Too familiar with the unhealthy coping mechanism of numbing emptiness with mindlessness
Your hands are too tired of the math review you’re desperately trying to finish.
You find yourself
Tapping through Snapchat stories, barely paying attention to
The group selfies, of bright, well-lit rooms decked with Christmas decorations
Of red ribbons and green pine and mistletoe
Of the white glints of friends’ toothy smiles
Sometimes the snaps would be videos
With deafening, muffled sounds of cheers, people’s faces recognizable
Even when turned away, laughing, looking at the star, the subject of the snap
All the cameras point to her face as she dances
It’s a party, and the late realization makes you feel dumb
I wasn’t invited. But why would I be?
I’m the asocial one, the one who always has to politely decline with
“Sorry, I have to do homework, have to do this, have to do that”
They’re IB kids. You’re in AP. What’s your excuse?
You think as you sit in front of your fluorescent LED screen
The phone’s luminosity searing through your eyes
But you can’t tear them away from the festive scene playing in front of you.
They’re having fun. It’s nighttime, 11:04, 5 seconds in, but
The environment in your house versus theirs
Seem 12 hours apart, night and day,
You squint, because wow, everyone is there. The close ones, the acquaintances,
That one guy you had to sit next to once in homeroom.
It’s almost Christmas.
You glance around your room.
No cat in sight, mother upstairs, conked out.
Your phone isn’t even alive. The snap has long been over. No vibrations of incoming texts.
Only a semester left.
And your fingers wearily
Pick up the pencil
And you resume