I don’t fit in here and I don’t want to. But I catch myself wearing my work badge on my belt and strolling out of the grocery store with my six-pack, and I bet the kids who bag and collect the carts see me as no different than the rest.
It gets ambiguous at the exit of the grocery store, who has the right of way where three roads come together. Just now, a woman in a Volvo edged in front of me without making eye contact, without acknowledging the ambiguity, and so I edged up against the side of her in my Dodge Vanpool van, just inside the polite distance between cars, to make a T-Bone shape.
It’s an edgy time of day, as I’m coming off work-mode and driving five people home in the Vanpool van. They generally nap or disappear inside their devices, as NPR drones on about Congress and I time the lights, switching lanes to shave minutes.
I sit in the Vanpool at the light, watching the middle-aged women in their jogging outfits standing on the corner, stretching. It seems everyone around us is rich: rich middle-aged people, old people, kids in their rich-kid cars, nicer than mine, clean complexions, laughing, looking cool, driving too fast.
And I realize we’re part of this now, too. There’s so many things I don’t like about rich people: more so than the poor. I only fault the poor for their bad taste, their laziness, and unkempt yards. Ours is unkempt too, but we’re hiring some poor people to come and fix it up.
The thing about punk rock is that it requires anger to fuel itself. I don’t want to run dry. I wear tie-dyes and Modest Mouse T-shirts to the soccer games because I don’t want to fit in, I want to create my own goddamned suburb enclave of coolness, like a wedge in the back of the system. I’m really no different. I don’t really fit in here or there.