NORTH STREET—Senior Alec Maloney retains his identity as a self proclaimed “emo dude,” disappointing friends and family by proving it to not be a phase. Maloney considers himself to be a spokesman for the community of “emo” youth who insist that this is not simply a passing fad but is instead a lifestyle.
Maloney’s tragically persistent identity is closely tied to the careful construction of his physical appearance. Clothing has been specific and unvarying for nearly ten years, consisting of tight black jeans, flat, severely distressed sneakers, a small, cheaply made graphic tee shirt, and an oversized sweatshirt. Black lipstick is unironically applied for exclusive engagements.
While Maloney’s disastrous lifestyle choices suggest a dedication to his identity as an “emo,” things have not been easy for the 22 year old. “I don’t do this because its fun,” said Maloney. “I don’t do this for attention. I do this because there is no other way. This is who I am. Forever. And not just for a six month period in high school, like everyone was hoping for.”
Maloney has worked at the clothing chain Hot Topic for 6 years. His boss has reportedly referred him to other places where he could grow and gain more experience, but Maloney maintains that Hot Topic is “the only place where people understand [him].”
“I’m glad that Alec isn’t working at those sweatshops,” says Candice Howard, high school sophomore and best friend to Alec, “they would just try to stifle him. He has too much raw feeling to be cooped up in some cube all day. He needs to work on feeling right now.”
“We didn’t want Alecander dressing like this, but he would throw the biggest tantrum if I was to ever mention that maybe his pants were a little tight.” Says Paula Maloney, mother of Alec. Mrs. Maloney still decorates her home with pictures of Alec “back when he was a handsome nice boy,” unable to cope with the reality her son is stuck like this forever.
Maloney has taken action to disprove “haters” who claim that he is a “poser,” and to also prove the permanence of his lifestyle that everyone hoped would be over in a year or two. Maloney has cut his long hair into a pizza slice that covers one of his eyes. He also has permanently tattooed himself with a series of stars that run up his thin forearm to encircle his equally thin bicep.
“The tattoos were a big step,” says Maloney, “These things really aren’t going anywhere. I’m marked for life. And that’s how I feel in the face of society. I’m marked for life by my identity.”
“Also, I’m not emo, I’m scene,” he added.