Dear Diary

May 22, 2013

No end in sight.


I wake up at 6 AM to my two alarm clocks and a phone call, like every morning, and then wake up again at 6:45, also like every morning. I wouldn’t wake up at all if Dad weren’t yelling from downstairs. I finally roll out of bed. I remember, like I do every morning, that being awake entails seeing people and doing things. My stomach drops.

I try to get dressed and do my makeup in the 15 minutes before the bus comes. All my clothes are black and I can barely see with sleepy eyes, so I fumble around and put on whatever I grab first, which ends up being my leather skirt and a T-shirt. I hate wearing T-shirts.

I trudge to the bathroom, halfheartedly dab some powder on my face, and swipe a blob of black over each eye. I push everything on the counter into my bag so I can do a better job once I get to school.

I don’t want to hate things. I don’t want to be a walking stereotype like Janis Ian, who exists only to embody melodramatic teenage angst, represented through knotted black hair, torn-up clothes, and too much makeup. But I am a walking stereotype. I’ve accepted it.

My bag is dull camo green. It is heavy, which is funny because I don’t use any of the stuff I haul around in it.

The bus arrives. I get on. I fake a cheery “good morning” to the driver like I do every morning, because she bought me a hat once and remembers my name. I see people staring at me because they know the bus won’t move until I sit down. My heart races because for a second, millions of eyes are watching my every move. I almost trip as I speed-walk to the back, where the empty seats are. It’s always the same people in the empty backseats. One boy is in my history class. I don’t know the rest. One of them cries silently every morning in the last seat.

I try to listen to Arcade Fire. I put on Funeral, my favorite album. I hate it. I hate music in the morning. I put my headphones away and stare out the window. It looks humid somehow. It might be the gray sky, which I associate with heat since living in China. In China it was air pollution. Today, here, it is overcast. It is ominous almost-rain, like a pimple that hasn’t broken the surface yet and is just a raised bump, not even red.

I get off the bus. “Thank you, have a good day!” I take out my list notebook. I flip through the pages for the next blank one. I pull a pen out of my pocket. People I Need to Avoid Today. Four people. I draw out my route to all my classes and find out where it will overlap theirs. The schedule is all jumbled today because of standardized tests, so the morning is completely full of seeing people I can’t see. I can’t go into school.

My black velvet jacket is almost knee-length, terrible quality, and ripped up. It weighs down my shoulders as I walk away from the school. I hear a few people calling out “witch” faintly in the background, but it doesn’t bother me. It used to, but I’d pretend not to care. Now I really don’t. I’m a nihilist. Their opinions are irrelevant. I barely hear other people.

I walk past the kids smoking pot behind the tennis courts. They say hi and I just nod, because I don’t smoke and I don’t feel like talking. There’s not much to talk about. I trudge away, my hair falling in a sheet around my head. It looks like Violet Parr’s today: thin and straight, not its usual wild and knotty. I’m so tired. Every part of me is exhausted. I’m mentally tired out of my mind. I walk deeper into the woods behind the courts until I can’t see any houses.

I turn on my phone and put OK Computer on repeat. I lay my backpack on a soft-looking area of dirt. I lie on my side, facing my phone, bag under my head like a sack of rocks. I hope nobody comes by. They’ll think I’m trying to look poetic or romantic or dramatic or something. I just want to be alone.

I fall asleep. I dream the same dream I always do, where I need to scream but I can’t, or at least not loudly enough. My throat is buzzing, but I can’t use my lungs. I grow dizzier with every attempted yell.

I wake up. The buzzing was my phone. I ignore it and go back to sleep, where even nightmares are nice because they are in the moment, and when scary things happen you don’t have to think.

I look at pictures of people I miss. Why do I do that? It’s so fucking stupid. I hate myself when I do that.

I’m not tired at all. I try to fall asleep again but can only succeed for a few minutes.

At lunchtime I walk back to school, looking a mess and not caring in the least. I’m too exhausted to care. I want to see my friends. I live for them almost completely and can give up a few minutes of my nice little solitude for them.

I check my phone. My dad got a call saying I never showed up to school. I feel too exhausted to panic. I panic anyway. He’s going to call the police. He’s going to put me back in the hospital.

A teacher finds me in the lunchroom.

“Ruby, looks like this is for you.” My friends have grown used to watching me be escorted away.

“Oh, shit.” I say a goodbye as I’m led to the office.

I want to be in the woods again. I want to be alone and asleep. ♦


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  • noquierodecir May 22nd, 2013 7:13 PM

    Ruby, your diary this week really touched me.
    I feel so similarly, and am hoping to stay out of the hospital.

    Thank you for writing.

  • zigzag-221 May 22nd, 2013 7:25 PM

    Ruby- I feel you.
    I want that support that comes from relationships but at the same time I just want everyone to stay the hell away.
    I like to think all I need is to be somewhere where I’m free and can just float in space not even aware of time, a place where all I see is sky

    and I wonder if I feel this way because I’m distanced from people or if it’s just the routine mudanity of life….

  • MissKnowItAll May 22nd, 2013 7:27 PM

    I feel like we are the same person at this point and it pains me to know that what you’re going through is real. It gets harder to give a fuck each day because as the hands on the clock move, there is less to give a fuck about. Meds don’t work bc they lose their effectiveness as soon as they go down my throat and I know I should care about school bc graduation isn’t too far away and I want to do well and make my parents proud but I don’t want to leave my bed or go to school. There’s always that opportunity at the beginning of the day to take the train going the opposite way and have an adventure instead of sleeping through school. I used to go to coney island on my test days so I wouldn’t have to sit at a desk with a scantron and pretend like I gave a fuck about my future.

  • MegW May 22nd, 2013 7:35 PM

    Eighth grade too! Today was my last day of middle school, EVER :), but I’m not really looking forward to high school.

  • lydiamerida May 22nd, 2013 7:56 PM

    Ruby i think we have twin souls

  • Tory May 22nd, 2013 8:06 PM

    Your post was so relatable that it almost is like you interviewed me. And that this position in life really, really blows.

  • GlitterKitty May 22nd, 2013 8:17 PM

    Ruby, your diaries are always amazing but this one was freaking off the charts brilliant. Seriously, I would give it an award or something but I don’t have one so…. But just try to remember that people really do care about you and they just want you to be happy. I don’t know if that really helps but good luck.

  • Charlotte CallaGirl May 22nd, 2013 8:22 PM

    Ruby, Britney, Naomi, Catherine- all of you. Your diaries were just PURELY AMAZING. You were really brave in posting something as personal as that, in my opinion, and have to applaud you for it!
    My blog:

  • Kate Brown May 22nd, 2013 8:24 PM

    awesome! Amazing diaries always!

  • -alexandra- May 22nd, 2013 8:38 PM

    Wow, Katherine. I love the way you told your diary this week. It was really awesome. I like imagining the things that happen in my life as objects, too- like having the day I went to New York City be the small spoon I kept from a gelato place or the bumper sticker on my car holds so many memories because it is from one of my favorite restruant thousands of miles away with my best friend.

    Objects (even imagined ones) can hold so much weight in our lives.

  • Chloe22 May 22nd, 2013 9:00 PM

    High school sucks. But it’s awesome at the same time. You just have to look for the good, I guess.I’m homeschooled so I’m supposed to be mal adjusted and have no business talking about this, but quite honestly? I know all about it. I’ve been bullied, lost friends, and, well, all that stuff that happens when you start like liking people. I can think of MAJOR terrible stuff. But then I think of all the cool music I’ve discovered, I’ve figured out where I stand politically a little more, I have a pretty good idea of what I plan on doing once I’m an adult, and believe it or not…. And the one thing that always saves me from the three weeks into September blues: THINKING ABOUT SUMMER

  • rhymeswithorange May 22nd, 2013 10:34 PM

    Britney, hang in there! 8th grade sucked for me too. I promise you, high school is a million billion times better. Really. Take a nice long break and then dive into high school with an open mind.
    Katherine, your “best friend” was really awful to you there, good riddance! And you do not have no one.

  • neon jelly May 22nd, 2013 11:07 PM

    well… I have always been the one everyone gets along with but recently one girl bullied me and I completely fell for her words and her hate towards me, although I knew inside they weren’t true. as much as it hurts sometimes I just think dirt poor people would take my life any day over theirs and live under a nice roof and deal with teenage emotional problems. BTW I had the same thought about high school (as seen on tv) total lie, if anything I hate it, its too much work.

  • Ruby B. May 23rd, 2013 12:48 AM

    Oh, Katherine, friend breakups are the worst, but also the best in that they are so relieving. You don’t have “no one”.

  • elliecp May 23rd, 2013 2:28 AM

    Ruby, your story reminds me so much of myself and I love the whole idea of being a walking stereotype and not even meaning to be. And Britney, every school year isn’t what yo expected to be…just hang in there, because its over before you know it and then you’re expected to actually be responsible and work and stuff *shudders*

  • allyishere May 23rd, 2013 5:40 AM

    Naomi- that’s so weird because for years I’ve been having strange dreams where I go to use a public toilet and the stall doesn’t work for some reason? and I’ve never understood them hahaha

    Katherine- stay strong bb

  • Graciexx May 23rd, 2013 9:15 AM

    Britney, don’t worry high school is soooooo much better than middle school. I absolutely hated 8th grade even though I had amazing friends and fantastic teachers. Have a fun summer and go to high school, make some kickass friends (at school/around town/online/penpal), learn to lie about homework and generally be awesome. I promise you it is not the dark ages and soon you will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just hang in there, hold on tight and hope for the best.

    As for entering teenagerdom, it’s doesn’t have to be parties and molly ringwald and prom and friendship braclets. it can be tumblr, icecream, basketball, chocolate, a best friend, a huge group of awesome people, great music, staying up late watching mean girls for the billionth time, it can basically be anything you want it to be.

    Good luck and have fun :)

  • Beth Carter May 23rd, 2013 11:15 AM

    Britney, don’t worry, it’ll be okay. It’s a well-known fact that 8th grade actually royally sucks for most people. I felt the same way you did, and I also went to a high school where I only knew one person. But it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s not all that scary, I promise! I’m sure you’ll love it; I do.

  • cornly_ May 23rd, 2013 11:29 AM

    this is great

  • EmmaS May 23rd, 2013 3:50 PM

    Ruby, you are a beautiful writer. I recently started reading your blog and I really like it. I hope you write more!!

  • Kourtney May 23rd, 2013 7:16 PM

    Britney, I hope high school turns out alright for you. When I was in eighth grade, I had such high hopes for high school. I thought I’d make the best of friends, and go to parties and indulge in the ‘immortalized rituals of teendom’ like you. And I was wrong, too. Everything was awful and instead of feeling immortalized, I felt dead. But what’s helping me now is me trying to the make the best of my surroundings/circumstances. Good luck in high school!

  • gretagreta May 23rd, 2013 10:12 PM

    Such great thoughts and writing as always. <3

    Britney, I totally know how you feel! I moved to England my freshman year of high school, and grasping a new city, new culture, new education system seemed to add to the normal stress of trying to make friends and get grades. And then this year, I returned to the U.S. and I'm going to my local high school. There's 1500 students but I feel like I know most of them from some vein of life. And you know what? I wish I walked into the building knowing no one, just like in London the year before. It's terrifying, but you don't have all the past yuckiness following you. You don't have to pretend to be friends with people because you guys used to have sleepovers together in fourth grade. You will get to find out who you are! That was what my freshman year was all about, and I doubt it would have had the same effect had I been somewhere more within my comfort zone. Lots of love!

    Greta xoxo

  • justsomeone May 26th, 2013 2:10 AM

    Ruby you write so beautifully <3

  • diniada13 May 27th, 2013 11:41 AM

    Britney did you copy my diary because I’m also going to high school where I only knew one person from my middle school!!!!

    Ruby, Catherine, Naomi, Caitlin, I really hope things get better. I hope your bad days fly away like clouds in windy days. I wish I could give you all a hug right now <3 <3

  • avery jackson May 30th, 2013 8:44 PM

    Ruby! I used to spend all of 8th grade in those woods, I would “walk to school” and just go into the woods and chill. It was so nice