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A Look Behind The Mirrored Tunnel

By , denver, CO
One- 7th Grade Purgatory



It is never an easy thing to be alone. Who ever said it was? But what bothered me the most was not in fact the actual lonely-ness. I could handle that. (After years and years I was actually accustomed to it.) It was the long lasting effects of the escape from the naked eye. It makes you feel like you are going crazy. You can’t turn it off like those lame super heroes can. It is like being behind a mirror window. You know, the ones that look like mirrors but are really windows to the inside viewer. Now imagine that as a long tunnel stretching on into the future abyss. I was a prisoner in that shatterproof bulletproof glass cage. I feel like an animal trapped, or at least a single strand of bacteria in a one of those little shallow glass dishes that scientists use. No one could see me. Or at least they were ignoring me.

Being 5’ 4” I was so short I could be stepped on. No more than an amoeba on the bottom of their shoe. Scum to the rest of the world. I was 13 years old and my escape from visibility had lasted 4 months. Of course, it was not my choice to escape but who really wants to be invisible? Honestly? It was 2:00 am and there was neither birdsong nor the sound of crickets chirping. It was absolutely, and deafeningly, silent. It was the kind of silence that made you feel like you were drowning in thick chocolate pudding. The kind of silence that makes you want to dig your teeth into your palms so hard that drops of blood trickle down onto your wrists. I was sitting in the darkened corner of my room and thinking of my purgatory. A place from which I could not return. Everlasting torture. I did not know how long I could take it. My new world was desolate and semi-satanic.

I suddenly realized that life was not all it was cracked up to be. I jerked as if I were a machine starting up. Automaton to the world under the mirrored tunnel. Suddenly I knew what I had to do. I knew how to stop the nightmare. I got up silently. But that’s just it isn’t it? It was too silent. All rational thought had suffocated and been buried. I thought ‘If this life is a living hell how bad could death be?’ The sick twisted thoughts pursued me and seeped through my veins like a paralyzing IV medication dripping steadily into the veins in my wrist. In one quick movement I grabbed a pink belt from the drawer where I keep my socks and belts, and set off towards a sturdy beam in my basement ceiling.

What I was doing bordered on masochism and I knew it. Like a person possessed by dark forces unseen I tied the pink belt, set up a chair, and jumped off like it was a high rocky cliff. I was a puppet part of a puppet show, acting for no one in particular however something else had taken over my strings. The belt burned into my flesh creating what I knew was a red ring around my neck. As I thought of it, I had married death and was wearing the ring. The mark of a masochist tattooed on my skin for all to see. And just before I lost consciousness some dully colored words circled around my head like cartoon water around a drain. 'How very strange'

I was burning up. It was so hot in here. I was trapped in my skin. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t even feel my leg or anything else for that matter. ‘What is going on’ I thought. ‘Why is it like this? What’s wrong with me?’ Panic flooded me. I shivered even though it felt as if it were 900 degrees. What if it never ended and I was stuck here going crazy in a fiery hell for all of eternity? It was like I was surrounded by clay and put in a kiln. The walls around me burned my skin. They closed in on me making a claustrophobia-inducing cave. It seemed like it would never end. I lost hope. That was it. There was one more sudden flash of heat. I felt like my head was going to explode! Then, in a very welcome flash of cool light, the most gorgeous orb of gold confronted my eyes from the black abyss which I had entered moments before. It was cool like swimming through the river by the cabin I visited every summer in Salida and it made me feel strong. I laughed surrounded by this light and I swear I could see the laughter bubbling out of my mouth in purple misted ribbons. I felt safe and secure. I could no longer remember how I had gotten there. How I had come to be floating in the space between dreams and reality. Nor did I really care at all. The only thing I knew was that I could no longer feel any of the former pain I could only feel the light soft and sweet smelling surrounding me and embracing me. It was like walking through a garden in spring. It was cool and smelled like roses and lilacs. It was so nice here.

Then just as suddenly as it started it ended and I was thrust back into my own body like hitting a cold floor after rolling off your warm bed. I was choking and spluttering and the rope burn on my neck was not yet to scarring point. I had only been there for one or two minutes but it felt longer and at the same time shorter. I never handled scar stories well so I supposed that it was okay. I managed to get my feet back onto the chair, somehow, and I unhooked it from the post and sat on the cement floor of my storage room and wept until I slept. When I woke the cold cement floor burned into my side. I did not care. I was so happy to be alive.( don’t know why I was so happy but I didn’t really care.) After the experience I had I could sing. In fact a song was just forming on my lips when I thought better of it. I had only slept two hours and it wasn’t even light out. I did not want to wake my mother. She is not a morning person. No, just sleep for now. Wake and go to school. It was Thursday at 4:00 am and I was not about to ruin it. I walked over to my bed and sat down. I hummed a short melody from the Phantom of the Opera. my personal favorite musical of all time and promptly fell asleep. Again. That was the single best and worst night of my life. I received clarity and light from that moment of hazy darkness that had clouded my mind. Although I was still lonely I learned to bear the punishment of abnormality.


The Best Day of My Life (AKA: The Day After I Tried to Hang Myself)



I am going to tell you about the best day of my life. You may think I am totally exaggerating but I’m definitely not. It happened a year ago and I swear it saved my life. I was sulking in my dark room as always. I hadn’t changed my clothes in several days and it was pretty disgusting, believe me. As I said in the last story I was an incredibly depressed 7th grader. It was shocking that I had even left my room to go to school. Or even to go pee. My mom turned on my lights and since I had gone so long (practically days) without light it burned my eyes. I imagined blue and white goo seeping from my bloodied sockets and dribbling down my face and onto my clothes. I was going to get up and turn them back off when my mother spoke.

“Zoey, time to go to your interview lovey.” Dammit! I had forgotten my interview. And for the record I don’t mind it now but, I hated it when she called me ‘lovey’. I didn’t respond. I closed the door. I was supposed to talk to and sing for a dude named Stephan Hume. I got on a random combination of jeans and t shirt and some zebra-striped flats. I knew I must look really strange. I didn’t even bother looking in the mirror except to smear on a little eyeliner. When I say a little I mean a little. The line-your-eyes-until-you-look-like-a-scary-raccoon look is definitely not the look for me. Or anyone. I sloped off to the car. I was actually sort of excited to go and get interviewed. Not so much that I changed my facial expression, but excited none the less. At least one person cared to meet me. When I got there I had a song all prepared. Imagine by John Lennon. A personal favorite of mine.

When I entered the room my heart beat at an inhumanly fast rate then stopped dead. I was so nervous. I was seriously going to pee my pants.
‘What if I’m not good enough?’ I thought.
‘What if he doesn’t like me?’
’What if I crack a note?’
‘What if he’s strict?’
‘OH MY GOD HOLD IT TOGETHER!!!’
‘But I want to go home!’
‘Shhhh! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!’
Mental slaps to my Chicken Mental Self followed and she finally shut up. Then Stephan came out of what I now know everyone calls ‘the green room’. (It is called the green room because it is painted green. Big surprise.) I was greeted by a friendly

“Hi. I like cheese!” Innocent blinking ensued. Oooooooookay. This guy was weird. He then grabbed my hand and shook it vigorously. I felt my whole body shake with it. Uh did this dude know he was ripping my arm off? Stephan did not seem to notice or care. He sat me down on a stool and asked me a lot of questions and I answered them, cracking nervous jokes. I really liked him. He was like 20 or so and had light brown spiky hair. And a funny voice. At one point I remember cracking this joke:

“Hey Stephan! Why was the little boy sad?” he blinked.

“Why was he sad, Zoey?” I paused for about two seconds and then replied

“He had a frog stapled to his face.” This he found absolutely hilarious. He laughed and laughed and fell off his chair. But no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t stop. He sat there on the rug hooting and shrieking and shaking with laughter. Tears kept welling up in his eyes. I couldn’t help giggling at the sight of him sitting there on the rug. And from that moment on we have been bestest friends. Then came the most nerve-wracking moment. I had to sing Imagine by John Lennon. I opened my mouth and the sweet melody floated out. I really did love this song.

Stephan sat and stared for a while. I was just starting to wonder if he had mysteriously turned to a statue made of skin colored stone, and then surprised he said

“Oh my god, Zoey that was beautiful.” I had done well and that was enough to lift me off the ground. At the end of the interview he gave me a Band Dynamics T –shirt. I walked on air all the way home and thought of nothing else all that night. Every Thursday I get to see Stephan. In fact Thursday has become my favorite day of the week. (my classmates are probably so fed up with me getting super hyper every Thursday.) Loren and Levi and Ty are there too. Those are the members of my band Minerva Sunset. They are my best friends in the good times and the bad. But that’s another story for another time. . . . . . . . . .





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