Sometimes I feel too small to contain all of my thoughts.


I feel like I should a face lined with every second of worry, crevices and

cracks in my skin from all the anxiety that’s slathered on my daily life, around the outsides of my shaky social interactions and filling and permeating my tumbling


This is so pretentious; I’m making myself sick.

It’s just that I feel I’m getting old before my time. I’m learning lessons,

striking gold revelations, devouring books, screaming and crying, and sobering

up and doubling down and smoking, sizzling, yearning. Why am I not idly thumbing through a teen magazine, lazily fanning myself, drinking lemonade

and forcing myself to complain about boys and nails?

I’m Keroauc, I’m Bukowski, I’m Vonnegut.

I’m not though.

I’m only sixteen and I laugh at the lowest form of wordplay and overdone

television. I’m out of shape, I’m ill equipped.

I need something more than what I have, but I’ve no idea what it could be

and I’m passively waiting to change.

Nothing’s too far from average here.

Why focus so much energy on myself, when there are those infamous

silhouettes of “kids starving in Africa” tapping and pulling at the sleeve of my

conscious? These pale and slim excuses for issues are going to crumple in comparison to poverty, depravity and tangible pain. But they’re what I’ll

continue to consider, in spite of myself, on long car rides and when I go to sleep.

Because I’m what I know, for ignorant and for grating, for boring and for

tiresome. Maybe I just need some perspective, or a little bit of self-control, some

experience and a ticket out of this overwrought town and state of mind.

Alison Gordon

Originally appeared in the 2010-2011 edition of Outside In.