up. Now that I finally get it, I find the nostalgia for adolescence that came with it to be overpowering.
I’ve grown the fuck up. I’ve still got a lot of growing up to do, but I’ve gotten over a lot of the ideals I held in my youth. I had a fascination with the idea of misspending it… And I did misspend it. I clung tight to the dead punk-rock dream of “no future”, knowing that I’d just die before I got old. I turned my life into a downward spiral, and I had my hands and feet far outside the roller coaster.
I guess I don’t believe in that so much anymore.
It’s not that the spirit of the philosophy rubs me the wrong way as much as the reality of it does, though. I found out what “no future” means: you live with your fucking parents. “No future” doesn’t mean going to concerts, doing petty crimes for drug money, and crashing on couches your whole life. It means that you run out of money, call your mom to bail you out of jail, and move in with them in New Jersey. The dream of “no future” is beautiful. A chaotic, anarchistic life spent falling out of frying pans and into fires, like a movie or something. But that’s not what it is. That’s not the reward I got for living that lifestyle.
But I had fun. It felt important. Maybe it wasn’t. But it felt that way, and that’s more than I’m getting from anything I’m doing now. And I still hold onto a lot of those naïve ideas about the best way to live your life. I dream about going on tour one day. I want to spend weeks on the road, getting high and playing shows and meeting people and saying goodbyes and falling in love and back out of love again… It sounds like the way I want to live. I still feel like the only habits worth having are the destructive ones – what’s worth doing if it’s not worth throwing your life away for? It all sounds so goddamn romantic on paper. But I’m an adult now. I’m not trying to find anything anymore. I didn’t find it then, either, but I’ve since learned that there isn’t really anything to look for.
“I wish I still had that naïve belief that there was some reason for living; something bigger than me… that there was something out there that I was supposed to understand.”
FLCL makes me want to go back. In spite of everything it says about the meaninglessness of youth, I wish I was still looking for meaning. I wish I still had that naïve belief that there was some reason for living; something bigger than me. Not god, and not an afterlife or anything like that. But that there was something out there that I was supposed to understand. Now I just don’t understand, and I don’t think I can.
I’ve found myself spending hours listening to the excellent soundtrack by The Pillows, and I’m having a hard time keeping my composure. It’s fucked up. That time is gone. Every day I live looking forward is another day I don’t get to look back. I wrote a song called “Never Knows Best” today. Because of-fucking-course I did! But FLCL did that to me. It’s got me clinging to the past, and wanting for it to happen again. And I’m all sorts of anxious about it. I’m a real fucking mess right now, actually. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing or where I’m going or what I want to do.
I think that’s what being a kid felt like, actually.
[Featured image is from the official art used in the Google Play store.]