warnings: this is long, and part of it is disturbing.

I like war movies. War memoirs, too. I’m not entirely sure why, but I suspect that it’s largely due to the fact that I like to think about the way that people behave in extreme situations, particularly situations I have never encountered. I like to think about the way that I would behave in such situations (usually, my conclusions on this point are not that flattering; a post for another day).

High school is like war. I don’t mean that in some overwrought, My So-Called Life, teen angsty sort of way. What I mean is that during your childhood, your situation is something you have no power to change, and this becomes increasingly intolerable as you develop towards adulthood. You might as well be stuck in the trenches. And all the people around you are stuck there just the same. And if you live in a small town—especially if you live in a small town—there is a 90% chance you loathe everything about your situation. You look on adults as enemies and your hometown as a place you can’t wait to leave. All you have are your compatriots, your comrades-in-arms, your friends. And you are all counting the days until you get your discharge papers.

(more…)

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