Where the trap started: It turns out that everyone is just as lost and confused as you.

Rockaway Beach

Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore
4 min readJul 21, 2018
Photo by Brendon Thompson on Unsplash

People just want to have fun together.

Don’t read too much into that.

Or, you know…do read into that. I don’t see anything wrong with people enjoying the company of other people. So long as everything stays consensual, I’m cool with it.

And yet, for some reason, that seems to be kind of a taboo subject with a lot of people. Unless there’s some other purpose behind the busy, life-consuming activity that is the consumption of popular culture aside from to tell each other to sod off, because that’s what it looks like to me. All this staying online and avoiding the subject by browsing through the internet. It’s clearly some kind of tactic for keeping away from the uncomfortable subject that is what it is to have fun.

I get it, though. I’m like everyone else, because I don’t know how to have fun. So I do what everyone does: I find some pictures of cool looking people and then I go to wherever the pictures got taken and I suck on the fun that’s there, like some kind of huge leech.

That’s all we ever do. Nobody knows how to have fun anywhere. So we all find people who look like they ought to know. You can spot them by their clothes, usually — the ones that look like they’d catch fire if they walked too fast. We find this cool people and we follow them to wherever they’re congregating because clearly that’s where the fun will be.

Except that when we get there, the cool people mysteriously blend in like sloths that have climbed up moss-covered trees. All the svelte people in hip clothes blend in with all the themed posters at the tiki bar, and you can’t see any individual people anymore. Just waves of hair product and inoffensive geometric patterns on clothes, but no people anymore. They’re probably still there, but you can’t tell any of the green mold apart. So instead of being exposed to the educational experience of watching cool people gambol in their natural environments, you’re left with the all too familiar experience of fending for yourself.

And you nearly panic. You don’t know what to do with all this freedom.

Until you realize that’s what everyone else is doing too.

Nobody knows how to have fun. Everyone just follows somebody else around, hoping — pleading to the gods of hedonism — that someday we’ll reach the guru who gets it. But at the end of every itchy walk through downtown we always find the same prize for our efforts: a loud room full of confused people hoping that somebody else knows what’s going on.

That’s why with the best intentions in the world you find yourself a grown up, mature human being. You’re standing in the corner of a sweaty room with a cup in your hand containing something the color of nuclear waste that the bartender — if you can even deign to call the leering hipster behind the bar that (if the word “bar” even applies) — insisted is called a Gluteus Wrecking Ball. Not that you could hear them say it over the earthquake of trip-hop, or whatever it is trying to shake down the building through the subwoofers. You can’t even call the self-conscious shuffle you’re doing standing, because you can’t tell if everyone else is dancing or having a seizure. You don’t know which you should do — give into the “beat” or the strong impulse to have an epileptic fit — so you’re compromising by leering around and occasionally behaving as if you really need to get a beetle out of your shorts. The only thing preventing you from throwing your arms up and running around screaming “it’s all a lie!” is the fear that people would think you’re starting some kind of modern EDM conga line. And the whole experience makes exactly as much sense as the journey from the beginning of this paragraph to this period.

That’s having fun. That’s enjoying yourself in the modern sense. You arrived here because when faced with the question, “what should I do with my time?” you found people who look the way you want to look and you followed them.

Which is where the trap started, since it turns out that everyone is just as lost and confused as you.



Oliver “Shiny” Blakemore

The best part of being a mime is never having to say I’m sorry.