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Observations From A Teen

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And sometimes you wondered why it drove you crazy. This typical, everyday, suburban, phony, utopian and dystopian place. You’re not the suicidal/homicidal kid who hides a gun in their backpack; you’re not the overweight kid everyone makes stupid comments about when they are just secretly relieved not to be him. You’re not the kid with a mental illness: bipolar disorder or an eating disorder or a learning disorder, that cr**py stuff. You don’t have it so bad. You’re OK, fine, doing no better or worse than the kid next to you in math class.

And maybe it was that that drove you crazy. You don’t stick out, not in any bad or good way. You’re just another one of the 300 kids in your grade, the other 1,000 kids in your school who blend into the crowd and never leave a mark anywhere; so forgettable that no teacher or younger student will ever be able to confirm that you even went to this school. Sometimes, you feel so desperate to leave a permanent mark on someone that you go into a bathroom stall and scribble little faces everywhere, marking them with dates. Even that’s a lost cause, though, because they replaced the normal metal doors with plastic that can’t be drawn on unless it’s in sharpie, which even you’re not brave enough to do.
You have this trapped, frantic feeling of being so unhappy you sometimes wonder how you will survive this next day let alone 3 ½ more years of high school. The worst part is that no one notices. Not your guidance counselors who are too busy pasting smiles on their faces and stocking the shelves in their offices with SAT books to notice students who are actually suffering. Not your teachers who have trillions of students, and not your parents because they’re too busy working everyday, and they act like it’s for you, like the only reason they work through dinner is to save money for your college fund or your card fund or your emergency funds. Really, you know it’s that they secretly love their job, love feeling important and getting more credit and attention then they do as parents. Maybe they’ll have time for you when you’re 25. Not even your closest friends know what’s going on because they’re too busy with their own cr** to realize you might need them; You guess it’s your own fault, after all you’re the secretive one. You’re the one who doesn’t tell them the reason you cover you arms everyday in long sleeves and black sweatshirts.

Now the bell is ringing and you stand up and you have an uneasy feeling of Déjà vu, maybe because you do this same process five times a week, eight times a day for years now. It’s so tedious, the motions they make you take. You don’t even know who they are but you’re angry at them, really angry, because you don’t like the system but it’s been this way forever and it would probably be stupid to change and worst of all you can’t think of a way to replace this old system so really you’re just some dumb teenager complaining.

You friend Lane is coming up to you now. Lane is a good person she really is, but she tries too hard. She never wears the same thing twice and grounds herself when she gets less than an A. She’s telling you that she saw Sam today, and for a moment you forget who Sam is, but then you remember. He is the boy of the week that she likes. She likes to use words like hot and sexy to describe him, and you decide not to ask her if any other words come to mind when she talks to him like smart or funny and thoughtful. But, then you remember she hasn’t actually ever talked to him, so it’s all in vain.
Lane is gone now; back to one of her many AP classes. She ‘s smart because she’s in them. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. Lane can’t make a decision for her life, even little ones like whether to get French fries or a BLT for lunch, and she doesn’t really know anything beyond what nuclear decay is and how long the Byzantine Empire lasted. But, she’s in honors classes. She’s smart. That’s what everyone thinks, after all.
You reach the bathroom and relief floods you because you don’t have to be in the halls anymore. The halls are possibly the worst part of your day, besides the cafeteria and math class and the bus. It’s definitely up there.
You’re in the bathroom now and you close yourself into a stall so small it’s almost suffocating. But, that’s OK because you are taking out your razor and it’s slightly crusted with blood, and your heart is beating fast. That’s what you can count on, your razor or your scissor, or your X-acto knife which you stole from the art room two months ago. Whenever dread fills up your body and the screaming voices all around your make your pulse speed up, you can encase yourself within a glass wall of silence and focus only on the smooth sharpness of your weapon. A razor is your favorite.

You blow on it like you always do, not for any special reason, but just because you’ve seen people do it in movies with a gun.
You draw it across your wrist and bite your lip. Blood seeps from the long, skinny cut.
You breathe for possibly the first time all day.
Right now is, for certain, the best part of your day.



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