Sticks and Stones

Sometimes, I wonder if I’ll ever get out of my middle school angst “phase.” When do people stop calling it a phase and just accept it as a state of being. I’m sure some people get over the angst and maybe that is a sign of growing up, but maybe its not. Maybe it’s actually a sign of stifled emotion, emotion too hard to bear so we just swallow all the sticks and stones because of them being used to “break bones.”

I will instead choose to ingest them and destroy myself from the inside out. At least that way no one, except myself, will be held responsible for what is happening. If I am in control of them then maybe I can choose the sticks I swallow. Preferable maple tree twigs so they will taste sweet as they go down, maybe the syrup wrapped around the edges will allow it to go down smoothly instead of playing on my ribs like a xylophone. I would choose to swallow stones that are covered in moss. When lost in the forest, moss grows on the side of the stone that faces north so maybe if I swallow one I will find my true north. Moss also has a way of patching wounds that would never quite heal in the wild. So maybe if I swallow enough moss covered stones, these wounds that never quite healed will slowly begin to weave themselves shut.

But it’s hard to swallow sticks and stones when you are throwing them so viciously and quickly at me that I cannot catch them and put them in my mouth without fear of being struck. I can only be struck so many times before I am forced to run or just sit and endue each blow as if nothing is happening to me.

Maybe this is why some people stay in their middle school angst “phase.” These are the people who never seem to catch a break from the blows of the sticks and stones.


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