There are certain things that we just don’t do. In each moment in our lives there are a million things that we could do, but we never even consider doing the vast majority of our possibilities. This is because our subconscious filters out the actions which it deems “unacceptable.” What is inhibiting our subconscious mind from offering our conscious selves all the different possibilities are social norms, self consciousness, and internalized rules. This Spring Fling I decided to let my mind run with all the possibilities, imagining all creative paths before me. The path that I found most exciting led me right onto Tiesto’s stage.
For Spring Fling my name is Brandon Bibbs. Brandon Bibbs is not afraid to think outside the box. Thinking outside the boxed-in General Admissions section I found myself slipping down to the Floor section. Then I was at the rail. The security guard met my eyes and I knew he knew that I was thinking about it. He turned for one second and I was backstage. Walking as nonchalantly as my beating heart would allow, I sauntered up to the three big men guarding the stairs and tried to get past. They put an arm out, I brushed it off and gave them the “I’m-supposed-to-be-here” look. It worked. Funny where a confident attitude can get you. During my fifteen seconds break-dancing on stage I was in a state of pure joy. I loved it. Everyone loved it…with the exception of the law of course. I was smiling, the crowd was cheering, and Tiesto was laughing! Our spirits delighted in the harmless, youthful, exuberance of the act. I smiled and felt a liberated, hopeful joy that I hadn’t felt since my days of protesting in the streets last semester. But then the smiles were smacked off our faces and our gaping mouths took their place. Law enforcement does not exist to guard the joyful expression of our humanity, it exists to guard the rules set by the powerful to keep the people in place. With eight strong arms they put me back in my place. Carried off-stage and then backstage I was at the mercy of the police, “What the heck were you thinking man, jumping over Tiesto!! Give me your ID!”…”I don’t have any ID! Man I just wanna’ go to bed…can I go?” “Are you a student here?” “Yea…” “Ok, what’s your name?” “Brandon… Brandon Bibbs… B-I-B-B-S.” The policeman took down my info and then looked at his partner…”I’m just going to walk him out…” The police officer walked by my side but I walked just a bit faster. I jumped into a taxi and felt relieved to be out of their hands. My relief escaped me when I remembered how much the police actually keep American cities under surveillance. The following few hours I took this threat of state surveillance a bit too overdramatically, but I’ll tell you what happened anyways because it might make you laugh.
I told the cab driver I needed to go to New York City. As far out of Philly as I could handle. I couldn’t pay the 650 dollars though, so I went to Pat’s instead. (Not even in that frantic state would I make the poor decision to go to Geno’s.) After walking around a bit I took a cab back to campus, went to my room and decided I needed to change my identity. Cutting my hair and changing my identity was over-the-top, but after months and months of studying, running from one class to another, consuming information without being given the opportunity to critique and debate the “way things are,” I felt that it was time to be over the top. Every Penn kid gets to that point, but instead of creatively dealing with the need to let off steam the trend has been to get wasted out of your mind. Remember when we used to creatively use our mind and play? What about playing dress up and running around after school outside in the backyard? Anyways, completely changing ones identity is way more fun then blacking out at frats. So, I cut all my hair. I am not a hair-dresser and I looked ridiculous. At this point my imagination was running wild and I convinced myself I had to get all the evidence off the Penn campus. I gathered up all my hair, and then walked to the bus station. With my trash bag of hair, my hair-filled vacuum cleaner, and a bag of food and provisions for the great unknown future all strewn about me, I noticed the others at the bus station were giving me looks. I must have looked homeless, and I felt the weight of their judgments upon my shoulders. I can not imagine actually being homeless, trapped for years under that sort of merciless disregard. Talk about dehumanizing… I took the bus out to 49th Street and dumped the hair. It was all over. I took a deep breath and walked slowly back to campus. Swimming through the moonlight under those ancient Philadelphia trees, I had the sensation of being free from all ties. I had burst out of the box and had a night of joyful freedom.
Life is fun when you live it out of the ordinary. We were all given the ability to creatively break out of mundane life, and too often we do not free ourselves because we are afraid that our imagination is immature, weird, crazy, over-the-top. In a world where mature is being trapped in a suit chasing after money, lets be immature. In a space where cool is getting piss drunk and making love with people we don’t love, lets be weird. In a society where sane is spending hours and hours being maximally productive without time to breathe, do “nothing” and just enjoy friends and family, lets be crazy. Over-the-top accepts a limit, a life where the top of our potential is defined by rules and societal norms. When we allow ourselves to dream about the possibilities of our future, then the sky’s the limit. Lets be over-the-top and dream without reservation. Lets be free and follow the most exciting of our dreams.