Atlanta Season 3, Episode 8

Escape to nowhere – I watched the latest episode of the show Atlanta today. It was called New Jazz. The show explored a mind-excursion of Paper Boi, who has experienced a level of unprecedented and sudden success. One that has left him feeling alone, isolated, and guessing if the choices he is making are the right ones. 

At the lowest echelon, you begin to question the intentions of the people around you: why is he the one always paying for things? What kind of stake do they have in you? Will they tell you you are making a fool of yourself if it is not something you intend to hear in the first place? That is the malaise of friendship and human connection. The more status you acquire, the more difficult it is to find your true friends. Especially when your circle of friends, knowledge, and even ignorance is expanding at such a rapid pace.

Then you move on to what’s happening internally: what do you fear most? When success arrived so unexpectedly, you have this fear that it will leave just as it arrived. You go into extra high gear trying to preserve the aspects of your character that were present when you began to receive an acknowledgment. Was it the clothes I wore? The things I said? Ultimately, Paper Boi’s fear is ending up homeless. And how do the people around him ensure that that is not a future outcome for him? What role will they play?

The show doesn’t say much about this, but I am scared too. Scared of what the future holds, who to trust, wondering if I am hearing the things I want to hear, or actually hearing what is true. 

Questions, questions, questions. They never rest. 

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