The Art of Staring at the Walls

March 18, 2012
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I’m sitting at lunch, listening to my classmates’ chatter. It mainly focuses on, “Ooh, did you hear about Josh? He’s so hot, but he’s mean to girls . . .” or “Yesterday, did you hear what Ann said to me? I really dislike her. She thinks she’s so cool, but she’s not.” It washes over me like a slow-moving wave on the beach. I don’t know, nor do I care about most of these people. Every day, it’s the same. The gossip about people and their apparent attractiveness, crushes on unknown-to-me celebrities, or rants about teachers.

It is of much less importance than they think. They, as a general population, are more similar than they think. Their words all run together, just as they do. They always are in groups, perhaps because they are afraid to be alone. They care too much about their hair, and worry about their appearance. They talk, but it’s all meaningless. In ten years, One Tree Hill won’t be the center of their lives.

Ah, the society of the popular ones! They continually look pretty, are athletic, and are smart. They aren’t “exclusive”, but as they are all so close, their conversations are interwoven along with the rest of their lives. They are seemingly flawless, and frequently go shopping and to parties.

Now, I’ll be honest here: I don’t want that. What I want had all started three years ago, when, after a “falling-out” with a friend, I rashly decided to not sit with them at lunch, or associate with them again. That was the spark of my social experiment, of trying to find myself without them. I sat at different tables, seeing what they were like. I was content with that for about two years, until I realized that I wasn’t.

At that time, my character fluctuated. Where before I had hung on my classmates’ every word, I realized that it wasn’t significant, and commenced daydreaming during lunch. I became more immersed in my own thoughts, and less concerned with others’. I thought about concocting my own social experiments, and wondered about what I would find. If I sat alone, would others go and sit with me? No, that’s going much too far. They might invite me to sit with them, but break away from their better friends, with whom they are discussing important topics such as the Kardashians? Nope.

Sometimes, I feel so replaceable. That’s not to say that I think about committing suicide, but I honestly can’t remember the last time one of them actually asked me a question, other than perhaps, “What are you doing for spring Break?” or “Nice weather, don’t you think?”. I feel rather chameleon-like, unnoticed by all except those who are really searching.
They don’t care. Never have they asked my thoughts or what goes on inside of my head. Perhaps they don’t want to know. I yearn to get away, but where would I go? My thoughts of course, at least for twenty minutes. With that, I am left staring at the bland, yellow cafeteria walls, dreaming about a place where people would –God forbid- actually think.

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EPluribusUnum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm
Deja vu (doubt I spelled that right, but oh well) alert, I totally know what you're talking about. The only thing I can suggest is keep looking, you'll have find inteligent life eventually! I don't know what grade you're in, but sometimes people learn to think as they grow up.
KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 6:25 pm
Okay, thanks. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Yeah, I'm in 8th grade. I only have four more weeks left, so soon things will change, as I'll be going to high school (at least, I hope so!)
EPluribusUnum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm
Oh yeah, they'll grow up. I'm a freshie this year, and I've noticed that people defenitly mature. And if they don't you can always find some friendly sophmores and juniors to hang with as long as you don't act like a sterotypical annoying freshman--which you don't sound like (it's a maturity thing). Good luck and enjoy your last months of middle school, things will never be so easy again :)
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