Welcome to the Jungle

December 17, 2007
By Joanathan Parker, Oconomowoc, WI

I’m walking on clouded thoughts, miles above worry above pain and the earth and all its sleepless nights. I look down at the world scurrying around like little ants. The wind is cold across my back as I begin my decent into reality. Landing back in my own shoes, I’m looking dead into the eyes of fear: fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of loss.
It is lunch time at Arrowhead High School.
People crowd around there tables and scarf down their food with wide grins on their faces, but pain in their hearts. Like thoughtless souls agreeing to disagree, to extinguish the fire in there heart: the burning, the hole, their loss.
I don’t belong here amongst the animals and their regret smeared across their faces like a mask. I run free of their ever-praying eyes. I turn to run, to fly away with the birds, but I’m locked here below, with iron and chain. A prisoner in ones own body, trapped within myself, I cannot escape the inevitable boundaries of the lunchroom.
This is how I survive, how we all survive. Kill or be killed. The rules of the jungle are closer than you think. True-life that buries a hole in your chest.
You live to be accepted so much, you don’t accept yourself. In creating the puppet who fits in with the world, you lose yourself in the clutter. You’re true being, crushed back in your mind making room for another costume. A mask to hide the pain you feel every morning when you dress to impress. “Welcome to Arrowhead High School. Welcome to the jungle.”

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