As we get older in life, we find ourselves stepping backwards a bit. Maybe it’s a bid to recall our fading youth: some sort of sad, lonely cry of mid-life crisis. Maybe it’s just that as we have gotten older, we’ve found the ability to step away from the things that steal our souls. Maybe it’s a mixture of both.
In my case, there is a lot of myself that I never completely left behind. Oh, I changed colors a bit but I never really stopped being me. These days I find myself wanting to be more me than I was before.
It’s this new lease on life that’s pushing it forward. I don’t work as hard as I used to, which means I now have time to think about the finer things of life: doing my hair in the morning into something past just a simple brush and ponytail for example. Examining my wardrobe (something I never completely stopped I have to admit) and telling myself, “There’s not enough black.”
That statement for whatever reason had me looking at my style from the 80’s, which made me remember what someone said to me in the early 90’s. “We go to the mall now and there are clones of you all over the place.”
I guess I was goth without realizing I was a goth. I was the only person in high school that dressed like I did, after all. Who was around to tell me?
“What? Where the hell did that come from?” you’re not asking me because you don’t particularly care.
In the 80’s, the banana clip became the thing so I used it to tease my black hair into mohawks. I tried to color my hair blue, but that never held because I was poor in the country so without access to the brilliant ways people like Cindy Lauper did their hair. But I did have access to the color black, which I wore a lot for practical and preferential reasons. And the music? When I did hear the odd band (not often) I tended to like it. Black fingernails? I had to be creative. I used black permanent marker and clear nail polish when I could get them. But understand I grew up very very poor.
So I was a goth without knowing I was a goth. The gothic movement was happening at the time, yes, but I wasn’t there…. so perhaps I was a Neander-goth. Goth before goth, as it were. Not really predating the movement, but predating myself. (Phrase coined by my good friend.)
I’ve been pondering this for days now because I don’t want to be one of those people I hate: the posers. Like the fake geeks who throw out Star Trek TOS lingo without having actually seen a single episode. I had to decide was I right to feel the way I have always felt, as silly a subject as it was. It’s still deep to me, because it pertains to my core.
I couldn’t say I would have been hard core 100% goth given the chance. Sure I love a lot of goth music, and tend to like stuff I happen across I’d never heard before. But there’s also a lot of goth music I don’t like… and I’m old-fashioned. I love my folk music. I sometimes don’t wear black. I’m not quite a goth, like a neanderthal isn’t quite considered a human (even if they could interbreed with us).
So neandergoth. That will be my term. I mean, sure other goths my age are being called eldergoths and all… but until the time comes I suddenly have a gothic group that I melt into seamlessly I don’t think I completely belong. Which is fine by me, because the point to this post is to make a note on being true to oneself.
So then it is decided. I am Neandergoth.