Thursday, August 4, 2011
The Jersey Shore premieres its fourth season tonight.
I don’t know this from personal obsession. I know this from all of the Facebook posts provided from former students and from my niece—a stunning little sweetheart who shouldn’t be watching such brain poison. But there was one post on the social network that stood out. It came from Ryan, a former student who graduated years ago. He’s creative, introspective, outgoing. And he isn’t afraid to say it like it is, and never was.
Ryan took a risk and wrote something a tad critical of people who are absolutely consumed with the show, people who schedule vacations around dime-store celebrities with two-can ‘do’s and fake bakes. Well, people attacked him, called him a hater. The list of comments was pretty long.
But his honesty gave me a glimmer of hope that not all twenty-somethings are wasting away their lives with this Jersey circus. Maybe some realize that life is invaluable when you’re 20. It’s a time when you aren’t burdened with a laundry list of responsibilities, that before you settle down with a partner, with kids, with a mortgage, that you shouldn’t be at home tied to cable.
You should be living.
Later, I headed to Wawa to get gas and coffee. And while there, Snow Patrol’s "Chasing Cars" came on. Of course, this is the song that makes me think of Tyler, who was friends with Ryan. I wondered what he would think about people’s fascination with the clowns. And, as I had written to Ryan, I thought that maybe I have no idea about what Tyler would think. But in my mind, I can only imagine him telling people to live their own lives, to not experience it through the exploits of others.
And then suddenly, as I began to well up with the thought of Tyler in his coffin—a confining end before being set free—a yellow Monarch butterfly came out of nowhere and landed on the window of my car, right in front of me. It flapped its wings, turned—almost as if it looked at me—and then flew off into a grey-filled sunset.