In a sea of fish,
You are the sand.
On Christmas day,
you are the socks my mom bought for us.
In an orchard of peaches,
You are the one that fell off. The soft, squishy, overripe one that bothers me when I step on it.
In a body of sweaty, horny, growing teenagers,
You are invisible.
In my school,
You are Chris.
The funny thing about you, Chris, is that people think they are doing a good dead, just by saying,
Since when has plain human decency become a goal, a charity, an elite service only applied to those who aren't,
Oh, yeah, I forgot.
When we're talking to you.
The funny thing about you, Chris, is that when you respond, desperate for that attention, and try to begin to start a conversation.
We have already walked away.
We have done our good dead for the day,
and because the clothes you wear every day have holes in them,
because your right ear is pierced,
because you smell like cigarette smoke,
we cannot afford to spend longer than 13.2 seconds on you.
We don't have time.
Besides, we're sure we already made your day.
The funny thing about you, Chris, is that, sometimes, you tell us things, anyway, even when we don't want to hear.
Sometimes, you just speak,
in hopes that when you talk,
because there are ears around, ears designed to soak up information, process it, and provide a response, someone will listen.
But we won't.
Have you forgotten?
Chris, we don't have time.
The really funny thing about you, Chris, is that when you say things like, "I tried to hang myself once."
We almost listen.
We ask why, more for personal curiosity than genuine concern.
And when you tell us your story,
"My dad is in jail."
"My mom is an addict."
"They took us. They told us I'd never see her again."
"So I tried to kill myself."
We simply respond, "Don't do that. That's bad."
Because those eighteen letters take approximately 12.8 second to drip out of our delicate mouths.
That's just under the time limit.
Yep, we've done it again, ladies and gentlemen! We've completed our act of kindness!
The funny thing about you Chris, is that, when the entire student body but you walks into a big empty room, dressed in black, only then will we want to listen. And it will be far too late.
We will fabricate sugar coated stories about conversations we had that consisted of,
We will recall upon fond memories that we had of you,
which will be none.
Because we didn't have the time.
We, your fellow peers, your teachers, the genuine "good" people you know, just couldn't find the time.
And when we look your far too skinny mother in the eye, see her tears well up, her anger and frustration and sorrow and pain,
We will wish we had had the time.