March 7

Staying in and writing in my journal is not what people would expect someone like me to do on a Friday night. Troublemakers like me smash mailboxes on Friday nights. Burnouts like me get baked on Friday nights. Tough girls like me do not explore their feelings on Friday nights.

When Noah told me that he was going to Derek’s party tonight, a part of me—ALL of me—was disappointed. Sometimes I wish I could just morph into a cheerleader or whatever I’d need to be to make Noah feel comfortable being seen together. But even in my dream world, that cheerleading uniform looks itchy and uncomfortable.

Obviously, I can’t tell anyone I want to be at Derek’s party. And doing mushrooms with Alex and Janet and those guys at the Oaks Amusement Park sounds lame, so that’s why I’m here.

Marc is out playing video games at the Avalon in SE. My aunt is out to dinner with her friends from the hospital. I’m glad, because she never goes out; it’s like she feels too guilty or stressed to have fun. She always does her best to make sure Marc and I are taken care of: she makes us breakfast, eats dinner with us, asks us how our days were, follows up on our schoolwork, and is generally concerned about us. She’s older than my parents were, and she says it’s crazy that they died when they were young and in love and had a family, and she was single and older. I know this sounds bad, but I feel like she should try to get over it. That’s what we’re trying to do. That’s why it’s good she’s out having fun and drinking white wine or whatever ladies her age drink. Maybe she’ll flirt with a nice 40-something guy. I’m going to use this opportunity to take a relaxing bubble bath and read. Like I said, not what people would expect, but all in all not a bad way to spend a Friday night if you can’t spend it with the person you love.


Normal Teenage Girl

The second Rachelle and I get to Derek Godfrey’s,
I wish I was somewhere else.
It makes me feel like a freak,
because doesn’t every normal teenage girl
love going to parties?
I must not be normal, then.
Then I see Brady Finch walk in.
Even if he’s out of my league,
I still think it’s better
having a crush on someone who’s awesome but
than having a crush on
someone gettable and lame.
At least I have standards.

Suddenly, he’s walking my way
and he jostles my arm
and turns and says, Excuse me, sweetie.
Sweetie?! Brady Finch just called me sweetie?
As I stand there in the wake of his glow,
some drunk guy says to me,
What are you smiling about?
and hands me a pink drink in a red cup.
Nothing, I say, blushing.
Maybe you’ll be more fun after you’re drunk, he says,
    and staggers off.
Rachelle appears beside me, all sympathetic, and
That guy’s a dick. We can go if you want to.
I have a pang of affection for her,
because even though she’s not the bestest bestie in
   the world,
she’s the only one I’ve got.

I’m gonna say bye to Samantha first,
she says, pointing to a group of cheerleaders,
and I glance over at Brady and see
that now he’s surrounded by people.
I head outside,
chugging a sip of night air
like it’s something that will make me so happy
and so drunk
I’ll forget where I am
or who I am
or how badly I suck
at being normal.