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Jun 24, 2022

Fear and Loathing in NYC

Jack Burt
Jack Burt


It’s 87 degrees, and I’m near the front of a line dense with newly minted millionaires, influencers, and hypebeasts that stretches twelve blocks uptown. I’m currently 12th from the door, standing behind a rather short 20-something wearing clinically-white Air Jordans, Louis Vuitton sweatpants, and an AAYC muscle tee --- which 20-something is holding his phone up at shoulder height, taking selfies for his camera roll while simultaneously hosting an impromptu Twitch stream on the basics of ‘day-trading’, but which basically amounts to him repeating the axiom: ‘don’t get married to a trade, bro.’

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am nervous. Or perhaps it's not exactly nervousness — I remember reading in some pop-psychology book that anxiety and excitement are neurologically, near-identical states — so maybe it's less an issue of emotion as it is an issue of framing the emotion. After all, logically, I have every reason to be excited for this event: Attentive Ape holders have waited months and suffered through unending floor price volatility to make it to this sacred IRL night. And plus, all week the AAYC team has been cryptically teasing the release of new merchandise — last night, the official AAYC account posting pictures of pill containers and clips of Bradley Cooper from the movie ‘Limitless’, leading many to speculate that AAYC will soon be dropping their own line of nootropic stimulants dubbed ‘Degen Doses’.

As we inch up towards the entrance to Attentive Ape Fest, I pull out my phone, double-check that I’ve got my e-ticket locked n’ loaded, and then do a few flicks through Twitter to see if I’ve missed any alpha leaks. There’s no announcements, but I do have three new bots following my alt account. Also, a quick scan of the the ‘explore page’ reveals that a new term called ‘Web 6’ is currently trending with 629 tweets; but said discovery ultimately sends me sliding into a discomposed mindset wherein I’m progressively worrying about the fact that I’ve missed the memetic boat for this new CT term, and so now 6th in line, my whole emotional-frame starts shaking as I find myself overwhelmed by the urge to blindly tweet something out about ‘Web 6’ — not necessarily for engagement, but more so out of a blanket fear that if I do not say anything, if I do not simply raise my proverbial hand and shout ‘here’, that somehow I will be marked absent in the trend — it is both a gross and desperate feeling, a feeling where my fighting the feeling only intensifies the grossness and causes me to drip even more full, warm beads of sweat into the armpit canopy of the fleece-lined AAYC sweatshirt that I and many others in this line have unfortunately elected to wear today.

Out of pure desperation, I repeat to myself very quietly, like a Tibetan monk cycling through his list of mantras, I am my ape, and my ape is me.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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