the competition

I wrote this in August 2007, during an extremely depressing, unpleasant period in my life. On one hand, I am so, so happy I’m not in that place anymore. I am – at least, comparitively – much happier and more well-adjusted.

However, as I repeatedly realize over and over again, I think I will always feel some element of this. I think it’s something I will never quite get away from. You can only be told, “You’re too messed up,” so many times before you start to believe it. You can only be told, “You’re not messed up enough,” so many times before you start to believe that, too, and wonder how that makes any sense, where the hell you’re ever really going to fit, how you can ever stop trying so damn hard.

these are the girls i compete with.

on one hand, there are the perky, happy, blonde girls. they do not know what it’s like to want nothing but sleep. they cry over death and arguments with their boyfriends, but not because it’s raining or because they are hit with a memory from five years ago and a feeling they can’t shake. they wear designer jeans and stilettos, carry expensive purses and wear pricey makeup. they want to be marketing executives, public relations people, and mothers. they took french in high school and read dan brown and sophie kinsella, if they read at all. they are the r&b and hip hop to my indie rock and their favorite movies are how to lose a guy in ten days and action movies with attractive leading men. they are perky and smiley and happy and will have a fairytale wedding. they are the girls i feel like i should be.

on the other hand, there are the broken girls. they spent high school swilling scotch, smoking pot, and cutting themselves. they have attempted suicide but not succeeded. they are small and adorable, with short dark hair and black eyeliner, if any makeup at all. they carry messenger bags and wear beat-up old shoes, drink european beer and read kurt vonnegut. they listen to hardcore and work dead-end jobs, even with a college degree. money is nothing; being is everything. they are gorgeous, if sad, and the kind of girls who drag men down with them, the kind you just can’t seem to forget. and they are the girls i always wish i could be, although i never understand why.

and somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, there are girls like me. i am some strange mixture of the two, too crazy for the typical guy, and too normal for the guys on the other side. it is hard to believe that anything will ever quite fit.


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