Saturday, December 16, 2006

Emo Therapy

Working in the shop today, a bunch of emo kids trudge in. They're a funny bunch because they do it all the time - they'll walk right into the shop like they're walking into their loungeroom. They don't acknowledge my existence at all. They poke at the clothing. They murmur amongst themselves. They slump down onto the couch. Kind of shits me a little because as a shop owner, I'm opening my door to them and inviting them in, so the least they could do is look at me and say hello.

My way of dealing with it now though is to say hello to them. Maybe ask them how they are today. It usually freaks them out a little, a non-emo treating them like regular person.

"Hello," I say to one of them today. "How are you?"

"Good," he replies, looking like he's just shit his pants with the sadness of it all.

"That's good. Having a good day then?"

He replies with a murmurgrunt that could mean any one of a thousand things. The expression on his pallid face takes me back to a time when our car hit a bird and when we got out to inspect the feathers caught in the front grill, my father squeezed my shoulder and said, "Looks like we just ran over your guardian angel, son. Sorry about that." Emo kid looks like he's about to sob with untold sorrow.

They shuffle around the shop, mumbling to each other. I can tell they're not going to buy anything.

Then the murmurgrunt kid comes over, head down. He reaches a scrawny hand out to the glowsticks section and counts out four glow sticks. He's got a $10 note scrunched up in his other bony fist. "Is it okay if I have these?" he asks, his tone indicating that he fully believes there is the very real possibility of me laughing in his face with contempt and saying fuck off - what do you think this is? A shop? Get the fuck out of here.

I say yeah sure with a smile. We do the transaction. I bag his glowsticks, not sure what someone burdened with such aching sadness is going to do with something as bright and silly as glowsticks.

The group coagulates and shuffles funereally back out of the shop.

8 comments:

gin said...

Just think, perhaps you have brought some sunshine into the emo's life... a little sparkle.. something to smile about!

Emma Kaufmann said...

Aw, that seems so fucking sad. What the heck is wrong with those emos? It was all so different in our day. We snarled at the old people, rather than shit our pants or cry when they talked to us.

Bird said...

Over in this part of the world the emo kids walk around using soft guitar cases as backpacks and walk into you as you walk down the pavement. Over in this part of the world it's perfectly legal to STAB THEM IN THE EYES

Quick said...

That must be what happened, Gin. Today the same group was waiting outside the shop when I opened. Glowstick kid looked up and smiled at me and said hello. They came in and were more friendly, and he bought three more glowsticks.

Nice one Emma. That's pretty well what I told them... after putting my teeth back in, tightening the cord on my dressing gown and shuffling across to them in my Zimmer frame.

It's legal to stab people in the eyes? Fuck me you must be busy.

guyana-gyal said...

I dunno what 'emo' is, but them kids sound nervous and trying not to show it, and in awe of your wonderful shop and all the lovely things they would buy if they had lots of $$.

Overseas children scare me. eek. They always seem so, well, y'know, tough. eek.

Aww, that melted my heart, that he and pals were waiting, and he smiled at you and bought more. You won him over, Lee.

Quick said...

Hey GG. Emo kids are okay. They are just like all of us, searching, stuff like that. My only gripe is that they should relax in our shop and make eye contact because we are friendly people.

I don't dress emo/goth so I guess I can understand their caution.

guyana-gyal said...

Is emo the same as goth? Similar to?

I understand about them searching...it's just that when I travel, I'm intimidated by teens abroad. I guess it's the same as when foreigners come to the Caribbean, some things intimidate.

Quick said...

Similar to, GG. Dress code is very similar. They're kind of like goths on trainer wheels. My impression of the ones who come into the store is that they're mostly shy kids who need something to be a part of, and the social outsider element of being an emo kid suits them. Some of them will probably go on to being full blown adult goths, others will probably find themselves and move on. The whole fashion thing and why people choose to look a certain way fascinates me.

The glowstick kid? He was back yesterday when The Dreaded One was in the shop. He is really relaxing more each and had a chat to her. He seems like a good natured guy. I like that. Feel a little bad for paying out on them in this post.

Also, GG, we were in Vanuatu once and a group of tall, lean locals wearing hip hop gear were approaching. They looked like mean bastards and I felt there could be trouble. Up close they appeared to be frowning, and I braced myself (shit my pants). Up closer we moved through the group and they broke into the friendliest smiles and said "Hello!"

Dark skin, hip hop gear, gang... wrong assumptions made. The Vanuatu locals are the friendliest people.