Listen | Teen Ink


July 12, 2019
By browneyedbaby58 BRONZE, Bottineau, North Dakota
browneyedbaby58 BRONZE, Bottineau, North Dakota
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Listen. What is it that you hear? Silence, right? That’s what I hear when I take the time to just listen for a second. But what is silence? The absence of sound, you say. But if silence is the absence of sound, then how can you hear it? So that brings me to my next question. Is silence the absence of all sound, or just the sound of the fore-front, vocal sound? Do me a quick favor: Think of a number between one and, say, sixty. Got it? Now focus on that number and try to make yourself hear it. Don’t say it out loud, or this won’t work. Have you heard it yet? No, of course not! You can’t actually hear something that isn’t being projected vocally into the atmosphere, but how many of you, when you got your number, said it in your head, heard it in your head, just to yourself, nobody else heard. I did, but then I realized that if I focused on it, I couldn’t hear it, and the more I focused, the harder it was to hear it. Why is that? Good question. The brain works in mysterious ways, no man on Earth knows exactly how, but I believe, and I did no research on this subject, I will admit, I believe that in the absence of fore-front sound, all of the background noise that we would normally never notice comes alive and is louder than any of us could imagine. I am listening for all of the background noise that we wouldn’t usually notice, and every time I stop talking, the background noise that almost always goes unnoticed decides it’s had enough and comes alive, louder than if everyone in this room were talking at once, and I notice, I listen, I hear. Do you? Do you hear in the silence a person calling your name, a door slamming, a dog barking, the screams of little kids having fun on the playground? Do you hear it? I do. I hear all of it. I hear the disparity that you project, the worry of not fitting in, someone calling you stupid, you’re not worth anything. I hear it. I hear it because that was me. For years that was me. I was silence, and I hid in the shadows of your prosperity, desperately trying, wishing, hoping, praying that I would be noticed. Nobody saw when I cried, when I was in pain, I shook it off, hid it so well. This is me. I am the desperation that this generation find their way, everybody be equal, not in personality, not in intelligence, but in the difference that everyone is unique. We don’t all have to be the same, like the same food, brand, song, color. We don’t have to all be carbon copies of one another, desperately vying to be together, the same, popular. I am an outcast. You made me, with all you smart-aleck remarks that I wasn’t as good as you were. I am an outcast. You made me, with all your un-attention, separation, hope that you wouldn’t be noticed talking to me because that gave you a vote of alienation. I’m tired of all the pain, the hurt, the secrets that I keep ever so carefully so they wouldn’t be used against me, because that’s not cool, that’s not fun, but I don’t think you care about my opinions, because I am an outcast. And you made me. But do you care? I don’t think so, or at least if you do you don’t show it. But that’s because I’m an outcast. I see all of the looks you give each other when I talk, like, what’s with her? But you don’t hear it. You don’t hear the agonizing screams that you give off, trying to alert someone, anyone, that you’re at the breaking point. You don’t hear the terrified whimpers that are exposed, trying to get the attention of the generation who ignores you, because they don’t see that you are trying to get the attention of the latest people who treat you as royalty. But you don’t see that you can be whoever you want to seem. You don’t have to be what everyone else wants you to be because they are not the epitome of your existence. You don’t have to listen to the same music, or eat the same food, or like the same colors, or play the same sports. You don’t have to be afraid to be your own person, you are not the worst one out there, you have meaning, you have purpose, you don’t have to show just the surface. You don’t have to be like him, or her. It’s like the man standing up to bat, thinking he has to make this one last, all the situations, conversations, simulations, running through his head, and then he hits the ball dead center, and that’s a home run, he never knew a career could be this much fun, he’s running down the field, his smile is his shield, the crowds calling his name, but he’s getting sick of all this fame. He wants to be left alone, not have to face the crowds, to just relax at home. But he aspired to get himself here, he trained through the hate and the pain and the tears. He never knew that it would be this much, be this hard. He’s almost done, almost lost his heart to keep going, keep pushing, fighting, living, but is it worth it? Was the fame worth all the pain, the absence of privacy, the unrest. You don’t always have to be the best, because the best is better than the rest, and there’s always going to be someone better, faster, stronger, and you will be defeated, broken, alone, because you pushed your friends away as you tried to find the fame that consumed your life, but it’s not too late to fight to find your fate, face the hate and turn away. Your life is more than you think, you don’t even realize that you affect lives, some that you will never even know, the attitude you show is who people see you are. But do you see the same? What do you think when you say your name, no shame, is this how it’s going to be, always playing up what people see trying to make yourself so pretty…on the outside, like nothing on the inside matters, because you are afraid of the latter, like if anyone sees the real you, it would be over, nothing left to say or do. But that’s not the end, so what people see the real you that means you have friends, people that you trust won’t break you but you must never forget that life isn’t always as it seems, you play it in your head, you see it in your dreams, but if life is but a vapor that appears for a little time then vanishes away, let me just say while I have breath you are special, you are perfect, you don’t have to face death to avail your problems, or at least it shouldn’t come to that. I’ve been there six times and it’s not pretty, it’s not nice, but all of these people I knew as friends stood by because I couldn’t let them see inside, wouldn’t let them see the hurt, rejection, shame of my past. I was molested when I was five, after that my life took a nosedive into depression, pain, and rejection as I tried to convince myself it was just a game that no one could get hurt for sure but that was just how I tortured myself through the pain of the past, always telling myself I can do better, gotta make this one last. The outside projection of the me you all thought me to be was just a cast covering the scars I hid so well, until the pain and silence began to swell like a balloon. I couldn’t keep it inside, I always wanted to scream aloud that whoever I became, I would be proud, but that would have been a lie, trying to polish and shine up the outside, but people saw the buff marks that were never washed away, and they always had the tendancy to come up to me and say that they were there for me, but I didn’t know what they meant, didn’t know they could see, and then I figured out I’m  not alone, there are people out there who tell the world, and yet still the world holds them close because the past doesn’t matter! It’s called the past for a reason. If we keep living in it we’ll never get past it, and then it will build up and build up till we can’t hold it in anymore, and then we’ll be begging, looking, searching for a door to go through because we don’t want to hear from you. What do we have to say to make you understand that there is a way that we can fix all the hate in this room and in this world, you all think you’re all so cool but that’s just on the outside. You don’t need makeup or clothes or perfect record stats to be Beautiful. You are beautiful, you are perfect. Hi, we’re all outcasts here, in some way, shape, or form, and that's okay.

The author's comments:

I wrote this a couple of years ago as a rant but it still holds true and I see it as one of my best works. I am so proud of this and I hope everyone who reads it enjoys it!

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