Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Assorted Things That Are Important to Me (but probably not to you)

Today in school, we had our first midterm. Biology, which is a nightmare. Membranes of membranes of cell membranes, enzymes and photosynthesis, so many words that don't make sense. I studied for a week straight, I've been studying constantly all year and I am still unable to grasp these theories. It's the first time in my entire life I've felt genuinely stupid.

But anyway, the midterm was terrible. All these questions that were so unbearably foreign, long words that I've never seen before. I was close to crying. My nose was running. I walked out of the room with my friend rubbing my shoulders and telling me it would all be okay even though we both know that I will be in summer school, I'll be in this class next year, I will not graduate because of CP biology.

I went to my counselor's office and she told me she thought there was something wrong with me. I'm perpetually and drastically unorganized, I can't think about one thing for more then a minute or so, nothing can hold my attention other then a good book and romantic comedies. My eyes twitch if you look at them for very long. I need coffee more then I need most things and I smell like smoke all the time. The only way I can talk to people is if I'm talking about anything other then myself, telling funny stories or weird facts that has worked well with me so far, except my teacher did this thing where she simulated a college interview and I went into this big speech about food quality in the UK when she asked me what my priorities were. My counselor wants to know if she can call my mom to get me tested for some kind of learning disorder and I said no, because my mother would get that smug look on her face anytime it's implied that I'm wrong about anything because, really, she is a smug person. She doesn't believe it, but my sister agrees, and my dad agrees, which pisses me off because I really don't want to have anything in common with my dad.

I want to get tattoos and piercings and clothes and books and drugs and coffee and all these things that I can't because the hiring rate for the under-eighteen crowd is zero to none in my area. My friends and I had to panhandle for bus money the other day. We had to catch a ride with a stranger who smelled like pot and put his hand on our friend Ally's leg.

My best friend in the whole world wants to kill herself. My ex boyfriend is addicted to drugs. They both want me to help them and I can't and it's making me want to cry all the time.

I want to vote. I want to consent to my own medical attention. I want to go to a police station without someone wanting to call my mom. I want to walk down the halls of my school and have no one remember me. I want to weigh ninety pounds. I want money and I'm afraid what I'll do to get it one day. I'm afraid I'll fail, I'm afraid I've already failed. I'm afraid my life is over because that's what they've told me. I'm afraid no one likes me. I'm afraid that the monster under my bed will crawl out and tell me I'm not worth it and go to the house next door. I'm afraid I'm not a good enough writer to write or painter to paint, I'm afraid I'll never be as good as everyone else and they'll all leave me behind because there's something right with their brains that allows them to understand. I'm afraid I'm the only one who cares about anything and I'm afraid I don't care enough. I'm afraid everyone will just give up on making things better and I'll have to send my kids out into this world. I'm afraid I'll wake up one morning and everyone will be gone, swallowed by the sky and sucked into another world where there happier and I'm stuck with their shells down here, poking them with sticks and begging them to talk to me. I'm afraid I look like an old lady already, with my saggy eyes and melting face and fat ass and dry hair and chapped lips and tight jaw. I'm afraid I talk too much, like I am now. I'm afraid people will look back at my life years from now and laugh at what a fuck up I was.

I wrote something on my tumblr about my neighbor.

A neighbor and her friend, two in the same. Very best of friends. Dying their hair outrageous colors because they think it will earn them the street credibility required to sit outside the Hot Topic, roam the mall with their rich girl wallets and pretending like they’re the misfits, the outsiders, the sad and desolate girls who laugh like jackals and surround themselves only with people who will fawn over their new shirt with the band name splashed across their chest in neon pinks and greens. They write suicide notices on their facebooks and myspaces, bragging about their white girl misery, the suicide pack that will never be fulfilled, making a mockery of those who originated the pink highlights whom they know look at with contempt, the real punk that they mock for it’s difference. They are devoid of self-awareness, the ability to loom overhead and look at themselves—not at what makes them unique, but what makes them terrible. What makes the chubby black girl from Queens roll her eyes and the pierced originator of their styles spit their names out like rotten egg yolk. What makes Jamaicans and Indians and Venezuelans spit in the face of America, what makes the emo bands reject their given label, what makes the dirty kids lying on the sidewalk with their loud, metallic music hate themselves. It is this neighbor and her friend that make Suburbia such a shameful place to hail from. It is why the teenage girl from this school or that street unable to be who they want to be, for fear of being placed in the same category as these serial-dating wannabes with their “ironic” tiaras and carefully applied makeup and loyal band of kiss asses and their melodic copycat bands that befoul the name of punk. PUNK, a rebellious counterculture that is unable to be what it once was because of THEM, the mean girls disguised as outsiders. We don’t like them. Only they like them. And there are simply too many of them for this country’s youth to take itself back.

I don't like people who complain on their facebooks. Is this any better?

I love music so much I'm afraid one day I'll just stop everything, sit down, put on my headphones and never get back up.

My ipod has 11,000 songs.

My mom got a kindle. I can read my ebook review copies now. This makes me happy.
Except I don't read anymore. As in, I'm reading my comfort books. Books of my childhood, Jane Austen and Skellig and S.E. Hinton and Matilda and the Wayside series and this new chick, Staceyann Chin, whose fucking gorgeous. I'm also reading John Dies At the End. I wish I had half of my sister's books. I wish I could stop wanting things. I wish I would stop writing this.

Here are some names.
Henry Darger
Henry Parke-Harrison
Guy Bourdin
Riikka Kuittinen
Native Americans
Staceyann Chin
Diane Arbus
Michael Cisco
Mary Ellen Mark



Anonymous said...

I understand.

Look, I'm a stranger on the internet. I appreciate that this therefore might not mean much, or anything. But I understand. I do.

What you are is eloquent and clever and beautiful. What has happened is that other people, some of them well-intentioned, some of them idiots, have put you in a place called high school that is near as dammit a psychological prison and expected you to be thankful.

And see, I get the point of high school, at least in theory. It's just that the execution sucks ass, and to anyone who already knows how to self-teach, how to learn and be interested in the world around them, how to be passionate and to have beliefs and to listen and ask questions, it's only ever going to act like a leash.

I'm sorry for that. You shouldn't have to deal with it. But as you do, there are maybe some things that might help.

If you want to talk, email me. Or not, it's cool. But either way, it gets better. High school ends, and the people like you are the ones who go on to do awesome things. But the Hot Topic girls just stay that way forever.

alana said...

How does a person even respond to something like this? Honestly always makes us uncomfortable and one has to wonder if you even want a response or if it was only the writing of it that mattered.

All I can say is that most of us feel the same. Sometimes I look at things I've painted and hate myself a little bit. Even the girls you scorn are trying not to drown under the crushing weight of conformity. While it's true that some people probably do live pretty great lives, I think it's important to remember that there will always be at least one of those shining teenagers who is trying to hide the bruises from their alcoholic mother or the stray touches of an asshole father. I fucking hated people my age when I was in school and avoided making friends with people as much as possible. Now I can see what a shame it is that we all turned on each other when at the end of the day most of us were the same. I'm not saying everyone should hold hands or any of that crap, but it's important to see people for more than the shallow image they try to show you I think.

Being skinnier, or richer, or doped up will not make you happy. You're too much of a thinker IMO. And there's nothing wrong with getting help is you do have ADHD or some shit. I realize this post is a bit dramatic (as all of these sorts of posts usually are), but I want to remind you that there is help out there if you need it. I feel like such a mom saying it, but there it is.

Also, Staceyann Chin = love.

Jodie said...

Best years of your life right? Yeah ok.

I think the only thing I can tell you is that biology is not going to determine your future. I know how crazy the school system is and how it makes you feel like you'll end up working at Kentucky Fried Chicken if you don't pass everything and that the US school system works so differently to ours, but take it from a girl who was the under achiever of her group that however much grade related fear you have now you are going to look back on this period as soon as you get to college and think 'wtf were they on about?'. You can get a job, you can make money and you can be a smart person without getting photosynthesis (that last one was probably the hardest thing for me to learn - you can be smart, even though the world seems to tell you you're not, it's the humanities students curse, that feeling of inferiority).

The part about your best friend and your ex is scary. It's not surprising you're crying and you can't carry it alone - tell someone who can give you useful practical advice on how to give them the tools to change their situation. It doesn't have to be an adult, just someone you trust, or someone anonymous on a crisis hotline. Tell someone because you want your friends better.

Robby said...

I love you. You are so smart and kind and sweet and I'll probably just say again what everyone above me has already said.
Biology is biology. Try as hard as you can, or as hard as you'd like to, and see where it gets you. Guidance counselors are hit or miss. My guidance counselor at school and I don't get along very well. Sometimes I think she doesn't care. There is nothing wrong with you. Do not forget that.
I hope everything works out with your friends, and your boyfriend. Things WILL work out, one way or another. I've had a lot of trouble remembering that lately. I rant on Tumblr all of the time. That's a pretty impressive number of songs. You are a pretty impressive girl.
I believe in you.

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