Essay:Does Anybody Remember Laughter? (Declan Kennedy)

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This song is for the people
Who tell their families that they’re sorry
For things they can’t and won’t feel sorry for.
-“Cotton”, the Mountain Goats.

It’s been two weeks and two days since I fell down from heaven. Two weeks and two days. It’s weird to think about; I’m a third of the way to being away from CTY for longer than I ever was there. My parents are increasingly happy about this, it seems. They’ve never really been ones much to “like” CTY. Sure, they’ll tolerate it, and they’ll meet the few more “normal” of my CTY friends in controlled situations, but they’re mostly, well, normal. I’d say I’m the average WASP via background, but the P kinda presents a problem. And, for that matter, the AS. I can do the W pretty well, usually people can guess that I’m white on their first or second try during the “Guess my race using only the sight of me!” game.

So…what was I talking about? Oh, right. CTY. They just don’t really get it. Not gonna lie; I almost hate to have to take on the attitude summed up by the great philosopher, Willard Christopher “Will” Smith, Jr., as “Parents Just don’t Understand.” It’s a phrase that gets thrown around too much; by bros when their parents won’t let them go get buzzed on Natty Light down by the reservoir, or when the classic Junior year pretty girl is called stupid for having random, unprotected sex. Sometimes, maybe parents don’t understand why you want to do something, ‘cuz, it’s well, a bad decision. Thus, I’m reluctant.

On the other hand, there are times when parents just truly don’t understand. When they take the side of the school even though you didn’t do anything wrong. When they deny you could, hey, maybe be genuinely attracted to and in love with someone who happens to have the same junk as you. Or, that they don’t understand the possibility of you losing your belief in God, because the evidence just isn’t there for you. Times where parents decide that “Me being right” is more important than “Me doing what’s right.”

Thankfully, I haven’t really come across any of those situations with myself. So far, I haven’t really had my parents full-on not understand something vital to my identity, like my sexuality, or religious beliefs. Mainly because they’ve all been within what I’d call “acceptable deviations.” Kinda like how, in an experiment, there are sources of error, but they’re so small that, with your sigfigs, they just round off to zero. That’s kinda what it’s been like for me. I have my slight…differnces in certain respects from my parents (Okay, don’t judge me; Passionfruit/the last day was one craaaaaazy game of poker.), but they’re minor enough that my parents can live with it.

CTY has always been one of those differences. They look at it, don’t understand it, but will let it be, since the deviation is within what they’re fine with. Of course, that seems to be changing. My profile pic on Facebook is me, wearing a threadbare, too-small-for-me bathrobe over a black t-shirt, silver shorts, and flip-flops. Oh, and that’s not to forget about the three lanyards I have on in it. Awesome, right?

Well, here’s where the deviations seem to begin to get unacceptable. I was told by my mom that, before school begins, I need to change my profile pic. Why? “It’s weird! And that bathrobe is ugly!” Yeah, it’s weird. And, yeah, not gonna lie, that bathrobe is kinda ugly. But it’s an ugly I love. A lot. Similarly, the fat that I’m wearing a bathrobe in public, standing in the middle of a green on a random college campus, giving a speech to a bunch of teenaged nerds? That’s weird as all hell. But it’s a weird I love. A whole lot.

Now, I’m going to say something to my parents in regards to how much I talk about, love, and miss CTY.

I’m sorry.

Now, to my friends, my fellow CTYers, I say something to you.

Look to the quote at the top. Even if I had some unfathomable desire to truly, meaningfully apologize for it, I don’t believe I’d be able to. For me, an apology has always had an air of “If I could go bad and do things differently, so that I wouldn’t do whatever I’m apologizing for, I would.” And, well, if my parents asked nicely, demanded, whatever, for an apology, and required me to be honest, I would probably say one thing.

“No. Fuck that. I would not change a thing. CTY was one of the best things that ever happened to me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

So, that’s it. In closing, I have but one thing to say.

Cty you have a nice butt. CTY we love you. Take off your clothes. Take off your clothes CTY we love you.