Classic angst

My friend and I were talking, recently, about Mortified: the live-performance series in which people read excerpts from their teenage diaries or share their adolescent artwork. When I first heard about this, it immediately struck a chord as I recalled the volumes of handwritten journals and poetry that I have stowed away. It’s sometimes hilarious, sometimes painful—often both—for me to revisit those writings.

In the spirit of humility, I’m going to share here a couple of poems that I wrote circa age fourteen. I will say, with all seriousness, that I actually was rather depressed back then; but it was a depression magnified by adolescent hormones and the experience of being a lonely high-school freshman. These two poems are probably the most self-pitying I’ve ever produced. Both were left untitled.

The first:

Sometimes you say your life sucks
Maybe you can’t go to that party
At least you’ve been invited.
Maybe your boyfriend dumped you
At least you had him in the first place.
Maybe your pager broke
At least you have a reason to own one.
Maybe you didn’t make the team
At least you had the guts to try out.
Maybe HE doesn’t like you, even though
you flirt like crazy
At least you know how.
Maybe you got a zit on your nose
At least the rest of your face is clear.
Maybe you have to sit alone because your
friends are gone
I sit alone every day.

The second:

Struggling, desperately wanting
to emerge from this hole of despair
I have dug for myself.
I try,
but this burden
of social awkwardness
keeps weighing me down,
pushing me farther into the mud.
Now society has
covered me up,
sealed me into this dark place,
Never to want me back.

And, as a bonus, my teenage view of life in general:

Cruelness is its specialty,
Sin is its gift,
Society is its prison,
Constantly it shifts.
It pretends to be our friend,
It often lets us down,
Tragedy is its poison,
Glamour is its gown.
This is life.

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