I never graduated. At least, I never went to a graduation. I do recall getting some awards at some point, but I never did the cap and gown walk.
Of course, going to school was a bit of a problem for me in the last couple of years of my high school. My transcripts indicate good marks and passing grades, and it appears I did actually graduate, in spite of everything. But still, I didn’t go to class. Why go to graduation?
Usually, when you hear about kids like me, they were traumatized at some point, or raised in a poor environment. Me? I don’t have any of that. My parents are great.
Other than getting disemboweled by a sharply cut off tree stump (methinks birch?) when I was eight and spending a couple of weeks in a coma/hospital bed, there’s no trauma to speak of. I’m certainly not out prowling the streets at night serving justice on men with chainsaws and poor geometric sense.
(Although, that would make a great, albeit gruesome, comic. Disemboweled Man, fighting off loggers by strangling them with their own intestines, or firing super-powered intestines out of his gut or something. Sheds skin like a birch tree!)
I just got disillusioned. Badly.
Personally, I blame Kurt Cobain, though I was more of a Pearl Jam guy at the time (equally regarded now, in case you’re wondering).
So, I stopped going. I didn’t see a point in it.
Anyway, I went to my niece’s grade eight grad last night and it was kind of nice. Hokey, a little catty at times with the MCs but otherwise, cool. Plus, she was valedictorian, so you know, that’s pretty awesome. I have pretty great nieces.
They did these head silhouette things, where they drew little details about themselves in the white cutout of their head’s profile. One of the kids wrote “I am Rotting” inside hers. They put it right up front.
I just wanted to give her a hug, even though I wasn’t sure which one she was, because, well… she’s got a lot of shit coming her way and I hope she makes it out the other side well. If she’s there already though, she probably has a better origin story than being gutted by a tree.
And that makes me profoundly sad. For her, for me, for all the other kids who expected the world and the people we trusted to take care of us, and then realized, no one really would, not for our purposes. Not with our best interests in mind. No one save ourselves.
And if we didn’t trust ourselves?
That’s where the real horror begins.