Pre-Independence Day, Not Feeling So Free

Actually written on: July 3, 2011

I’m not writing because it is the night before Independence Day and the fireworks are going to ignite and burst into elusive various colored sparks that gently fade off after an explosion that has all the families on their large wool blankets with pictures of wolves and quilted throws leaning back in awe, eyes wider than a deer’s before the impact of the front of an SUV and its face, and mouths agape as if waiting for a group of flies to nest and produce a swarming of maggots who will eventually grow into adult-sized flies and all at once break free from their haven and cause extreme terror as if in a low-budget horror film directed by an uncanny man in his late forties, scratching at his unkempt beard that protrudes disturbingly farther than his pointed-Jew nose as he comes to a cheap revelation that digitally fashioned bugs smaller than a fingernail would be much more “cost-effective”, as he refers to it, than hiring a professional makeup artist to morph horribly average humans into horribly average humans wearing monster make-up. That first sentence just may be the longest I’ll write. But I can’t promise you anything currently, considering I have no idea where this is going and may, in any matter of seconds, decide to narrate in unnecessarily long, and justĀ as troublesome, sentences that require your undivided attention rather than running letters and words across your vacant pupils as you daydream about maybe some boy or some girl who glanced over at you as you accidentally dropped your books in the hallway and they saw you with that embarrassed expression so painfully pasted across your morbid face while you shamefully gather up your books and regret ever taking the long way to chemistry class just so you could see the way they look today because otherwise you won’t see them until the awkward bus ride home, when you sit in the very front and you are aching, or rather dying inside to turn around at the sound of their sudden bursts of laughter while surrounded by their friends who join in out of both curiosity to see what is was they found so funny and as well as to make sure it wasn’t you they were laughing at. Okay, that last one was pretty long but the first sentence has it beat by six words.

I’m writing because I’m unhappy with myself. (Isn’t everybody these days? Yes I know.) But this is a different kind of unhappy feeling. I do things that I do and they make me look at myself in a bad light which, in turn, causes everyone else to look at me in that same, unfavorable shadow; however, there are some things that I do, just because I do them, that only I know about. Like how I have 13 magazine subscriptions because I like to cut out the pictures of pretty girls with outfits that I wish I could put together and lips I wish I could have, and I tape them to the walls of my room and around my mirrors, and one in the bathroom I hide under the tissue box of a girl in a swimsuit, and every time I walk out of the shower, I look straight into the mirror at my wet, naked body and angrily grab the skin on my stomach and wish I could tear it off and burn it. I’m not fat either. Like obese fat, I mean. Where I live, the boys call that kind of fat “chunkin'”. Ex: “Damn, Madison be chunkin’ in them shorts, lookin’ like hungry hippos or somethin’.” – Ryan Dondwater. I’m a size five in my Levi’s. But it’s not about my jean size. It’s about my breasts that aren’t quite big enough and my midsection that could be inches thinner and my thighs that shake awfully as I walk and I feel like everyone is staring and laughing but I know that they don’t even see me when I walk past them, and I don’t see them. I only see myself, from all of their eyes and am constantly targeting myself and noticing myself. So I go home and rip out all of the pages in those 13 magazines I get a month that have workout cards and good eating habits and healthy weight-loss tips, and I look at them, only realizing how much more disappointed I am when I recognize I’ll never actually do what they say. I do this and it makes me unhappy with myself. Like how I hear a really good song on the radio, so much that I write it down on my hand, that I write it down on a past-it note, that I put that post-it note on the computer so that the next time I sit down at it I’ll buy it off iTunes or maybe, if I’m feeling up to it, turn off my Spyware Virus Protection, (which is an incredibly long process), and download it from one of those music sharing websites like Limewire, but ending up never even listening to the song again, even though that post-it has been sitting there for months now along with several others, and completely ignoring that post-it note since the day I posted it on my computer until my older sister throws it out after she uses it to wrap up her chewed gum for later. It’s a pretty gross habit she has but I try not to judge her too much. People like her, and I’m irrelevant anyway. So what does my opinion of her matter? I don’t pose much significance at all in my family, let alone in the world. So my opinions are barely audible as they’re released into the external, which I refer to as everything but my mind, and have as much of an impact on people and are as noticeable as baby’s breath only just caressing their cheek. I do this and it makes me unhappy with myself – the post-it note thing. The fact that my thoughts aren’t willing to be heard by anyone other than myself and the cat upsets me just as much. But that’s not exactly my fault. If I could be a beautiful lily or rose and have thoughts and opinions that bloomed as colorfully as their petals and smells as fragrant and appealing to those around as their aroma is, then I would. I don’t like being baby’s breath…

By the way, Barnes and Noble’s never seems to have the award-winning books I read the reviews for in the newspapers I steal from Starbucks every time I pretend to like their coffee. I say pretend because my mom drags me in there, it’s not like it’s voluntary or anything. And then I just look stupid just eating a slice lemon cake without a cup of coffee at a coffee shop. So I order one and try not to make weird faces every time the foam slides down my throat. I am definitely not one of those eccentric, organic, “run on the energy of the sun” people who doesn’t believe in caffeine. I’m a die-hard fan of Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee, believe me I probably wouldn’t make it through the day without at least one cup. My mom drives me every morning before school. I feel really I guess privileged walking through those heavy school doors with one in my hand and seeing the kids that aren’t anorexic stuck with granola bars that their parents buy because they think they aren’t the only ones in the house who like them so they say “Hey Honey, I put breakfast in your backpack!” as your tripping down the front steps over your shoelaces you didn’t have time to tie to catch your bus which always has its doors already closed while you’re running up to it even though the same dreadful bus drive has been chauffeuring you around since grade school and knows very well that you reach the bus stop at exactly 7:21am every morning, despite the bus’ scheduled departure to be 7:20am, and so you put your head down after the bus driver reopened the doors, never failing to make her impatience with you really obvious by sighing loudly in your face, and take your usual seat in the front, while feeling the stares of everyone else on the bus burn through your back, even though they aren’t really staring and you just imagine they must be, and you open up your backpack and find a granola bar “Now with twice the antioxidants!”, and right on cue you begin debating whether you’d prefer facing the rest of the day with breath that smelled like “twice the antioxidants” or bearing your stomach making loud noises that interrupt the quietest moments in class and make everyone look at you. This last sentence breaks the record with a 250 word count. I know my detailed rambling annoys even myself, but I find it astounding, and no the good kind of astounding, that I could continuously type for long intervals of time without realizing that the length of the passage is entirely inappropriate for its purpose. I do this and it makes me unhappy with myself.

I’m telling you, Starbucks overcharges. And yet, people still “love” it. And keep going. And drinking coffee. And eating lemon cake. And daintily dabbing the crumbs off the corners of their mouth with a small embroidered napkin. Okay, maybe that was a little too much. But it’s ridiculous how serious people take that place, when it’s clearly just another gimmick. They’re stuck up too, Starbucks. They think they have better coffee than their competitors because they have a business-friendly environment; therefore, they appeal to the majority of business-friendly people, which is almost everyone that wants to be productive, which is almost everyone. It is precisely the grouped lounge chairs and the small French-cafe tables and the consistent clack-clacking of someone’s fingers on their laptop’s keyboard and the steady click-clicking of the women’s heels and the men’s dress shoes and the mainstream CDs and the expensive chocolate displayed by the cash register even though no one buys CDs anymore and who the hell is going to buy Godiva when they just frittered away seven dollars on a large coffee that is no better than Dunkin’ Donuts’ three dollar coffee? No one. No one smart, anyway. And so it is precisely all of these things that distract people and draw them in and trap them and make them keep coming back for the “atmosphere”, and that’s really what they’re paying for when they buy their coffee. Well I’m pretty sure God intended the atmosphere to be free but I don’t know him very well and don’t intend to get to know him over coffee.

I just noticed that last sentence has two meanings; coffee being the reason we meet, and actually meeting over a cup of it. Ah, how clever I sometimes find myself to be. These are the things I notice, little things. But after I notice them I can’t seem to shake them from my fingertips and they always come up before I’m going to bed or vacuuming or watching my dad cook dinner on the grill while I breathe in the smoke even though I know it’s bad for me, and I know that I’ll remember that sentence for the rest of my life even though it has no particular significance, in which case I feel I’m not effectively utilizing my brain space, space that is meant for something much more than a sentence about coffee. Not even good coffee… I do this and it makes me unhappy with myself.

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


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