The Goth Next Door

Posted: October 11, 2012 in The Road to Skid Row

Mercedes’ apartment was a small cave, just big enough for one person to live in comfortably or two people and a dog to live in very uncomfortably. That’s the price you pay for a 90212 zip code – there is no space for you or your hyperactive border-collie but you get warm smiles when you go for auditions.

Upstairs lived the noisiest walkers I have ever heard. I swear they wore clogs just for fun. They clunked around every morning at 6am – no doubt practising a traditional Dutch barn dance because why else would you wear clogs in an apartment – while I lay on the couch cursing their love of European folk culture.

The girl next door played loud music on her stereo each night until 1am. At first I cursed her too – vicious curses I won’t repeat in public – but then I softened towards her. When you live in a pigeon hole you can’t help learning about the birds around you. Part-goth and part-biker, the girl next door was unhappy. I only knew because I could hear her crying through the walls of the apartment building every other night.

When you are 8 years old it’s great: you have the pool, the lawn, the basketball hoop and the crime-rate of a country town in Iowa. But when you’re older you suddenly realise you live in one of the prettiest, safest, most affluent neighbourhoods in the world. And it’s boring as fuck.

If they’re smart they see through the shallowness and want to puke. That’s how I felt some days. Middle-aged moms with Botox fresh in their face walk around in tight tracksuits while white collar dads drive their Toyota Prius’ to work. Everyone’s keeping up with the Jones’, but the Jones’ own an island in the Caribbean with their own air strip. So everyone just keeps on keeping up, even if deep down they know it’s a load of horse shit.

A lot of teenagers have a healthy “fuck that” attitude to hypocrisy. Some teenagers I saw were happy to drive their parents’ Bentley to school. The goth next door wasn’t. That’s because she suffered an additional alienation – she was a Beverly Hills Hillbilly. She lived in a shitty little apartment with her mother and younger sister and had no spacious lawn to sunbathe on, no swimming pool to drink cocktails by, and definitely no Bentley to drive to school.

Given the circumstances she did what most kids would do. She became a punk. She played loud music ‘til late and wore black makeup with a black leather jacket. The goth next door stuck out like Marilyn Manson at a GOP Convention.

A freak teenager can devalue property prices in a neighbourhood like this, so I’m sure she wasn’t popular. But popularity is an expensive luxury in Beverly Hills – it costs your life and your soul as well as your cash. That’s the price you pay to be liked in a 90212 zip code.

  1. Coline says:

    That was really nice^^ Sad and funny altogether, I like your style too ! 😉 (I can relate on the “goth next door” ah ah !)

  2. tommellors says:

    Thank you Coline! 🙂 I can relate to her too, I think that’s why I sympathised with her so much. I hope she breaks free of that place one day soon.

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