A few weeks ago, I went with the teen, my girlfriend’s daughter, to her new school’s open house, where you tour the facilities and meet the staff. She’s 14 now. Large high school, a maze of buildings, circuitous hallways, all crammed with aimlessly wandering people.
Putting your ear against the fridge in your kitchen to listen to the motor because the longer you listen to it, the more you constantly hear new sounds as the fridge-noise teases apart into increasingly distinct sub-noises that basement away into ever new components that your ear can’t stop chasing.
When I was fifteen, I had never made a friend before and I was getting stressed out about it. I thought, you know, “This is weird.” The loneliness was overwhelming by then- it had been weighing on me for as long as I could remember. My efforts to connect with other kids always went awry…I was too confused by people. People are strange.
I’ve mentioned this before, so I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself, but I never really developed much of an ability to use or understand body language. I thought words were the thing, and so I missed out on a lot of what other people were actually saying and everything kind of sucked. Childhood was no fun. I couldn’t connect with the other kids. Our social languages were too different.