The language of cool

There he was, sitting in front of the computer, acting as though nothing mattered, not even the game in front of him. Age 18, specky, almost dopey-looking but still cool enough to wear a Coke cap, this ‘child protege’ who has made much more than many much older than him, simply by playing computer games, smirked when I spoke with him.

“They said it could not be done, but I did it,” his smirk seemed to say. His ostensible replies of shy, monosyllabic answers reminded me of how little I knew of the language of ‘cool’ today. The trick, I gathered (correct me if I’m wrong) was to speak volumes without saying a word. Alas, it was communication foreign to me. My dictionary is a decade old. It reeked of impertinence and there was nothing I could do about it.

I was impertinent once. Being a ‘crooked-As’ student (in that there were A2s laced in between the A1s, and even the occasional C3), I drove my teachers and parents up the wall as I paid little attention in class and studied even less at home. It was an enigma that I could do so well. Little did they know of the hours I spent under a blanket with a torchlight. It just wasn’t cool to been SEEN studying, that’s all, but I didn’t want to be a loser as well. It was rebellion (without doing any real damage to yourself or others), pure and simple. After all, what could you do to me if I score 8As while sleeping in your class?

“This will be in the two-pages I talked about in next month’s issue,” I finally said to Master A.

“Wow, two pages. That is so cool,” came his sarky reply, and he didn’t even look at me. I truly felt like whacking the back of his head. Instead, I walked away. Maybe that’d say something.

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