Learning To Love You More




Assignment #42
List five events from 1984.

Somerville, Massachusetts USA



1. I am a junior in high school. I read (unsurprisingly) 1984. I feel immediately at home in Oceania. I didn't fully understand why then, but I think I do now. Like the conceptual world of Winston Smith, the conceptual world of an adolescent boy is incredibly limited: a teenage boy is a tangled knot of feelings he can't articulate, identify or in some cases even understand. I also empathize with the necessity of secrecy Winston and Julia feel. I am living in a very small town (under 1,000 people) and the son of a prominent man. I live in a fishbowl; I am obsessive about people knowing as few of the details of my life as possible: it is the only way I can feel sure that anything about my life is actually mine.
2. I start taking German. My high school German teacher is the first person that I really feel sees who I am, sees even my myriad uglinesses--the pettiness, the anger, the meanness-but makes it clear she thinks I am okay. It is a sentiment that is unfair to other people in my life, but it is how I feel.
3. One of our dogs dies.
4. I try to write poetry. It sucks.
5. I present a half-assed biology paper at a state conference for high-school aged "scientists." At this time I hate science. I submit the paper because my biology teacher tells me to. I feel like I have to go to the conference because the paper has been accepted. After my presentation, somebody in the audience tells me he thinks my research is invalid. I don't respond. Because I just don't care. Other people in the audience leap to my defense. I don't say anything.