Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Name's Frye!

Some consistent readers might be familiar with the concept I apply to keeping friends' names secret: I used pseudonyms. One of my friends went, for a long time, by the name Ferris Bueller. You know, because he was very much like him in my eyes.

What I didn't expect was that I would start considering myself Cameron Frye.

For those of you who haven't seen the film, Cameron is Ferris's best friend (I'll get to that in my life, later.) On the one fateful day - the day-off - Cameron undergoes a change in his life and expresses his frustration with his parents, specifically his father. While his life isn't exactly a bad one, it's not suitable for Cameron.

In much the same way, I disagree with my parents' views on life. To paraphrase Mister Frye, they're always pushing me around. I'm expected to do all the boring things in life when it suits them. It's the second part of that sentence that really gets me, because I totally understand that there are certain boring things in life that must be done. I get that chores need to be done. I just don't agree that my parents should decided, at this point in my life, when I do said chores.

I say "chores". It feels like an American word, to me. I've only ever heard it in American shows and my own head. Anyway, I digress. It's things like hoovering the house, or emptying the dishwasher, or sorting out the boxes of things that had been dumped on my bedroom floor while I was at college. These are things that don't have to be done immediately. Yes, the dishwasher needs to be emptied before the remaining plates and glasses pile up. Yes, the hoovering has to be done to stop the house looking filthy.

But the boxes on my floor? I didn't put them there. I had been getting ready to bring everything up to my room to sort out at my own pace, organising them as I went along. Now they're not only on my bedroom floor, they're in an incomprehensible order. I need to literally unpack these boxes of odds and sorts to put them away again. It would take a whole day, as opposed to the few hours it would have taken before.

These are small things. It's the rest of my life that's the problem. My parents have ideas about my life that don't concern my own free will or interests. I think every parent does it.

I don't think it's a secret that I want to write for a living. I know it would be hard to get to a point where that's possible. I accept that. But it's what I want to do.

The problem, of course, is that to my parents the writing comes second. To everything. Remember those chores? Yeah, they're more important than the chapter I happen to be writing, or the poem I'm trying to reconstruct. If it's not college writing, it doesn't count.

The director of The Rest is Silence had to ambush my parents to force them to promise to go to the show. They speak out it begrudgingly, like it's such a difficult thing for them to get in the car, drive to the college and watch an hour long play their youngest son wrote. An hour. That's it. It's purposely short because of the content. The lead cried during rehearsals. Heck, we all cried. Can't have two hours of that.

So, it would take two hours out of their night, including travel time. That's assuming they show up right on time and leave immediately.

And how does this relate to Cameron Frye? Well, that's where Ferris Bueller comes in. When we speak of my parents - heck, when we speak of either of our respective parents - we come to the conclusion that they're kind of insufferable and detrimental to my health. I think they drive me insane. A lot of the time he then takes it upon himself to talk me to the point of doing my own thing.

Now, this isn't a case of rebellion. I'm not about to kick my dad's car to crap. I'm not about to run off for the day for no reason other than the fact that my friend is bored. Heck, he works too much for that to even be possible. But it's a case of standing up for myself. It's about doing what I need to do with my life, and not letting them decide for me.

And as for the "best friend" thing. Well, I wouldn't claim to be his best friend. I know who is best friends are, for a start. I've spoken to one and I know where another lives (because he's my friend's next door neighbour...). I'm neither of those people. I don't expect to ever be called his "best friend". But we have a particular type of friendship that allows for a lot of honesty, a lot of philosophy, and phone calls at two in the morning. They're my "day-off".

I just gotta take a stand, right? Just face up to the people who think they're in charge of me. As my
pseudonymous name-sake says, "I am not gonna sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I'm gonna take a stand. I'm gonna defend it. Right or wrong, I'm gonna defend it."

Just call me Frye. Cameron Frye.

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