He was a broken branch grafted onto a different family tree, adopted,
not because his parents opted for a different destiny.
He was three when he became a mixed drink of one part left alone and two parts tragedy,
started therapy in eighth grade, had a personality made up of tests and pills,
lived like the uphills were mountains and the downhills were cliffs,
four fifths suicidal, a tidal wave of antidepressants,
and an adolescence being called “Popper,”
one part because of the pills, 99 parts because of the cruelty.
He tried to kill himself in grade 10
when a kid who could still go home to Mom and Dad had the audacity to tell him, “Get over it.”
As if depression is something that could be remedied by any of the contents found in a first aid kit.
To this day, he is a stick of TNT lit from both ends,
could describe to you in detail the way the sky bends in the moment before it’s about to fall,
and despite an army of friends who all call him an inspiration,
he remains a conversation piece between people who can’t understand
sometimes being drug-free has less to do with addiction and more to do with sanity.
We weren’t the only kids who grew up this way.
To this day, kids are still being called names.
The classics were, “Hey stupid,” “Hey spaz.”
Seems like every school has an arsenal of names getting updated every year,
and if a kid breaks in a school and no one around chooses to hear, do they make a sound?
Are they just background noise from a soundtrack stuck on repeat when people say things like, “Kids can be cruel.”