“It is not X-mas. It is Christmas! CHRISTmas! Geez!” my friend Amelia shouts at the AP Biology board. I shake my head at her.
“There are other religions besides your Amelia.” I know this because a good deal of my friends are Islamic. Either that or Atheist, Catholic, Mormon… basically I have friends with a wide range of spiritual views.
“Yes, but people from other religions should be able to respect the fact that it is the celebration of the savior. Don’t call it something it isn’t. For goodness sakes, it is a Christmas tree, not a holiday tree. Merry Christmas! Not happy holidays! Those without religion celebrate Christmas.”
“That isn’t completly true. I celebrate Christmas…”
“And you have no religion, proving my point!”
“BUT, I would celebrate Hanukkah if I had a menorah. Same with Kwanzaa, or whatever kooky holiday they have these days.”
It is not like I do not like religion. I am all for people coming together, having faith and keeping alive. The last part is the complicated one. Other than oil, religion seems to be the main motivator of war. Besides the crusades, Jihads, fanatical sect violence, the inquisition, and faith-driven terrorist attacks, religion causes most of the day to day prejudice in the world.
I would like to believe that there is some higher power who awards believers and those who do well. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
Everyday I hear about some near saint being shot or a bunch of innocent men, women and children being wiped out by genocide and natural disasters. I could not imagine that an almighty could smite their own creation like that.
Losing My Religion December 25, 2008
“It is not X-mas. It is Christmas! CHRISTmas! Geez!” my friend Amelia shouts at the AP Biology board. I shake my head at her.
Can I just scream? That would get it out. Get IT out. All out, all gone, it’s lost. I’m lost. Truly don’t know what to say. Don’t get weird on you? What is that supposed to mean? On you? Don’t be weird. I was already weird, but you certainly are not helping. This is driving me crazy. You are driving me crazy! Do you want me to be crazy? It sure seems like your goal. Get me alone, crazy, stupid. (Alone. We are alone. Two stupid lonely souls combining to get… You are not alone. You already have…) No, not stupid, terrible thing to say. That someone so smart could be so stupid. (Might have to take me out back and…)
Me? Smart? Smart aleck, smartastic, sarcastic? Yes. Smart? No.
My blood is running cold and I am shaking. Not from the cold, I’m used to the weather. But this -this thing- makes me shiver, my hairs stand on end. On end, the end. Is this my end? End is definite, death too final, too simple. (Suicide is no longer an option.) The dead are cold. Am I dead? I think, therefore I am, therefore living. Can I be and still be dead? It’s not a physical cold, (physical. Physical cold. Physical hot.) it’s a psychological cold. All in my head. All in. All or nothing, in my head. Making it up, of course not intentionally. Or, yes, intentionally, subconsciously.
Talking about it does not calm anybody down. It is not up for discussion. (SHUT UP) It is to reflect and drive me crazy, but it is never to be discussed. With anyone, especially you. I cannot talk to you about you. (You: the object of my affection, my attention. My excuse for lack of attention to things others deem important.)
Take a pain killer, numb myself. Hardly solves anything. Seems that whenever I am numb is exactly when I need to feel. (Feel what? Feel who? Feel life.)
First thing in the morning, the shaking is not that bad. I’d stand with you for twenty minutes, but it won’t come to me. I’m not awake enough to feel the pain, remember why I am there. I’d stand there for twenty minutes, foolishly feeling happiness, but deep down I must know. The shaking starts up after first hour, passing time. I’m going towards your class, or at least next door. Chemistry. I walk in and instantly have to go to the water fountain. I need a drink. My mouth is dry and tastes like copper. I past you, sitting at the counter and hope you don’t look up. Or you are standing there, right outside your door. I keep walking, duck my head and you give me a strange look. You ask me on the way back if I am angry at, or if I am avoiding, you. I turn and walk into class, not answering the question.
I shake for the first fifteen minutes. At least. My partner, Heather, asks me what is wrong. I tell her that I’m just cold. Really cold. Tears swell up in my eyes and I fight them back. I hear you next door, talking to your class. You crack a joke and I hear everyone laugh. Someone goes over and closes the door, complaining about how loud you talk. Hey, I was listening to that.
It starts back up again the last five minutes. I have to past by your room to get to class. My feet turn me into your classroom while my head screams. Please don’t notice me shaking. Notice and fix it. I do not know what I want.
I now shake every passing time. I think that I might run into you, even though you are on the other side of the school. It’s possible, but not probable. So I write you these letters, hoping you would eventually understand without them. You’re not a mind reader, I will admit. Admitting is the first step to recovery.
A Remarkable Lad December 21, 2008
You can’t be logical and insane at the same time, can you? Define logical. Look at Poe, great writer, obviously crazy. Was he born that way, or did his becoming an orphan have to do with it? Or did his writing turn him crazy? Wrote everything out to get your mind off of it but then it was put into words and there was no escaping it, you had to face it and analyze it to death until you figured yourself out.
Did he realize he was crazy? Maybe we are just misinterpreting the situation, both his and mine.
Am I crazy? As if you have the answer, to everything. ‘Are you crazy, just let me check.’
How can you tell if you are crazy? You said that you know that you are crazy when I asked you. And if we are so much alike doesn’t that make me crazy too? I would assume that it does. Are you sure you are crazy, or were you just joking around?
If I’m crazy and you’re crazy..
I’m not the only one.
If you’re only crazy…
I will be soon.
If I’m only crazy…
What does that make you?You’re certainly not sane. Is there some sort of midway point that we both stand on? If we are normal, then normal is a pretty broad label. Or everyone is crazy.
If everyone was crazy, we are still crazier then most.
I think before I was just pretending to be crazy and now it has manifested into reality, but how can it do that, who is to blame? Can’t blame myself, the blame certainly does not fall on me because I couldn’t handle that, it must be the media, my environment, some chemical imbalance in my brain that I have absolutely no control over, so it can’t be my fault can it?
But of course! It’s all my fault! It’s always my fault, I am always to blame. That’s why we were late to Debate and why we lost the second game in Quiz Bowl and why you are always in a bad mood lately and you pray, you pray to no god because you have no proof that He is there. God is a disease. He infects the weak in every generation. I can’t be that weak if I’m agnostic, right?
Can’t have an emotional breakdown if you haven’t built your emotions back up yet. Can’t have an emotional breakdown if you have no emotions. Do I have emotions? Or do I just have thoughts? Thoughts that ramble, rambleramblerambleramble and have no point at all except to ask…
Am I crazy?
First Thing in the Morning December 9, 2008
Yeah, it’s called a stress relief ball. Not such a good thing to start playing catch with, as you may have noticed. It’s for relieving stress, which I certainly have lots of. These are the many stresses I face when I walk into the room…
These books are heavy, should I put them down? Will anyone get mad at me if I put them on this table here, does anybody need to use it? I’ll put it on this kids desk. No, I will not move my stuff, you’re not even using it right now. What do you mean ‘what am I doing here’? I live here. I want to be here, unlike some people.
Matt, this is not your room. It’s more my room then it is yours, so why don’t you just get out? Sorry for fighting with your students. Yes, I know violence doesn’t solve anything. But it can be so much fun.
Charlie, get out, and enough with the eyebrow raising. Charlie is not your student, and he is not a friend, so I have permission to control when he comes and goes. Leave, and take Nicky with you. You’re taking up my attention. I’ll warn them both not to hang out with Brett, but they won’t listen.
Who’s Brett? None of your business Chris, just shut up for once. You and Adam can leave too. I don’t particularly like any of you. I’m not here to listen to you guys complain and gossip and say stupid stuff I don’t care about.
You guys are luck you are friends with him or I would personally through you out. Can’t wait until you graduate, this June. Hey there, how are you doing today? Fine, thanks, how about you? Oops, I just asked you that. I’ll go crawl into a hole and die. I am NOT overreacting and I am NOT dramatic.
Okay, maybe just a little bit. Major mood swing. Try not to cry, do not shed a tear over this. Besides, it will ruin you mascara. You do not accidentally poke yourself in the eye every morning to have it ruined. Organize the papers on the counter to preoccupy yourself.
Sex? Do I want to talk about sex? It’s too early in the morning to be having this conversation. You got a full nights sleep? Well good for you, I have been up since four, worried about how horrible a person I am. I’m not looking you in the eye if we are having this discussion. (Not that I would anyways.)
I’ll turn around, blushing, pretending to roll my eyes so that I don’t have to look at yours. Wonder what color eyes you have. I think they’re blue or brown. Or green. I have no idea. I am not staring. What is there to stare at?
You? Please don’t flatter yourself. Yes, I can tell that is what you’re thinking just by looking at you. I can read you like a book. Mind reader. Leave, why would I leave? Oh, right, I have to go to class. I’m not going to be late, I made it yesterday.
I am not lying, I never lie to you. Except, wait, that was a lie. I do lie to you, but then I feel really, really, really bad about it. Go to class. Right, I’ll go learn something. Fun, fun. Big smile. Be careful out there. You know what I’m talking about.
There’s a lot of weirdos.
Here is the beginning of the story I have been writing, since, let’s see now… the sixth grade. It has gone through so many revisions it is ridiculous.
There is no such thing as innocent. No one is pure or without fault, including and especially me. Noel, my best friend since five minutes ago, tries to deny this basic fact. I say since five minutes ago because this is when she proved her impurities for the first time.
You see, this was when I was accused of attempting to start a food fight. I hardly see how whipping an open carton of chocolate milk at Jake Osmond qualifies as starting a food fight. Particularly when he just accidentally-on-purpose dropped his mashed potatoes all over my new top. This is just how we show our affection for each other. He pulls my pigtail, I kick him in the shin. Classic boy meets girl, boy acts immature, girl delivers manicured hand of justice scenario.
With my luck, the cafeteria overseers only witness the second half of this ritual. They give me five minutes to march myself down to the office. In an unexpected burst of anti-regulation enthusiasm, Noel agreed to let me borrow a shirt. But not just any shirt. I’m talking about the dangerously pink, low-cut, revealing t-shirt. The one that says ‘Do Not Touch…Wet paint’, strategically placed to distract the reader. The exact kind Noel’s heavily Christian mother forbids her from even looking at. I’m surprised I don’t have a backup shirt of my own.
This is the sort of shirt I rely on to get out of detention. I look older than the pathetic freshmen I am. (I could’ve pulled this of in fifth grade.) I get along, er, well with our principal, Mr. Stone. I came out of the bathroom stall wearing the shirt. I look in the mirror, putting on a fresh coat of lip gloss. I strut over to Mr. Stone’s office and take a seat.
“Elizabeth Martin. What a pleasant surprise, despite the circumstances that brought you here. How is that boyfriend of yours?” At this question he raises an eyebrow, as if to hope we broke up.
Even if we did, he totally wouldn’t be next in line. It’s not that he is overly ugly. Or excessively old. He’s just weak. He’s an easily manipulated, little man. When he says we see eye to eye, it is literal. And his slight bald spot is completely adorable. But sometimes it reflects the dangerously low lighting in his office that blinds me.
“Jeff? Oh, he’s…adequate.” That’s right, make him think he stands a chance. He gets up and closes the door, so that the two of us can have a conversation alone. He sits on the edge of the desk. I’m sure it’s an excuse to have the tips of our shoes touch.
“Liz, you need to learn to control yourself,” he suggests. Right back at Mr. Stone. “Besides, anger can easily be channeled into more…constructive outlets.”