My sense of high school’s neverending-ness is gone. That’s a good thing. I devote more time to sleeping and seeing my friends and thinking about reading books and buying vintage clothes online. I worry my teachers think I’m lazy or uninterested. (I don’t worry this, I know this.) Truthfully, I’m not. It’s just that my energy and interests have shifted elsewhere.

My perceived feeling of high school’s transience is best described by that persistent feeling I had for so long: that I was waking up to go to school, and eating food to stay focused in school, and going to sleep at night to wake up the next morning for school. Geometry and geophysics and the history of the Spanish American War just didn’t feel useful to anything. Time seems so fragile, and wasting it is scary. I spent so long trying to find a way to achieve the feeling that my existence existed outside of being a student, or a student on summer vacation.

The first time I ever woke up with a hangover, I thought I’d mastered escapism. I’d spent the night before reverted to primal intuition, not caring whether I’d fulfilled my arbitrary responsibilities and maintained my subscription to artificial standards. I fell asleep raw and woke up reminded that my body functioned outside of sitting in eight different seats for 44-minute periods through the day, raising my hand to speak. My head hurt. Everything was too bright. I threw up. Poison was the secret.

I wish you’d never realized this. You have more than monotony to escape, and a seeming physical predisposition I was lucky to be deprived of. With time, I’ve come to know my realness through more than drunken panics and mysterious bruises; I have the comforts of passion, and self-awareness, and a support system. I used to think you had those things. I don’t know if I do anymore.

I apologize to you for being selfish a lot. I’m embarrassed that I can only understand you in terms of me. I’m misreading. You need help, not a refreshing change of scenery, or realization of self. I don’t know how to help you. I’m sorry. ♦