The Odd One

[Sexual themes and violence. Barely.]

Last night was miserable. It took me four hours to fall asleep. It’s 7:18 AM now. My back is aching for an acupressure mat, but I didn’t bring it with me. I had a dream, so I’ll tell you about it.

I remember falling from somewhere into darkness. There were a bunch of people in front of me organized in a line of spotlights. The spotlights got brighter the further to the right of me they were. There was one unoccupied spotlight, but it wasn’t in the line. It was right behind the line, touching one of the spotlights off to the left. I went to that spotlight. The girl in front of me was angry. There was an adult women who was apparently the leader of whatever we were doing. She was angry. Everybody was angry.

Angry. Spotlights. Angry. Spotlights.

There was a boy next to me whom* I’ve never met before. In the context of my dream, he’s my friend. Suddenly we’re out of the spotlights. Everybody’s out of the spotlights. My friend and I are on my street now. It’s night and we’re towards the left end of the block. We both head back to my house. For some reason, there’s a group of girls standing in front. Three I recognized: Carmen, Maria, and Candis. They aren’t happy with us. He starts walking away. I try to convince him to come back, but he doesn’t budge. He asks me to come with him.

So that’s what I do. By the time I get to the next block, I try convincing him to stop again. He doesn’t listen. We kept walking until we reached a cliff by the ocean. It was bright and beautiful. I looked down at the water. There was a little island of rock with maybe five seagulls congregating on it. Five seagulls and one other bird. It looked like a small, emaciated pelican and it stood a little too upright. At least I does now when I reimagine it. In the dream, I turned to my friend and said, “Look. Stay for a while and look at the tinamou. It’s the first and last tinamou you’ll ever see.”

The “tinamou” jumped into the water. My friend looked at it in wonder. While he was entranced by the dream bird, a girl came walking up. It was one of the girls from the group standing outside my house. She was also the girl who was in front of me during the whole spotlight thing. She looks at me with contempt, but she doesn’t look at my friend like that anymore. She’s nice to him. She tells him that he’s going to need a boat to cross the sea. She says she brought a boat and wants to come with. My friend seems happy but I’m not. I tell both of them that I’m not coming with them. My friend tried to get me to stay but I kept walking in the opposite direction. I remember seeing him on my trail until I got to my block. Back there, it was night. After that I starting running extremely fast. Everything blurred past me and I didn’t look back to see where he was. Eventually got to my house and ran inside.

I peer out the window to see if he was there. I couldn’t see him. They started pointing at me saying, “Look, look.” I hid behind the curtain. They were mad at me because I left him even though they had been so callous. For hours I paced around eating fruit snacks. I could hear them outside my house. They were circling around the perimeter, and my friend gave up chasing after me. I felt like they were a group of vultures just waiting for me to fuck up so I’d feel even worse. I felt so lonely and scared.

Fed up with what the girls were doing, I went outside and confronted them. I told them that this was their fault and that my friend was going to die out there on that boat. I stormed back inside. They stopped circling me after that.

The next day I was at the library. I was trying avoid the girls. I think they were trying to apologize to me, but I didn’t want to hear any of it. I put on my coat and jacket. I left the library with my dog, Sally. We walked down Main Street, but it wasn’t the real Main Street. My house was where the Dairy Queen used to be. Carmen was outside the house. She knocked the door and asked my grandma (mom’s side) where I was.

I kept walking and avoided making eye contact. I them heard them calling me, so I pretended not to hear.

“Joie?”

Shit. She was right behind me. I turned around and acknowledged her. She handed me a slim scrapbook. She asked me if I wanted to look at it. I opened it and saw a few pictures. That only picture I could remember clearly was a picture of the stars. It was the second to last picture.

“Your grandma says you made this when you were little.”

And the dream ended there. Interesting, right? Remind me to tell you about another dream I had that was pretty interesting too. Maybe tomorrow.

*was whom right?

Since a few real life people appeared in this dream, I’ll tell you about them. All three of them live on my street.

Maria lives maybe seven houses to the left of me. She’s two years older than me. When we were little, she’d always be in charge since she was the oldest (two years older than me). While Carmen and Candis would brag about the secrets she told them and compete for her attention, I never did any of that. Sophie would boss us three around, especially me since I didn’t kiss her ass. Now that I think about it, most of the older kids were mean to me. Sophie’s friend, Emma, kicked a soccer ball into my face. This one girl who lives across the street from me pushed me into a pond. This girl who lives next to me, named Elizabeth, sprayed me with a high pressure hose when I was two. I wonder why I was the target.

I could understand Maria not liking me. Her family and my family had bad blood. Her mom would make fun of my mom for being conservative and she called my grandma a racist to her face. She’d also make fun of my mom for being fat and even accused her of trying to steal her husband. Like her husband was so attractive. He was as gross as shit.

It takes two to tango. My mom would make fun of Maria’s mom’s house and call he a communist. She’d gossip about her to other people, saying that her oldest son looked scrawny and weak and that her second oldest son dressed like a queer.

All the other older kids who pushed me around were also from liberal families. I wonder if that was the common factor. Or maybe I was just a passive punching bag. And just to clarify, I have nothing against anybody who leans left. I lean left. It’s just that I think kids like to pick on the odd one out.

The next girl I’ll talk about is Candis. She’s a piece of work. She was very violent and temperamental when she was little. She’d push, shove, steal, and destroy. She’d yell loudly and carry a big stick. Then she’d hit a baby with that big stick. That’s not hyperbole. That happened.

So what did she do to the resident punching bag? Push, push, push, push. Into cement, into walls, onto the group, off scooters. She’d hit and kick and push. And her parents did shit about it. In fact, when I was at her birthday party, she punched me in the face in front of her parents and my mom.

“Joie needs to learn her voice.”

That’s what her mom said to my mom. I was a motherfucking, god damn, holy shit, motherfucking four-year-old. You know who needs to learn her voice? Candis! Why use your words when you can punch somebody in the face?

Her little siblings weren’t better. Her little brother, Ricky, was a demon child. That’s how I described him to my dad and he laughed because he never heard me talk about anybody like that. Her little sister, Mary, screamed and screamed and screamed. The whole household was straight from an episode of Super Nanny.

As Candis got older, she stopped being as violent. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t annoying. She was always doing something to get under my skin. One of her favorite things to tell me was that I had a big butt.

“Sydney has a big butt.”

Now I take it as a compliment. I was skinny back then, which means my butt must be naturally awesome. But back then it really hurt.

“That’s just something Candis says to everyone. It doesn’t mean anything.”

But she said it the most to me and I fucking hated it. Really, she exclusively said it to me. The only time she said it to anybody else was to prove to me that she said it to other people.

My mom hated her more than I did. I remember her calling me into her room to show me Candis’ twitter. She had been stalking her.

“I’m not actually funny. I’m just really mean and people think I’m joking.”

Really? I thought I was the only one who noticed.

And finally, I’ll talk about Carmen. First off, her dad loved me. He said that I was an angel and that I was so sweet and polite. He’d talk about how much better I was than Carmen of her.

“Why can’t you be more like Joie?”

Damn. That would hurt. I think my greatest talent is getting compliments from adults who aren’t my mom. I swear, if you’re over the age of thirty and aren’t named a Helen Kimber, you’d probably really like me. My aunt Fawn once asked me how often I got disciplined. I said rarely. She seemed surprised.

“You’re so polite. I could never get Summer to be a polite as you.”

I told her that I just kept to myself. I got good grades and minded my own business. That’s my mom’s biggest complaint about me. She’d probably rather me be going to parties I’m not supposed to and having friends she didn’t approve of. Luckily for me she can’t punish me for being a loser. That would be cruel.

Carmen’s parents didn’t seem to care about her all that much. She’s the stereotypical neglected rich kid. She had no motivation. Every time she’d sign up for an activity, she’d quit. My mom never let me quit.

Ali didn’t have much going on in her life. I guess boredom drove her to become a pocket sized pathological liar. She’d lie to me all the time, and I’d believe her all the time. Seeing how interesting her life was made me want to make my life interesting too. I’d often find myself lying to Summer when I was little. I’ve never admitted to lying to her, but I know she knows by now that my outrageous stories aren’t true. I believe she knows I know she knows.

Knows knows knows.

So hopefully we’ve permanently dropped it. Because honestly, I think I’d be too ashamed to admit what I did out loud.

There’s this one game Carmen and I played called Queen. Basically we’d take turns ordering each other around. When it was my turn, I’d order her to bring me things and make me food. Sometimes I couldn’t think of anything else and end my turn. I preferred her turn. Which seems weird, I know. But during her turn, I’d always have some input. The same input.

“I could give you a massage.”

And she didn’t always want to do that, so she’d make me do other things before she allowed me to do that. And I’d do those things, so I could do that. That was my game. She wanted someone to order around, and I wanted someone to get off on. I didn’t know why it felt good yet, and I didn’t know what to attribute it to. All I knew is that it was the same feeling I got when I rode a horse or touched myself.

My mom put a stop to Queen. I think she knew more than I did.

It’s 10:18 AM right now. It took me three hours to write all that and to eat some pizza. So basically, it took me three hours to write all that. I’d also like to say that I’m proud of myself for not eating the whole pizza. Strangely enough, I was more hungry when I fell asleep then when I got up.

Hooray!

I’m in the bathroom now and I’m about to take a shower. After I take a shower, my dad and I are going to play Magic. And later he’s going to let me drive to target to get extra school supplies.

The poster about me has to have the following format: my name, a recent picture of myself, a favorite memory, a specific location I want to travel to, a name of an individual I look up to and why, and a quote that means something to me.

I’ll be sure to tell you all about that later.

It’s 4:29 PM. After I got out of the shower, my dad and I played magic. First, I played my black and white deck against his goblin deck. I won two to one. After that, I played my reanimator deck against my affinity for artifacts deck. I lost two to one.

When we were done with that, my dad let me drive to Target. Walking through Target is pleasant on the eyes and heels. I bought some extra school supplies. I also needed a 14 x 11 poster board, but they didn’t have it. I then drove back to my house. My mom greeted me. I asked her if she can take me somewhere to get the poster board I needed. She said yes. I remembered that I needed her to sign something for school, but when I opened my backpack I realized that I forgot one of my notebooks at my dad’s. I began zipping around, panicking and trying to get a hold of my dad.

“I hope you don’t expect me to do anything about it.”

“If anybody should be doing something about this, it’s you and your father.”

“I’m not driving over there.”

Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP! I didn’t ask for shit. If you want to know why I have trouble getting along with my mom, let me give you a scenario: A girl is sitting in a chair reading a book. There’s a woman on the couch next to her. The girl breathes. The woman says to the girl, “How about this time you use your own air, kapeesh?”

On top of that, she tends to read into what I say or do too much. I think I can muster up a dramatization of what’s going on in her mind.

“And after I take the huge dump, I’m going to use an unnecessary amount of toilet paper. Then, get this, I won’t flush! All to spite her! Fucking bitch.”

Seriously, she has such a persecution complex. It’s not even funny. She also has the innate ability to insert her self into everything.

Anyways, she took me to the store and I bought a big sheet of poster board. I’d just cut it to the right dimensions. The poster said this:

“My favorite memory is going to Michigan. I’ve always wanted to visit France. I look up to Joanna Newsom because I love her music.”

This isn’t entirely true. I made it a true as possible. My mom was going to see it after all. What I would have put if I was free from judgement:

“I don’t know what my favorite memory is. There are so many good ones, interesting ones, and important ones. I’ve always wanted to visit Nunavut. Scratch that. I’ve always wanted to live there. But I never think I would. I don’t really have any heroes. I respect Joanna Newsom because I think her lyrics are beautiful.”

Nunavut is an interesting place. The suicide rates there are ridiculous. Last year I read a doctoral dissertation and the topic of Nunavut. The man who wrote it said that some people who lived there called removing closet rods “Nunavut gun control.” Apparently, hanging oneself in a closet is a common method of suicide in Nunavut. I’m pretty sure the most common reasons were child abuse and sexual abuse.

That sounds scary. Imagine living somewhere where everybody knows you and the shit you’ve done. Where it’s always cold. Where the only way out is by plane or by death. Where there are no nearby towns. Where the animals you live on aren’t as numerous. Where everybody trusts the person who’s hurting you. Where your completely isolated with people who may or may not like you.

And it couldn’t be too great for gay people there. It’s 92% Christian I think. I could never live there. I couldn’t even visit. I’ll never be a stranger in Nunavut because I’m so captivated by it.

I can’t just be friends.

Joanna Newsom is pretty sweet. The first song I heard by her was Monkey and Bear. That’s a pretty cool song. Better than Emily, I think. Most people consider Emily to be one of her best songs. The lyrics are amazing but there’s something wonky going on with the music. Is it the polyrhythms?

She’s married to Andy Samberg. I remember seeing someone interviewing Andy Samberg. The interviewer was raving about how he just got married. She was asking him about Joanna Newsom and yada yada yada.

“Who is she?”

Better the Andy Samberg you dipshit. Why aren’t you interviewing her? She has more talent in her pinky finger than Andy has in his whole body.

Joanna Newsom introduced me to this one poem that’s pretty cool. It’s called Ozymandias. It’s a pretty famous one, but I don’t look a poetry often so I hadn’t heard of it until she wrote a song about it.

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—”Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

If you don’t remember, I also needed to put a quote on the poster.

“We are a way, for the cosmos, to know itself.” – Carl Sagan

Cool, right? It’s 5:41 PM right now. My dad’s going to drop off my notebook at ten. I just had leftover tacos. Yum.

Oh! I should tell you about my fight with Summer. And her second side. It was weird.

So, I was doing math homework over the summer and I was using a PDF editor to show my work since I didn’t have my iPad with me. I took a break halfway through. When I came back to it, I got a pop up saying my session has expired and it was all deleted. Fawn asked if I wanted her to call my dad and tell him about it because she thought this was homework he had given me I said no. Summer butted in and told her to call him anyways. I said no.

“Just call him. Just call him!”

She kept yelling over me so I started yelling over her. Fawn dialed the number and it went to voicemail. I reminded Fawn that I had told her not to call. She apologized and said she didn’t hear me. I remember talking pretty loudly but whatever. And of course, to Summer I’m like, “What the hell?”

And she was being a total ass about it. And when I finally got her to say sorry she clearly didn’t mean it at all.

And I called her out on it. I was grumpy before because it was midnight, I was tired, and I lost one and a half hours of work. So fuck her and her bullshit apology.

“I’M NOT LYING!”

She eventually screamed and I was a bit taken aback. She started walking around punching things and shaking the television back and forth. Her mom was screaming and crying.

“RAINY YOU’RE SCARING ME! YOU’RE BEHAVING LIKE A MENTAL PATIENT!”

She pushed past her mom and and started knocking things around in the kitchen.

“JOIE! COME WITH ME IN THE GARAGE!”

“I’m not afraid of her.”

I wasn’t, really. She may be older than me and taller than me but she’s legally blind and has bad reflexes. Also, she wasn’t going to hurt me. I was in the other room, so as long as I didn’t get in her way I think I’ll be good. There’s another reason why I said this. I thought that acting like she was some kind of monster would set her off more. I wouldn’t want my mom to be reacting the way Fawn was.

She stormed upstairs and I didn’t hear from her for a few hours. When she came back down, she said she was sorry about “going hulk.” I then calmly explained why I thought she was being an ass earlier and she apologized for that too. I believed her this time, so I forgave her.

So that’s the ending. I don’t really hold grudges all that much. I’m even sorta cool with Cassidy now. I think she might be on medication. Anyways, she and I where in the same group during our confirmation retreat. I hadn’t seen her four years prior to that, so it was weird to see her again. One of the counselors said “fuck” and there was a roar of laughter in our group.

OMG, I can’t believe he just went there.

Candis and I were the only two people not laughing. She muttered under her breath.

“It’s not even funny. It’s just a swear word. I swear all the time.”

I nodded.

“I know, right.”

So at least I had somebody I could sympathize with. We even had a little exchange. Like we were peoplehumans.

Update! My current weight is 140 lbs on the dot. I just got my notebook so I’m going to finish the rest of my homework and take Sally for a walk.

Now that I’m done with my stories, I’m going to remind myself again to talk about my favorite dream. I even have a title for it. It’s called “Michigan.” If I don’t have a dream overnight, I’ll tell you about that one tomorrow.

What should I name the dream I just had? I dunno, but I really liked that one. I think it deserves a title.

Time to lie on my acupressure mat and hit the sack.

Good night.

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