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A Thin Disguise

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I’m usually swimming beneath a pile of AP Calculus books and guitar transcriptions
But sometimes I come up for a breath of air
So I can think about why
I am the kid that everyone hates
I’m forever the black sheep in a herd of white elephants
I am the eagle and they
Are the pesky little birds
Forever nipping at my tail.

And I wonder why I believe love is
Just another word on a Hallmark Card
And insist I don’t need your acceptance
Because I have U Penn’s.

And I question why I am the kid who walks with my head eternally down
Because the world has told me that I have nothing to be proud of
And time and time again that I’m not perfect
I’ll admit
I’m not perfect but
I’m pretty close to it.

Still, in all honesty
It’s lonely up here in the world of intellect
And I wish someone
Would care enough
To toss me a rope
And pull me down to their level
Because when I speak
It sounds like another language
I say something like “vacillation”
And the whole school goes into some state of widespread panic
Everyone runs to the nearest dictionary
Because they don’t understand me.

And every moment I am always thinking, worrying, considering possibilities
Deliberately destroying what little hope I have
For socialization
With self-inflicted insults.

But I’m content with being alone
Quite frankly I’d lock myself up in my room
And play my guitar until I die
And I’d rot away and leave stains on treble clefs
And on the weekends before the funeral that no one attends
I might take a paintball gun
And shoot people as they walk by
For my own amusement.

But sometimes people fail to see the other side of me
The side hidden behind this thin disguise of cynicism
They see the kid who seems perpetually angry at the world
They don’t see the man
Who loves his family and God more than anything
Who sings to his grandma just to see her smile
When cancer has taken all but her happiness.

They don’t see the man
Who performs at bars all over Long Beach Island, hospitals, and nursing homes
And lights the audience up with smiles
They see a pile of long brown hair
And suddenly think that it’s up to no good.

They don’t see the man
Sitting with his little brother who’s only ten
Inspiring him to say he’s going to Princeton already
Who loves the walking in the woods and thinking about the meaning of life
And has faith in vines of ivy securing his future
Yet, he’s the man who’s still very much a kid
Who sometimes still dreams of
Becoming the supreme heavyweight champion of everything awesome
He’s not perfect
But I wish they could see
He’s me.





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