Monday, February 2, 2015

"Why Not Me" - An Afflicted Teen Novel

Jacob was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that ... This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.

Okay, yes, I copped that from Dickens.

But Jacob really was dead. So were Angie, Gramps, Melody, Q-Tip (don't know why) and Ben. And Chris (guy), Chris (gal) and Donna are on their way, with a combined life expectancy of about three months, give or take.

As for me, no death sentence. No sword hanging over my head. No ticking clock, other than the one that likely allots me the proverbial three score and ten, or, given my family's genetics  - Gramps was an exception - four score and ten to fifteen.

I am tragically healthy. The only shadows on my medical record are paper cuts, a bad cold last winter, and a broken finger when I was five.

It's not fair.

Everyone seems to have ingredients for a YA novel except me. Everyone seems to have the materials for a clean-out-the-tissue-box movie except me.

I'm a good student. I made the basketball team along with my best friend. I have a number of friends, in fact, all of who are doing well. I'm about the right weight for my height. I have only occasional pimples. My teeth are fine so I didn't need braces.

As for my family, my parents aren't divorced. They even really like each other; sometimes they hold hands in public. No one in my family has any major illnesses. When they die, it's always at a ripe old age, except Gramps, but that was a special case. My whole family goes to church every Sunday, we help in our church's food pantry every few weeks, and my parents are on church committees. My older brother went to college on academic scholarships and is doing well. My younger sister is involved in Girl Scouts and goes to summer camp where she has a blast and doesn't get homesick. I used to go to summer camp where I had a blast and never got homesick.

This is all so not right.

And all those people who died or are dying? I know of them, but don't really know any of them very well. The closest was Jacob, who was an acquaintance of my brother and who once helped me figure out a math problem. That was our only contact. So my involvement with all of the deceased is the announcement about grief counselors at school.

Not that I ever needed counselors. When I feel a good depression building up, suddenly I see a kitten or hear a bird and I feel happy. Darn.

Oh, yeah: I don't swear either, not even out of ignorance or a desire to shock.

The tragedy of my life is that I have no tragedies in it.

So when I read all the YA books and see all the teen movies I'm supposed to read or see to work up a good crying jag (that never happens), I say to myself: Why not me?

Pax et bonum

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