Tender Mercies

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Realize you’ve been driving behind the same car for a half-hour.
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Talking with your hands, accidentally smacking some girl you hardly know.
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Snort of laughter bringing that snot you’ve been holding for a while now out.
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Touching a person mistaken for a friend.
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Looking at a cute girl until she looks at you—millisecond eye-contact—quickly pretending to do something important.
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Reminding someone poor of the money he owes you.
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Saying something definite, mixing the correct word with something widely inappropriate.
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Playfully making fun of a girl for the boy she likes, finding out they broke up last night.
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Forgetting to invite that girl to your birthday party.
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Mistaking a woman for a man.
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The pizza you eat on a date not sitting well.
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Making a comment in class, completely mistaken.
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Blowing your nose in the middle of class finding only one tissue when twelve are necessary, forcing you to improvise.
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Smiling, waving, and screaming the name of your friend to no avail, finding strangers staring.
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Air-balling it on a lay-up.
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Having your small feet, legs, hands, and fingers pointed out to a crowd.
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Realize you’ve been talking to yourself for the past five minutes.
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Finding that, in the huge debate with one of your friends, you were way off.
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Everyone asking you about your hat the day after you let your angry father give you that Bowl-cut.
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Forgetting the easy question, you know you know, squirming and aching, inside and out, to no result.
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Having the fact that, for the past fifteen minutes you’ve been looking up at the teacher, smiling, holding your hands in a really effeminate position, looking like a queer brought to your attention.
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Mixing the words bunions and bosoms.
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Laughing at your own joke, stopping only when you find no one laughing with you.
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After the chorus of a song, singing—loudly, very loudly—the wrong verse.
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Finding that the person you’ve been pressed up against at a concert for the past hour is your AP Psych teacher.
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Having the fact brought to your attention from your neighbor that, well, you stink.
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Having the runs at your friend’s house.
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Trying to hit the little bob hanging down from the white, pull-down screen missing entirely—mockery ensues.
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Finding, after half an hour of a movie, that wait, that’s not the couch, that’s his thigh!
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Finding yourself being proud of growing a full inch after two years.
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Snorting after she tells you that math test was really, really tough.
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Having to say, yes, I did indeed play Rummikub with Caity and her mom for hours, and no, I had nothing better to do.
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Remembering that stupid, stupid thing you did long, long ago that makes you feel really, really dumb.
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Looking back on life and saying, man, that was awkward.





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