Too Short

March 8, 2008
By
The rain dripped off of her made-up face as she stood, shivering in a skirt that her mother always described as "too short."
As she stood, she knew that all the shivering in the world could never accomplish the mission at hand. She couldn't deny that she controlled nothing. As much as she yelled and kicked for her team, with pom poms raised, they would still seemingly never win. Homecoming was no exception.
She also knew that no matter how many numbers she scribbled in eyeliner on her pink cheeks, she would not escape the loneliness. She would still be missing the right choice. She would still not find a boyfriend worth keeping. She knew this all, and yet she continued writing numbers, hoping for something better, anything at all. Even if it was all superficial, she would fake it, pretending to be happy. Pretending, after all, is better than swimming in emptiness.
There was a boy who stood in line for the biggest roller voaster he had ever set eyes on. His birth certificate read more years than did his appearance, but still young, he clasped the hand of his father, who was terrified to allow his little boy to experience his first "big kid ride."
As the line thinned, the boy's eyes widened, and the anticipation pumped rapidly throughout every capillary within his little body.
Before he knew it, the father was standing face to face with the ticket master. She had frizzy hair and wore a tacky red vest. He handed her their ten red stubs.
Looking to the man and his boy, she could only describe her reasons for dissapointing them both as the boy stood beneath a cardboard clown, with the words, "too short."
A woman opened up a new business.
Her passion was vutting hair and she had spent weeks talking her best friend into an entire makeover. The friend sat in the cold, leather chair and waited for the result of the friend's masterpiece.
snips and snips of hair fell to the floor, and finally, the woman spun the chair, and in doing so, spun her friend to face the mirror.
"Oh my goodness--my hair--my long hair--oh my--!"
The only words the woman could make out came in the form of a question: "too short?"
A teenager read his teacher's comments marked in blood-red ink on his essay.
He didn't ever express his thoughts thoroughly, and he recognized this. He never cared to. He was always busy impressing his friends. No one ever taught him to communicate, so he just didn't.
This time, however, was different. He felt passion for the assigned topic take over his whole being, and words spewed out of his number two pencil onto the grainy paper.
He yearned to communicate his organic, pure opinions, and he tired his best to achieve this. He poured out his heart.
And now he stood in front of a heavy-set woman's desk, reading his artwork and its critique, more hopeful than he would let her know.
Then his heart broke.
72%?
That's all? That's what all his emotion earned him? But this must be wrong! He really tried this time! Anguish flowed throughout his limbs to his fists, within which he clenched his essay. His eyes were pierced by the red words scribbled almost illegibly in the margin, "Nice idea, but it's too short. Write more next time."
Too short.
A young girl stood by the bedside of her father. The air was thick inside her esophagus. She couldn''t make out words, but only small sounds. Earlier that evening she heard a noise that would forever change her. She heard a thump as she played with her dolls in the corner of her bedroom. Startled, she stood and walked into the living room of her small beach house where she found a seat on the sofa next to her older sister, whose expression was hard. She didn't ask questions, she just sat. She somehow knew somewhere within her ten year-old brain that this was no time to ask questions.
Her mother rushed out of the room, sobbing, and lunged for the telephone. The girls were helpless. Later, too much later, the firemen were in the doorway.
The girl could vividly hear the words spoken, and would for years afterward.
"Is He?"
The sobbing muffled all other conversation.
There the girl now stood, unable to speak and unable to breathe properly. Her mind raced for something to do, any action that would force her to react. But she only stood, and looked into his empty green eyes. Where was he? Why did he leave her by this bedside? Why was he gone now? His life was too short.
Now the same girl slouches in desks at school. She reads books and learns lessons, but would rather be playing outside.
She wants to live a life of passion and recklessness. She wants to be free. She wants to breathe, sing, smell, taste, scream, be tickled, listen, help, change, evolve, and live!
She wants to go to Mexico. She wants roadtrips, sleepovers, long walks outside, and new people to talk to.
She wants to pursue fatasies only understood by young children and people who, like this young girl, refuse to grow up and act their age.
And she is living, because, quite frankly, life is just too short.





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