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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Keep talking. We're all mad here. Mad as hatters, one might say.

One must make one's self superior to humanity, in power, in loftiness of soul,--in contempt. -Nietzsche

As a child, I read. Book upon book, page upon page, devouring the words put in front of me. My brother--bless his heart, he and I are amazingly close now--used to try and convince me I couldn't. I remember being in first grade, with "White Fang" held on my lap, sitting rapt in my doorway. It was my favorite place, for some reason. I think because it was easier to run away--I wasn't trapped in my room, nor was I exposed in the hallway. He would grab the book from me and point to words.

"What's this one say?"
"No it doesn't!" did.

I would be embarassed. I think that's when I started questioning reality. How did I know I was reading? How did I know I wasn't making it up as I went along? What was real? The words I perceived? Was my mind that strange?

As we got older, we had reading hours in school. Fourth grade, I first picked up Romeo and Juliet. My teacher didn't believe me when she saw me reading it, and claimed I could never understand. She asked me to read her a passage, and tell her what it meant.
I chose the scene where Mercutio is first taking Romeo to the party where he meets his Juliet. Explained it to her. I remember how quiet she got, looking at me with a strange, speculative stare. She then started pulling me in every lunch, asking me to talk to her about the books.
Romeo and Juliet. Hamlet. Othello.
I devoured them.

Mr. Stein was our Librarian. He left that year. I would hide in the library during all free hours, because I was so afraid of the other children. I was social to an extent, but by this point, I was already depressed. He used to sneak me books during the book fairs that I could keep, or special order ones to rent. I remember his last day, he called me over, his aging form large and kind. He gave me a children's book. "Rupert Goes to the Dentist."

"You're still a little kid, PrettyWreck. Act like one sometimes."

It still is my favorite book. I have it hidden away.

By the end of fifth grade, I had read Shakespeare's collections. I performed a Sonnet as an audition to an art's academy. In science and english, I scored in the upper 99th percentile for my standardized tests. I wrote my first book in the sixth grade. Wrote four more the summer before seventh. They were nowhere near Shakespeare's quality, but they were mine. By the time Jr. High ended, I had memorized two different dictionaries.

And then I remember hearing those words.

" really should try to act a little simpler. People won't like you if you're too smart."

I wasn't liked much anyway.
I blamed that.
And so I stopped being smart.

There are other contributing factors. Drugs killed off a lot of my brain, I think. I stopped doing my word exercises, no longer read the novels I loved, hid away my Stein and Longfellow my Junior year and picked up the cheesy books my classmates were reading. I stopped being the 13 year old who had her nose buried in Dickens, Vonnegut, or Huxley, and became the vivacious strange little goth with a love of prescription drugs and ICP. I stopped reading, and started trying to fit in with others.
My writing suffered.
And then greatest blows came when people I had known I was always better than started getting better scores than me on essays.

So I gave up.

Even now, when I talk, I carefully tailor my words and purposefully forget things. This blog started out much the same, where I think I tried very, very, very hard to not ever, ever talk like the words sound in my head. There's always a certain flow and rhythm that I learned when I was a child, and it honestly humiliates me. I don't feel like it's anything worth reading. I feel pretentious, and falsely superior in some ways. Like I'm somehow trying to be better than everyone, and I'm not. It's just how the words in my head sound. They flow in me like poetry, because that's what I wrote for so many years. It what I was published with. It's what I lived off of. Everything follows an obsessive rhythm, and if it stumbles, my brain screeches to a halt and has to fix it, and I think I'm the only who hears the beating of the drums as the words go.
Slave labor.
Row, Row, Row,
Write, Write, Write.
Starve, Starve, Starve.

What do I starve for?
To control the past?
To attone for what was done to me?
To become more like the image of what I think people want to see?
To eradicate the last vestiges of me?
The girl who sat with her nose in Othello in the fifth grade, toes curled in excitement while reading Hamlet, eyes wide. "ALAS! Poor Yorick, I knew him well!" The one who wanted to be the Count of Monte Cristo instead of a lead character in Clueless or Legally Blond?
The girl who doesn't laugh as often as she puts out, and prefers philosophy to video games?
Who can stay up all night engrossed in a physics book?

I'm not smart.
I don't want to pretend to be.
It's why I hate the way I write. The way I talk. Because I feel like it comes off as pretentious. Like no one will like me if I act the way my brain actually demands I be. I have to be what people want. The skinny girl. The ditzy girl. The one who doesn't know what a Nhilist is, the one who hasn't, by the age of fourteen, counted herself amongst the Hyperboreans. The one who doesn't have the dictionary of angels and demons memorized, nor can quote you facts and scriptures from religions dating back to the beginning of written time.

There is, in truth, some booksmarts there.
But I am not quick.
I always scored second best on my biology exams.
I never went to class or turned in homework, always getting C's.
I never managed to get above a 98% on my essays.
I never managed to truly understand Kant in my philosophy classes.
I never really got Calculus.
I still have a hard time with math.

I'm slow.
I'm not very smart.
I'm not trying to say I am.
What I'm saying, is that I've done all of this, and I talk a certain way, but I'm still not good enough. And I don't understand why any of you like these entries or read them, but I love you so, so, so very much for doing so. I love you so very much for leaving me such beautiful comments and making me smile, when yes, at one point, I may have had potential, but I'm not sure where it went. I've read all these things, and I've hidden all my words, and I've hidden the flow of the thoughts in my mind, but only because my intelligence isn't real.
My mother said, "People won't like you if act smart."
Act, being the key word.
I'm not.
It's not honest.
It's not true.
I'm just me.
This is all just...just me.

...thank you for reading it. For accepting it.
I adore you all.

And your words will always make me smile. ♥

"First the day after tomorrow must come for me. Some men are born posthumously." - Nietzsche

"I've thrown my body away in vain attempts to convince myself my soul isn't attached." - A Will Is The Way


  1. You shouldn't not be smart because people resent you for it. I think you should talk and act the way you like, be your own person.

    I love the way you write and don't think it's pretentious in the slightest.

    That's so cool about Romeo and Juliet! XD


  2. Be who you are lovely.
    Don't 'be' for other people.
    You will only get hurt.

    We love you, no matter what.

  3. Don't be ashamed of being smart. Other people are just jealous (including me). Just be who you are, if not with everyone else then with us. We love you :)

  4. I've gone through the same thing--dumbing myself down, hiding what I really wanted in order to be accepted, taken in, thought of as 'normal'. This is such an honest, raw post. You are really an amazing writer. <3

  5. The beauty of the Blog is that you can be anyone you decide to be. Epecially, and most appropriately, the one inside your head. Who do you prefer to like you if You do not like you? I find it refreshing to read and listen to those more literate than myself. xo

  6. no. be yourself. you are smart. why do we have to be liked by faking something you are not? well, i don't think i'm liked much anyway. writing ur on book... that is very impressive... /xo

  7. I think you're a first-class writer. The cadence is beautiful and everything flows, and you somehow make jumbled thoughts cohesive. Dumbing yourself down isn't worth it. You can cover a diamond with soot, but it's still a diamond, no? I'm smart, not brilliant, and school is (no, was) a zoo. The girls people liked were superficial breezy blondes with skinny limbs and Hollister miniskirts. Our society makes such a big fuss of trying not to be superficial, but it's all hypocrisy.


  8. I started reading this post, realized what it was about, and i began to cry.

    I was the exact same way, reading large books thas were supposedly so beyond my reading level. i wrote stories, poetry, was even published once. I used the big words, I had a voracious appetite for new languages, and learning about cultures, and mythology.

    the same thing happened to me one day, i just had too many people upset with me for the way i talked.
    and so i stopped. I "dumbed myself down".

    it feels like my intelligence has deteriorated since then, and it hurts, because i used to be able to pull A's out of a hat, and now i worry i won't pass classes.

    i've realized (thank god) that intelligence is still there though, because people can pull out the eloquent and educated and cultured person out of me, and it makes me love myself alittle more.

    anyways, i thought i'd just comment because i honestly thought i was the only one.
    and I adore you, and your writing, and i feel for all your causes and upsets.


  9. Fuck expectations. Fuck what people think. Fuck them if they don't like you for who you are.


  10. Sometimes I swear you have the same thoughts as me. I had the exact same moment with my mother after an interview for a prestigous girls high school in LA. I got interviewed first, and then my parents and apparently the interviewer asked my parents if I really was telling the truth that my favorite book was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. She said she had asked me about it and I had explained it but she couldn't believe that a twelve-year-old was reading it for pleasure, much less enjoyed it. My mother than came out and told me, "Honey, if you act as smart as you are, people are going to think that you're snobbish or have a superiority complex."
    So I dumbed myself down too...and now I'm not sure if I'll pass my IB, much less reach y Cambridge offer...
    At least I know the intellegence is still there because people always tell me I'm so smart, but I really don't now how to BE smart, without coming across like my mother said. So I've developed AMAZING acting skills. People who aren't in a class with me would easily buy that I'm a ditzy blonde...hell some people in my classes might have believed that too at first....until a teacher inevitably offers praise or forces me to contribute and then the facade slips...
    Ahywho...I'm making this too much about me....I just wanted to say that I know exactly how you feel and I hope you have better luck finding the balance between the facade and the real you than I did...

  11. I read Romeo and Juliet in the fifth grade.
    People didn't understand why but I felt like i accomplished something special.
    and i still do.

    You are something special
    I adore you

  12. lover lover love love i lovee you.

    anyway, i have a badge on my pencil case that says "nihilists suck" and gave my friend a Nietzsche book for her birthday haaa. but i'm not smart. see my lack of punctuation? see it? wait not punctuation, capitals. anyway.

    you're the best.

  13. I do too. Love. I don't know you, but from your posts I love you. I don't say that often either. Don't take it lightly.

    I think you can't see yourself. You are incredibly beautiful inside. These things you take for granted about yourself are rare, precious gems not often seen with the naked eye... not often perceived, believed, or real. I wouldn't normally say that to someone for fear they'd get a big head about it, but somehow I doubt you will.

    Anyway, you might not find yourself exceptional in any way, but 483 of us think you're wrong. ;)

  14. You know.. they told me the same thing. Don't get too smart because people don't like people that are too smart.

    that was so devastating.. it's like after you hear people call you a freak for so long, you slowly start to believe them and then you slowly become more of a freak. I think there are just people in this world that will never fit in no matter how hard we try.

    I did drugs.. didn't get me anywhere. I stopped them, and I'm still weird. I wasn't so much of a reader though I did read Steven King in eighth grade and everyone shat their pants, I was more a math person. Math and science were better for me.

  15. Oh my. I just saw this post today. I cried halfway through. I was similar. I curled in the corner with a Harry potter in first grade and the odyssey in fourth, afraid of the other children disapproving. My bestfriend told me I was too smart. So I dumbed down. I became the ditsy blonde with no clue. Then that cover became me. It devoured me. I can't be taken seriouy because I am that ditsy girl. I was thin until last summer when I became extremely depressed and ate more rather than starving. I starve again but am still big. Having lost my ability to be smart I went from the intelligent thin beautiful child to the mentally fucked up ditsy fat girl. I don't know I just thought I would share how I could relate.