I can feel the fat of my stomach resting on my thighs as I crouch my back and squint my eyes in order to see these tiny, black keys. It’s quite disturbing, how ashamed I am of my body, lately. I despise the way my skin spills over the tops of my jeans and how hideous stretch marks crawl across my legs, even my fingernails can never look pretty; they are always chipping and breaking and bearing these vertical red lines and white splotches. And the millions of blackheads that make their home on my still-healing-from-a-septum-piercing nose, don’t even get me started. My disgust doesn’t even stop at the stray hairs that grow upon my chin or the rough burn scars on my left hand, but it pervades through every synapse of my aching brain and chamber of my heart. Why on earth do I do the things that I do? Can the crazy gene be detected in my MRSA infected, iron-deficient blood, too? My mom has been howling angrily and sobbing randomly in her room for the past 6 hours and my father is nearing week two of staying at Lakeside behavioral center for severe bipolar disorder. Oh, and apparently, both my grandparents also had some form of mental illness, although never diagnosed. This is all just too much.
I strive to be an optimistic person; always dreaming of golden sunflower fields that glow even during hale-producing thunderstorms, mystical mermaids that discover opal-colored pearls and glittering gems even in the most shattered of sunken-ships, and radiant lighthouses that guide even the most forsaken of sailors home.
But, not everyday, do I succeed in this mission. As I scrutinize over the swollen pimples on my cheek and listen to my mother release all her violent, suppressed emotions, all my mind can fathom is an image where frozen bits of rain are piercing through the delicate petals of innocent sunflowers, sapphire-haired mermaids are weeping because all they hold in their pale hands are jagged pieces of wood from a completely destroyed ship, and the salty waves swallow all the remaining survivors before they can catch glimpse of a lighthouse mounted upon the nearby shore.
My heart is just so weary. Lonely. Heavy.
(someone hold me, please)
This is how to run a stick of Chapstick
down the black boxes on your scantron
so the grading machine skips the wrong
answers. This is how to honor roll. Hell,
this is how to National Honor Society.
This is being voted “Most Likely to Marry
for Money” or “Talks the Most, Says the
Least” for senior superlatives. This is
stepping around the kids having panic
attacks in the hallway. This is being the
kid having a panic attack in the hallway.
This is making the A with purple moons
stamped under both eyes. We had to try.
This is telling the ACT supervisor you have
ADHD to get extra time. Today, the average
high school student has the same anxiety
levels as the average 1950’s psychiatric
patient. We know the Pythagorean theorem
by heart, but short-circuit when asked
“How are you?” We don’t know. We don’t
know. That wasn’t on the study guide.
We usually know the answer, but rarely