Why I Spent $600 On JYJ... Again
current mood: optimistic
current song: DSBK "Begin"
Back in November, I went to the JYJ showcase in New York. The experience was many things: miserable, devastating, scary. Those are the first words that spring to mind. But I'll save that long, emotionally draining story for another time. I am, in all honesty, too old for this teenybop shit and yet I still went to see JYJ in New Jersey last month. I bought myself and K-Town 2nd row seats. I paid for the hotels. I drove. These were all my own decisions lest anyone think I'm bellyaching. I spent around $400 on tickets and at least $200 on incidentals. After the showcase, I doubted I'd ever so much as listen to their music again. I vowed to never subject myself to the same degradation as last November. I am a goddamn grown-ass woman and I will not accept treatment that is dismissive and insulting. That's what I learned in November. I learned that I am the sort of person who seems ripe for exploitation. I know that I've played this to my advantage for most of my life. I've cried my way out of every traffic ticket, escaped all manner of consequences on the power of big blue eyes and sweet soft words. I know that my seeming vulnerability is what makes people react when I want to sidestep responsibility. The other half of this equation was quite thoroughly demonstrated to me when I was vomiting in a back alley as paramedics tried to calm a hysterical K-Town. When you seem defenseless, people will treat you as such. You will be swept aside if that is beneficial. At the time, I wanted to grab that smug-mouthed troll manager by his pompous cravat and whisper directly into his ear "You know not that of which you speak. I could destroy you, a cockroach beneath my heel." Now I will freely admit that this is beyond dramatic. Why not just slap him with a glove and demand satisfaction, right? Like I said before, this was the first time Life shoved me face-down into a toilet bowl. I was kind of unaware that I had been treated with kid gloves my whole life. This was only a rude awakening because I had slept in so late.
So why the second shot? Why spend a week's pay on something that only wrecked me emotionally last time around? Because they are still the reason I have happiness in my life. I am sure I've written about this before. It was through DBSK, specifically Jaejoong's perfect velvet voice, that I was led to the good things in my life (I am quite literally a different person; I lost the kind of weight that gets you on TV shows). DBSK is what led me out of the secret little dreamworld I had increasingly inhabited. The brave, strong girl I was once, was she still lost in the labyrinth? Had the minotaur devoured her? When I was very, very young, someone hurt me. I don't remember much about it but I do remember how I felt - trapped, terrified, powerless, furious. I remember getting up from the ground and trying to run away, but someone grabbed me back and pushed my face in the dirt. While I'm thankful that it's mostly hazy and half-recalled (a friend of mine was abused growing up and when we talked about her experience I realized that remembering is a far worse situation), it's still there under my skin. And I know that it shaped certain aspects of me. Intimacy, romantic or platonic, is difficult. It's stressful. To be open is to risk yourself. In the myth, Ariadne gives Theseus a ball of red thread to guide him back through the labyrinth after he kills the minotaur. It feels silly to say this, but DBSK was my Ariadne. The labyrinth is engineered to trap its victim, a trusting, blameless young soul. To be devoured by the minotaur is certainly a frightening fate, but in some ways it is also a kinder one. When I was a teenager, I felt certain that I would be dead before my 18th birthday. I don't know why I was so sure. I didn't believe I would be dead because I killed myself, though there were a few feeble attempts. I just woke up every morning thinking "Well, one day closer to the inevitable". I crossed the street every day unconcerned by traffic because, whatever, I was going to be dead pretty soon anyway. I guess it was a coping mechanism. The anxiety that would eventually consume me could be held at bay by believing that I would die before I had to deliver on anything. Christ, that is fucked up. This is what I mean by the kindness of the victim's fate; to take up the thread and follow it out of the labyrinth is to be responsible for one's own fate. Resignation doesn't require bravery. When I found DBSK, I was resigned to my internal dreamworld. So what if my life was or wasn't? I could wrap myself up in the comfort of my construction. In the labyrinth, resignation had clouded my vision, but red can be seen in the dark.
So, again, why did I spend $600 on JYJ after the disappointment in New York? I went because I'm not yet free from the labyrinth. DBSK/JYJ is still important to me. I am still gripping the red thread. I know how easy it is to let go and remain in stasis, but I also know how beautiful the world is beyond this dark path. Colors are rich and the air is even sweeter than I can imagine. Friction may cut my palm against it, but I am still gripping the red thread.