Aug. 21st, 2012

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It started as I crossed the street from school to the library, caught on that slip between lanes as I waited for the traffic lights to switch. In my head, the class played on repeat: the students trying their hardest to not understand the simplest instructions, the way the teacher went "you don't know that?!" when people asked questions, the numbers growing and growing as I struggled to not create a mess of my solution (and did anyway, and got it wrong). I felt small and stupid as I huddled in the corner by myself, unable to decipher the messy scrawl on the whiteboard or pick out the voices in the constant hum of forty-five voices whispering at once.

I sprinted across the road and dove into the library, climbing the stairs up to disappear among the English literature shelves. Sometimes just looking at the spines of books is enough, to pull them out and read a few lines. To know that anytime I wish, there is a new place to be transported to, a new set of characters to fall in love with or despise or dissect.

On the train home, bag heavy with books from the library, it came welling up again. I could not stop thinking of the noises, of the way the teacher just kept dismissing all my concerns and worries. Of course it's easy for you, I thought, biting my tongue. Of course. You never spent a year going to school, fighting not to throw yourself on the train tracks each morning. You can filter sensations. You are different from me, and yet you don't respect my differences.

Then I swallowed the lump in my throat and blasted the angriest, screechiest music I could find. I held my chin high. I bought sweets to cheer myself up. I decided, chanting quietly: I will, I will, I will. I will make it.

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my name is everything

October 2012

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reading:

"We want to be loved; failing that, admired; failing that, feared; failing that, hated and despised. At all costs we want to stir up some sort of feeling in others. Our soul abhors a vacuum. At all costs it longs for contact." — Doctor Glas, Hjalmar Söderberg