1- Self Deprecation Essay
I have been told countless times from my friends, family, and basically everyone I’ve ever talked to for more than twenty consecutive minutes that I have a tendency to think too much about everything. And when I say everything, I literally mean everything. But ironically it’s from the mouths of the same people that I hear I also have a tendency to underthink everything (if that’s even a word). I don’t get what they mean by this, of course; the two statements totally contradict one another! It doesn’t make sense, yet for some reason I’m expected to understand what they all mean. Whatever. I’ve given up on trying to figure it out. So when I heard we were doing a self-deprecation piece, my mind (as usual) immediately split up into a gazillion different thoughts. I was psyched that I wouldn’t have to spend seventeen hours “overthinking” about all of the other possible quirks and bad habits I have that would be worthy of their own paper, but the more I thought about it, the harder it was to decide. Do I say I think too much? Do I say I don’t think at all? Should I tell a story that really lets my inner dumb*ss shine through, or should I just tell about how all I do with my life is make list after list after list (long story)? Ultimately I chose the shortened version of the story of my first (and only) high school interview, because, well, you’ll figure it out.
I remember all too well the afternoon of December 16th, 2013– I’m just kidding, I really have no idea what the date was. I do remember it being sometime in December, though. It was cold and cloudy, just a regular day in the lovely state of Massachusetts. I was sitting in my english class when Mrs. Dwyer told me I was being dismissed. I got really nervous because I had no idea why I was leaving school. Did something happen? Did someone get hurt? Are we going to Disney World? Only as we were pulling up to the tall brick buildings of the lovely Bishop Feehan High School did I realize it was the day of my interview.
I was dressed the same way I dressed every day in 8th grade: an oversized, stretched out fishing sweatshirt (a gift from my dad), a pair of jeans, and my "lucky" black converse. Mascara clumpy, goggle burns glowing, and hair ratted and thrown back in a lame excuse for a ponytail, I looked like a train wreck walking through the main entrance. A middle-aged woman directed me to a hallway lined with chairs that looked almost as fancy as the kids sitting in them. I sat down and studied the suit and tie that the boy sitting next to me was wearing. Oh, this outta be great. By the time it was my turn, I was half asleep and starving. I got up and crossed my fingers. How bad could it be?
Answer: pretty damn horrible. For starters, I walked into the wrong classroom, leaving a poor girl at a loss for words after poking my head in and awkwardly backing out of the doorway. When I finally reached my designated room, I was greeted by an elderly woman sitting properly with her hands folded across her lap.
Hello, Abigail. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Please, take a seat so we may begin.
Jesus! Her face switched from a polite stare to that universal fake smile that we all know a little too well. And in that moment a roar came from my stomach. A loud, embarrassing growl that lasted like five seconds! Like, you've got to be freaking kidding me! Did that really just happen? Oh my God, this is bad. Look at her face, she already doesn’t like you and you’ve said one word to her!
The next few minutes only lasted a few hours. In all honesty, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We talked about swimming, and school, and my grades, and all that other stuff that I don’t really remember, since the whole thing was all a blur. I know that if I were to write out every stupid thing I said to that poor teacher, this would be one long freaking paper. I’ll just say that with all my toungue-tied, inarticulately worded answers, I was surprised that I made it a whole 240 seconds without a “That’s good for today, we will get back to you,” or “That’s enough, I think we have everything we need to know,” or even just a straight up “Sorry, but you aren’t really what we’re looking for”. Then again, it wasn’t really necessary for her to say any of those things verbally when her face was doing a pretty good job of telling me by itself. At this point we had covered all topics but one: God. I had already known that this was gonna be the killer from the second I realized Bishop Feehan is a Catholic school.
You look a little nervous there, sweetie! You’re doing just fine, I promise. Do you go to church?
Well...uh, no, not really.
And why is that?
Well you see, with swim and all I’m wicked busy, and Sunday’s are kinda just my sleep-in day. I mean! Damn it… no–wait! Scratch that, I mean–
Oh, um, well do you believe in God?
Well, yeah, I’m kinda Catholic-ish. Like, yeah, I believe in God and all that stuff.
And that was the end of that. We both kind of just sat in silence for a few seconds, not making eye contact or anything, just sitting there awardly. I wiped the sweat off of my forehead and readjusted on my seat, silently begging for her to let me go home. Words cannot describe how bad I wanted to leave. Lucky for me, she felt just as awkward as I did, and as soon as she could regroup her thoughts, she politely thanked me for my time and told me she’d get back to me and blah, blah, blah... you get the point. It was probably the most uncomfortable way to waste time I have ever experienced in my life, so I proceeded to get into the car and tell my mom how much I looked forward to going to Norton High School. For the rest of the night, all I could think about was how awful and embarrassing it was, and I felt like crying, and my life was ruined, etc. etc. etc. But looking on the bright side; if I hadn't had such a bad experience with that school, I wouldn't be here, doing this essay, even if it’s making fun of myself for a grade.
2- Unreliable Narrator
My name is Todd, but nobody here calls me Todd. Here they refer to me as Patient 64-928. I really, really wish they’d call me Todd. I have been here for seven months now. They do a lot of things I don’t like here. I don’t like how they keep asking me who Charlie is. Charlie always told me to keep my mouth shut, so that’s exactly what I do. I tell them I don’t know anything. I don’t like how they keep asking where Charlie is. It’s annoying. I don't like it here. They don’t believe me. I don’t understand how they know I’m lying. I feel as though it may have something to do with that uncomfortable machine they always hook me up to. They keep asking. They tell me it’s my fault, even though it wasn’t. I keep my mouth shut anyways. I didn’t kill her, Charlie did– why do they need me to explain everything?
I try to explain to them that Charlie has been around as long as I can remember. Even as a child, Charlie would compel me, convince me that I must do whatever he desired. I was not allowed to fail. I am afraid of Charlie. Charlie is evil. Charlie is the crazy one. Charlie doesn’t care about anyone. Charlie’s the one that should be locked up here, not me. I am innocent.
Charlie knew I watched her. Charlie knew that I would watch her everyday from my apartment window. I knew when she would get up. I would watch her make breakfast. Her day-to-day routine was etched into my brain. She worked at a department building across the street, and I would follow her. Every few nights she would be accompanied by a new man who would spend the night and leave early in the morning not to return. I wasn’t jealous, because if I am to admit to being jealous then that would imply that I was in love with her. I wouldn’t call it love, or even admiration. It was more of an obsession than anything else. Charlie said it was perfectly normal to be watching her, studying her; I wasn’t sure I believed him, and now I know he was lying.
It wasn’t even my idea to begin with. It was all Charlie’s idea.
“It’s what we have to do,” He had said to me. “Todd, it’s what we have to do.” I told him I didn’t think it was a good idea. “Todd, listen to me,” He said. “Listen to me, Todd. You and I… we have to do this.”
Charlie has done other bad things, and he doesn't let me forget that. Charlie wanted to kill her. I remember him leading me into her apartment. I should have told Charlie to stop. I don’t understand why she kept begging for me to help her. I couldn’t help her. There was nothing I could do to save her. I just stared, gawking at her lifeless figure on the checkered tile floor. I didn’t bother to clean it up. I left and returned to my window, where I fell asleep to the sight of her sprawled body surrounded by a crimson puddle.
Now I am here. I don't like it here. They are making me kill Charlie. They say I need to kill Charlie. I don't understand. In my eyes, they are the same as Charlie.
You were sitting there, right in front of me
I remember the day
Perfectly still and silent
A feeling of confidence could be felt that was so strong
I couldn't help but look away.
I must confess;
When I first laid eyes on you,
I was anything but impressed
You were sloppy, seemed to be simply thrown together
Without a care
Yet you were so confident
And to this day I am still in awe how much your confidence drew me to you
Hesitantly, I leaned forward
Oh, we were so close
I studied your frills-
So beautiful, so perfectly arranged
You were practically glowing
Thick and soft
I couldn't help but go for you
You were delicious
And although many days have passed
I can still taste you
You gave me hope
Hope that there are still good cheeseburgers in this world
And I thank you for that.