I have decided to take this art blog to a more personal level. I haven’t written a thing on here for ten months, mostly due to a pretty debilitating depression. Instead of suddenly reappearing with funny excuses for my absence and cute pictures of my sock critters, I’m going to start baring my soul a bit more and making this blog more about who I actually am as a person. I am absolutely a funny artist who makes lots of cute sock critters, but that’s only part of me.
I’ll start with this. I wrote this seven years ago, on a deeply personal, highly secretive, and extremely brief blog that I had. I’ve recently unearthed it, and would like to share this story with you.
you are in sixth grade. this is you. this is a sad story.
you are skinny and weird, painfully shy around kids your own age but precocious and animated around adults. you’re supposedly one of the smartest kids in your grade but you’re never in the really good programs because you won’t speak up in class. you wear really bright colors, thick purple glasses and shoulder pads that you don’t need, and you have no friends.
every day of your sixth grade life, you are beaten up and have your lunch money stolen by tracy. every day. or at least when tracy isn’t serving out-of-school suspension for beating the shit out of someone else on the playground, which usually happens once every two weeks, if you’re lucky. tracy is a bona fide fucked-up trailer kid, and she is nothing if not persistent in her ritualized torturing of you. she elbows you into lockers, pulling out clumps of your ratty blonde hair. she pushes you down a snowy embankment into a frozen pond and you ruin your new pink coat. once she steals a geode that you’d brought back from a trip to california that you knew you shouldn’t have taken to school because you might lose it but you just wanted to look at it all day because it was so pretty so you kept it squeezed into the palm of your hand except during social studies where for one second you put it down on your desk and tracy grabs it. you are four feet tall and weigh 63 pounds and the teacher pretends he doesn’t see anything so that he doesn’t have to deal with it, and so you will never see the geode again. for all of this, you hate her guts. but later you will give her credit, this ugly scar-faced girl with her loud ugly wool sweaters and her rat-tail, because she pummels you right there in the hallways, and she does it with her scabby knucles and bony knees, out in the open, for everyone to see. she isn’t doing it to impress anyone; she has no friends either. she just does it because she is pissed off and bored and has a shitty home life and you are little and shy and the teachers love you and you are so cute and gangly in your glasses and shoulder pads that you are practically begging to be hit. don’t take it personally. this is middle school.
not long after tracy’s family picks up and moves on, you are introduced to the far more horrifying world of teenage girls. they are tall and pretty and deadly and they lurk like predators in packs and they are impossible to slip by without being noticed. they hiss about you and throw your own name at you like rocks. you are loudly snickered about in class if you do your homework or know the answer to a question. you have your clothes mercilessly, endlessly, tirelessly ridiculed (your socks, they even make fun of your socks, those fucking bitches). your drawings and poems are ripped to shreds in the hallways between classes. walking into a crowded lunch room or assembly in the auditorium makes you want to vomit from the anxiety of finding some place to sit, unnoticed and alone. sometimes you hide in the furthest bathroom stall and sometimes, but not very often, you cry. but here is the kicker: you are fourteen years old and living through this hell when you suddenly realize that your body has quietly transformed in the night, without you noticing, without your permission, and that you are suddenly kind of fat. you are in the car with your father and you are eating a candy bar and he tells you that sooner or later, teenage girls have to worry about getting fat, and bam. no sooner has he finished his thought than there you are, fat. your father loves you and you love your father; it will be a long time before you realize that he has unwittingly fed you to the wolves. you have never thought about your body one way or the other, not like that, not about whether or not someone else might actually look at you and be thinking: attractive, unattractive, fat, thin. you always thought it went: funny, smart, shy, kind. these were things you thought mattered, but it turns out you were wrong.
you begin to arrive late to gym class so that you don’t have to change in front of them, with their impossible lean sexy thighs and perfect confident breasts. you try eating nothing but cabbage stew for a week, but all it accomplishes is that you throw up a few times and fail a test because you can’t concentrate. you steal diet pills from the drug store and start seeing other people and thinking: pretty, ugly, fat, thin.
you hate yourself if you cry about all of this, but here is a secret: no one could have ever been as cruel to you as you are being to yourself.
it almost makes you miss tracy’s fists.