By: Blair Hill
It’s hard to be a teenager when no one understands.
Everyone wants to make a mockery of your experience,
like somehow the fact that you’re a teen makes your feelings invalid.
They all say that you’ll grow out of it in a few years.
And then you don’t.
All the pain, anger, and suffering decide to stick around.
Your bitterness fills you to the brim and it’s hard to feel anything else,
but you’re not really sure what’s made you so bitter.
You’re not sure why you can’t cry anymore.
You remember that you felt happy once, but can’t remember why.
What was ever worth living for?
What made you laugh so hard that you couldn’t stand?
You can picture yourself as a giggly little girl,
with your father pulling on your braided pigtails.
What happened to that little girl? Did you kill her?
When you close your eyes at night, you know no peace.
The boogeyman is real after all:
he wears a downturned hat and has hairy knuckles.
You watch helplessly as he strangles your best friend with a vacuum cleaner cord,
night after night, without fail.
And everyone tells you you’ll grow out of it.
You never do.
The nightmares never stop and you forget about the little girl.
All that’s left is the shell of who you used to be;
you have no desire to fight anymore. You just want to sleep.
You meet several men who try to tell you who you are with prescriptions.
Why are they always men?
You talk until you’re blue in the face: asking questions that don’t have answers.
Everyone asks you how you’re doing, but they don’t really want to know;
they want to hear “I’m fine” and move on with their lives.
God forbid you tell them the truth.
You are not fine.
You don’t fault them for wanting to return home at the end of the day:
kick off their shoes, maybe have a beer, listen to their kid practice flute.
You envy the way they get to shut off their light and go to sleep.
Your mind is not your home and the lights are always on;
you get to drown in your thoughts as you stare at a plaster ceiling.
Somehow you manage to think of nothing and everything at the same time.
You remember every failure you ever made and play it on loop.
For some reason your failures are always playing in black and white
in a beat up old movie theater in 1950’s New York City.
You’ve never even been to New York City.
Edited by: Maddy D.