Nobody Gets Me: Strangled in A Small Program
Nobody gets me.
It’s hard to write that line without wearing thick eyeliner and blasting an Evanescence CD, but yes. It’s true.
I have fallen into the abyss of misunderstood – which is just a fancy degree of loneliness. We are raised on the idea that if we find people who understand us, they will undoubtedly enjoy our company. Once someone has the capacity to truly know you – everyone is easy to like.
So when I say nobody gets me, I guess it’s a projection of this idea. I’m saying I’m lonely. I’m isolated. That there are times where I cry in the privacy of my own bedroom and don’t tell anyone. I doubt my troubles would do anything but push them farther away.
Yes, I know this sounds dramatic. And probably stupid, but I’m at a point that unless I actually write some of the bullshit in my head down that my feelings will devour me from the inside – only leaving a shell of pimply skin left.
I don’t know when I fell into this aisle of the Hot Topic. But it started with a number.
I thought it going to be lucky. Two years ago I was admitted to USC’s Writing for Screen and TV program with a full scholarship. The website said I was one of 26 admits out of thousands of applicants. I cried. A lot. After orientations and other welcome programs, my main reason for moving across the country was a promise – that I would have a family of 26.
The program was close. Everyone was friends. We would write, party, and grow with each other. No matter how easy it was to drown in the sea big university, I would have my small program – 26 lifesavers writing amazing movies around.
I don’t know if I was lied to, but it didn’t add up.
In reality, admissions took in 29 my year. A little bigger – but hey, more to love! I dove in, determined to befriend every screenwriter. I quickly distanced myself from the typical college cliques – my family was not my roommate, dorm, fellow Jew. I knew my people were nestled in my small program.
I will not use names. But to be honest, to the readers and myself, I’m going to use references people will get. I’m going to acknowledge the co-writers in my life story.
By my second day, I had bonded with the Canadian – she, like I, was a blunt, ambitious, unapologetic bitch. We met and ranted for 3 hours straight about, well, everything. She called me up. She called me down. She called me her best friend. We went on escapades together, catalogued in intricate photos she insisted on taking everywhere we went.
We instantly teamed up with the Indian, who I met the next day. She was sweet. Soft – like Elmer’s glue – sticky, capable of holding small things together. I loved her, saw her as my sister in a separate skin.
Then there was the other Jewish girl. We were both from the East Coast, and talked emerging from people who didn’t appreciate emotional intelligence. She liked my headbands – something I had just started wearing – she said they were characteristic. I’ve worn them constantly ever since.
The Christian had too many questions, and all about me. I was instantly enticed. He became my vault. Each day I’d deposit secrets, minutes, trust. But he was not a safe.
The Tattooed gave me advice on love before a concert. She was everything I wanted to be. I looked up to her from day one, wanted to be her, wanted to live in her colorful skin. She loved slam poetry, wrote like a god. She cared about the world, believed everyone had a universe inside them. Told my yet to be kissed self “you should have sex with someone you can laugh with the first time.”
The Boy Who Hated His Skin did projects with me. We were ambitious. We were honest. We produced.
The Ginger told me how to make cookies in my bedroom. The Pushover gave me alcohol. The Giant turned me inside out, let me see my blood when it tasted oxygen. The Shonda Rhimes fanatic was from Los Angeles, so we lunched. Multiple times a day. I was honest again.
That was the problem – I was honest to everyone. I handed them so many pieces of myself, gave them so many memories, stripping myself down. There was no love made. Instead of $20s they just threw spare time in my direction.
I learned that just because someone hangs out with you, that does not make them your friend.
The Flamboyant dropped out of college after one semester. It wasn’t for him.
The Indian changed me. I appreciated the Canadian was a fellow bitch, but the Indian said that we were not bitching on the same side; she had a selfishness, a desire to drink my stories and gnaw my ears, but she would never go through the trouble to mend a heart. She decided for us that we would go on a maple syrup free diet. Indian was my roommate, my protector, my best friend. She made me choose. I laid in the bed next to me over the one I giggled upon.
Then she changed best friends. And her major.
The Giant made me feel small. I might have fell into his pores. I was under his skin and he told everyone I was a contagious rash. Maybe I was family, but I was the schizophrenic uncle you dropped off years ago and don’t bring up at Thanksgiving. The crazy bitch. I just kept repeating to myself — we were going to write, party, grow–
They hated my writing. Their mouths became shredders. Was my fault for just being paper? I left every class in pieces.
They threw parties. I was no longer invited.
Soon I felt chopped down. My “family” became colleagues. The closer they got to each other, the farther they ran from me. The Tattooed chose the other Jewish girl, dated the Boy Who Hated his Skin.
Little did I know that when I chose the Indian, the Christian would stay with the Canadian. The thing about comedy writers is that they’re only in it for the laugh. They won’t fight for you, they can only throw punchlines. The Shonda Rhimes gal continued to lunch, just without me. The Ginger died her hair. The Pushover pushed back.
I started to lose people I never had. Suddenly no one liked me. No one saw my blood in there’s, even people who I had never really gotten to know. The Drummer rolled his eyes at my comments. Fratstar texted the Islander as I presented my work, rather than giving the decency to sneer behind my back. After reading some of my poetry, the Islander even sent me a polite message telling me to choke on my own silence.
I wasn’t empowered enough for the feminists, but too outspoken for the men.
I did not leave. I was expelled. Yes, I took the classes but I was not in the program. We were a class of 26. I just wasn’t in it. The list of shitty nicknames and dumb encounters could go on. But that’s not the point.
I had one friend. The Meek, who started as a stranger yet had managed to grow on everyone. We walked on the same path, just from separate directions. We met at the middle.
When I cried over the exile, she admitted they couldn’t stand me. But they didn’t know me. They thought I was an opinionated loudmouth, but they never took the time to hear me listen. Yes, I shot cannons, but you need fire to love. They didn’t know my fierceness came with the compassion to battle for others.
No one got me. Not inside their clique or their minds. She told me that was their lost.
My lucky number never became 26. It stayed 11. I was born on 11/28, my sister on 11/11. But the number works – it’s one, twice. The power of one, doubled. Someone who can see themselves, and reflect on it. It’s a little abstract – but I am trying to understand myself. Biopsy my own heart to find out what’s inside. And yes, it’s not perfect. But I’m not listening to Evanescence. I’m jamming to (2002) Avril Lavigne. Strong, thoughtful, independent. Sometimes lonely, but easy enough to understand, if you give a listen. But why do you have to make things so complicated?
(I understand this entire piece is about making shit complicated, but let me have this pun, sk8ter boi.)