Wednesday, October 9, 2013


The days pass quickly when I listen to Кино́. I listen to songs repeatedly, carefully attempting to familiarise myself with Viktor Tsoi's growling Russian diphthongs. I get caught up in those prickly guitar lines and those melodic hooks which seem to always centre upon a B minor arpeggio. The production is shabby, the sound inexplicably panning from one speaker to another. There are noticeable mistakes, wrong notes and poor timing, but with each repeated listen I seem to love it more and more. I don't think of the mistakes, I think of other things. I think about Tsoi. I think about Leningrad in 1984. I think about a place where I can be alone.

I present Кино́ to others, but it is purely out of naive habit. I never seriously expect to get a glowing response, a requited sense of awe when I send over Последний Герой or Красно-желтые Дни. It never particularly disappoints me to hear their dismissal, but it only serves to reinforce the isolation in this practice. It's the same as my beloved night time isolation, that time when hours were vague and my existence was entirely unaccountable. Back then, I didn't care about what anyone else thought, but now, it's different. Approval culture is everywhere. From Likes to Followers, boyfriends and jobs, during the day, it's impossible to escape that desire to demonstrate personal value.

I listen to Восьмиклассница and I think of those ridiculous attempts to impress others during adolescence: You say you got a C in Geography and I don't give a damn, You tell me somebody got bruised over you, I say nothing and we walk on... It forces me to recall a time when I naively presumed that my elderly crush would be impressed with my happenings. It's all so laughable in retrospect, because such mindless gloating only really highlighted how young I was (and how inappropriate it was to be even interacting in such a way). I'm sure my news couldn't have impressed him, but then he allowed me to operate under this impression that I was ultimately worth something.

Now, I present to others, I present without thinking. I present without any genuine desire to connect. Yet I cannot help but get consumed by the purported regard of others. I am continuously preparing for that possibility that fondness could morph into annoyance, in much the same way love invariably morphs into indifference. Such thoughts leave me feeling so tired and wretched that nothing, not creative success, not tens of thousands of Likes, not even the assurance of family and friends can ever make me feel truly "liked". I cannot stop, so I try to make the days pass quickly, I listen to lots and lots of Кино́. I try to escape to a place where I cannot be found.

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