I’ve been at Mizzou for a month
now, and have arrived at the conclusion people here just don’t get me. And
since I’ve tried posting dramatic song lyrics as my Facebook status, tweeting
about how I need plans in the hopes someone will make them with me, and
standing out in Speakers Circle with a sign saying “Free Hugs” in a desperate
bid for human contact, I’m left with no outlet for my emotional angst other
than to write about it.
I’m not sure why I don’t fit in. It
might be that I dress like Kurt Cobain circa overdose number two, or that no
one else here is as passionate about Bulgarian house music as I am, or that I’m
a vegan in a state known for barbequing hunks of cow flesh. Regardless, I’m
just as misunderstood at Mizzou as I was when I tried to be on the football
team at KU.
Basically I was Finn from Glee, except I listened to decent music
rather than singing shitty covers of Journey songs. After years of acting like
having a sweaty, 300-pound lineman on top of me validated my existence, I
realized that if I didn’t stop pretending, I wouldn’t just look like Kurt
Cobain, I would literally pull a “Kurt Cobain” just so I never had to pretend
to love organized sports and Lil Wayne.
So, I gave a Kansas student (wise
enough to be transferring) all my cash and the rest of my dignity to break me
out of the athletic supply shed at KU. After escaping the cops, I was smuggled
over the Kansas/Missouri border in a trunk, like a Mexican looking to trabajar
in a country with indoor plumbing for all.
Something deep, deep inside of me
made my heart throb with the dream that Mizzou would be my nirvana, my high
holy land full of liberal, American Spirit-smoking journalism majors. The
campus would glow from the screens of a million MacBooks, all being used in
independently owned coffee shops. If I could just survive being wedged in that
Honda Civic trunk, I would be happy. Or at least that’s what I kept telling
myself as I breathed in the scent of cheap upholstery and decaying taco bell: That
at Mizzou, I would find my people.
But alas, here I sit, alone in
that independently owned coffee shop, with no one but the Chucks (Palahniuk and Klosterman) for
company. Had I not been hardened by years of sharing a locker room with fifty
men, I would weep from loneliness. Sure,
the J-School kids all have Macs, but everyone I’ve met just wants to go into
sports broadcasting. There is no escape. All I can do is drown my feelings in fair-trade
espresso and listen to the National.