First Day of School

2 min read

Let me break it down for ya:
Every time I force myself into a new situation,
Feels like the first day of school.
I’m the new girl, nobody knows me.
Small talk threatens my mental health,
And fuck those little shits who can go
up to complete strangers and make a new friend.

My resting face scares people, and for good reason.
Smiling gives you wrinkles.
Your sagging, submissive skin shall sprint from your skeleton,
Mine will be taut, tight, and trouncing towards Gomorrah.

Teacher calls roll.
I’m in the back, fading away
scribbling my thoughts for the day
on the fresh blank page,
dreading what I know is next.

Jane Doe. Here.
John Jones. Here.
Goo-lee-un? Jillian with a soft J? Gilligan?
That’s can’t be right. I’m going to butcher this name, forgive me!
Uh… Pa-cheek-o?

My classmates know of me but none come to my aid, offer sympathy.
Bastards. Instead, they stare,
the upper class in Metropolis,
their thousand laser eyes boring holes into my unsaved soul.

I raise my hand, wearing my mask of the outcast,
because of my name.
Because of my off-putting nature.
Because I’m not a likeable person, OK?

Gill-(hard G)-eee-anne.
Rhymes with Lilian. Sounds like Guilliean.
((An orgasmic O that if unsung I would not be here))

Oh! They say. Looks harder than it is!

Yeah. Like I haven’t heard that before.
Bless those among you whose parents gave you normal names.
Daniel. Mariette. George. Jill with a soft J. Antonio.

33 years and not one person has gotten it right on the first try.
I never stopped caring. You wouldn’t know it. I hide it well.
I buried the intense loathing of my ethnicity,

deep inside where it festers. an invisible,
goopy wound that is torn asunder anytime
I have to introduce myself to someone new.

So pardon my understanding of social cues,
My inability to understand what you said
Until I get it five minutes later.
Pardon – but don’t apologize for
My introverted nature, my tendency for my brain
to swim while you speak nonsense.

I would change but then I would be just like you,
wouldn’t I? Someone who can’t say Guilliean Pacheco
without falling on your face.
If it’s all the same, I’ll be me, you be you.
Save us both the torment.

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