Teen reading week is almost here. That would be October 18 to 24. To celebrate I'm reading at the Robertson Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. That's at 1719 S Robertson, in West Hollywood. It's next to the gas station at the corner of Robertson and Airdrome - it looks a bit like a grounded, green ship hull.
The best thing about it is: I'm reading with FRANCESCA LIA BLOCK. Of WEETZIE BAT fame! She is one of my most favorite literary artists of any genre. OH MY GOD, I love her weird cool beautiful elegant stories! And I've never met her before. So that will be super fun.
That reading is on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 4 pm. (We'll stall a little so the teens can wander over after school.)
To help celebrate here's a little bit from my book Destroy All Cars, on the subject of teens.
MY LIFE AS A TEENAGER
Being a teen is an exciting time for a young person. It is the first stage of your life when you’re associated with a decade. You start off as a “baby”. Then you’re a “child”. Then you graduate onto the conveyor belt of decades. First it’s your “teens”. Then it’s your “twenties”. Then your “thirties”, your “forties”, your “fifties” and so on until you die.
People who actually are “teens”, think of the word as a bit cheesy, but they are still attracted to things that are marketed as “teen”. This is because they are curious what other people think “teens” are supposed to be like, what they’re supposed to do. They are not quite sure what a “teen” is, even though they are one.
Despite the cheese-factor, the word “teen” does help teens find each other. Certain channels on TV are for “teens”. At the book store there is a “Teen” section. At one vacation spot I know, there is a place called the “TeenZone”, where they have French fries and video games and picnic benches to hang out on. Teens like to “hang out”. Teens like candy, and lipgloss, and Skittles. They like heavy metal. Teen girls like shows about other teen girls having lavish sweet sixteen parties. Teen boys like blowing stuff up.
Teens, being younger than adults, are envied by adults. Teens have longer to live. They can goof around more. They don’t have as many cares and worries. Also they are cooler. They are better looking. They are better dancers.
But teens are also easily confused. They don’t understand the world. They get frustrated. They have special chemicals going through them that give them acne and make them sexually overactive. Teen boys masturbate frequently. They can’t help it. You can pretty much grab any teen boy and accuse him of being being a “masturbator” and you will be right. Do teen girls masturbate? No one knows.
Teens are at the beginning of life. For this reason one of the main characteristics of the teen is his or her inexperience. Teens spend most of their time learning to do things, how to study, how to hold a job, how to not get caught masturbating. But since the teen is so inexperienced there are often complications, problems arise and the teen is not prepared.