Listen, I’m tired of pretending
I’m tired of pretending that just because I’m young, I don’t know anything
I’ve been through stuff that would blow your mind
In 5th grade, I remember it
The cold steel blade in my hand
I always liked swings.
The feeling of free-falling
Floating over fantastic foreign dreamscapes
Once, I thought I was some spaceman setting foot on Mars
For a kid who always felt burdened with the Earth
That was pretty awesome
But, one day, I was pushed.
And not in the “I want you to go higher” kind of way
But the “I want to see you fail” kind of way
The “I want to watch your misery as I shatter your hopes and dreams
Along with the bones in your right arm, and I want to laugh as I say
Fatties don’t fly, while you lay and cry asking ‘Why, God? Why me?’”
Kind of way.
I asked that as a 5th Grader.
Is it bad that my midlife crisis happened in 5th Grade?
Middle school is best described in three words:
I’m not here.
The feeling of paying attention
To everything that didn’t need attention
Drew my attention from all the happiness and friends I didn’t have.
I remember, one day, when I finally realized I had made a friend
In a skinny, scrawny ginger with a lisp
Who could play any instrument he got his tiny fingers on
I remember being so jealous.
I still am.
I remember the first time I kissed a girl.
I was “rebellious.”
We kissed in the mechanical room in my church.
I prayed for two weeks afterwards asking forgiveness for the sexual act I had committed
Needless to say, that relationship didn’t end well.
I remember the first time realizing that women have breasts.
Boobs. Tits. Whatever.
And I remember my first time being caught absent-mindedly staring at one
Whoops. I apologized to my teacher.
I remember musical.
I played an elephant.
That didn’t help my self-image issues.
I was the only kid fat or round enough.
The other one didn’t audition.
I remember 8th Grade.
Also known as, the year of confusion.
Transitioning from one school to another, realizing that I wanted to be an actor
And then learning my father would disown me if I went to school for it.
That’s when I met Julia.
We all need Julia’s in our lives.
If you don’t have a Julia, I highly encourage you to check one out, and try to keep it past its due date
Because it is a wild ride
We started dating the tail end of 8th grade
And we lasted two months
I remember, sitting under the tree
The sunset lighting her up just right.
I just wanted to lean in and kiss her
But I didn’t
I was still a recovering Christian
But it was right there.
I remember she was playing with broken glass
Did she know then, as I tried to keep her from hurting herself, that she didn’t want it to continue
Or did it just happen, in a blink of an eye?
This next one will not have a replacement name.
I usually use replacement names to protect the identity of people who have might hurt me,
Or if I am not necessarily describing someone in the way they might want to be described
But I have nothing but positive thoughts about Lily
Pacific eyes, 24k hair, Antarctic purity, and a heart to rival any other that has or will exist
She was an angel, not without faults, but the faults made her ever more captivating
I’ll always remember:
She was a dancer.
I always loved dancers.
The grace unbounded, the purity of expression
Down to the ugly feet.
And I remember how she danced her way into, and out of, my life.
I went back to the Julia superstore, and checked out Julia again.
This time, it was a virtual subscription, like Netflix
Netflix and Chill*
*chill not included
I tried so hard to make it work.
I remember 10th grade.
Music was my life, which meant I always had a headache
Do you know when you have that really massive pain, and you think to yourself,
“I’d really just like to tear whatever it is that hurting out of my body”
Well, I tried it once.
Still have the scar.
A little scar, right above my eyebrow.
A grinning mark of Death, as if to say
“I’m sorry, I like my whine aged.”
Depression is a poison
No, more than that
A growth that we really cannot help
We just have it. It can be genetic, sprung on us, environmental
And both lead to suicide.
How I tried.
The pain was what I remember.
I played Pippin, a young boy searching for his happiness
He never found it. He settled.
I settled once, and I apologize deeply for the one involved
I remember 12th grade.
Hard not to, seeing that I’m in it.
I remember walking the halls of this once terrifying school
Still terrifying, but in a different way.
I never learned to be an adult here.
I never learned what will help me in life.
I can find the volume of a rapidly expanding sphere over the duration a to b
I can find underlying meaning in any boring sentence.
I can tell you Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in New Jersey
I can tell you how fast I’d be falling just before I hit the ground after jumping from a cliff
But I can’t tell you so much
I wish I could tell you what I’m thinking.
I so wish I could.
But you really wouldn’t care.
Or, if you did, it would already be too late.
I remember, twelve days to my birthday,
Or thirteen if you are inclusive,
I sat at a computer, and thought
“If only I could tell you I tried to steal your heart once
And would now very much like it if you were to return mine,
Which was the price I paid for affection.”
And to this day, the only response I get is silence.
Silence I want to be a part of.