My Online Teenage Life: Pills, Photo Teachers, and Parties

Long Time NO Update
Posted on 2008.12.07 at 22:05

1.) I hate how Allly has pulled me into all her drama when I had nothing to do with anything and don’t even know these people. Now strangers hate me.

2.) I love miss b’s room. its nice to have a classroom as a home away from issues again.

3.) BDAY WAS GOOD. I took the SAT. it was lame. some kid thought Lincoln wasn’t talented, but just persevered. I got depressed during the day but my little shin dig at Ashley’s made up for it. Crusty is now DIVA D btw everyone. Lol. Clarke was uber annoying last night. Diva D was upset about his past with him. Ashley read Nora’s tarot cards. Brit Brit and Candance bought me a pair of pink briefs. Diva D got me sex toys (ill lol) and Viv got me the Britney CD.


5.) ARt Basel was lame. Lots of french people and bad abstract art. Disapointing. Waste of money. Dad owes me ten dollars.

I miss lj. Lol. Luv ya.

Throughout high school I had multiple Mr. Feeny’s—teachers that treated me like a surrogate child. Although the school fired most of them (of course it was the rebels who took me in), Ms. B raised me for four years. Her afterschool activities mattered more than her photography classes. She let me stay in her room after school to work (sit next to her desk and absorb the foreign love of a sane adult). Love-lacking and the chaotic charge of my dysfunctional family life allowed me to stay clear from the pills and self-destruction that ruined my parents’ lives, the life I had in my childhood home on Madison street before we moved to the McMansion on 56th Court.

Yet even in Ms. Brock’s safe darkroom, others’ pills invaded my life. One day, Ally and Jamie showed up to class on Xanax. They were always loud (they were lawyers’ fat, bleach blonde daughters), but this day they were also sloppy. Jamie walked out of the darkroom, screamed, “I’M A GOLDEN GOD!”, and then fell head first onto the ground, landing on Ms. B’s expensive high heels. Ms. B called the deans. They escorted Jamie and Ally to the principal’s office. They raided Ally’s phone and found text messages from her drug dealer, another lawyer’s blond child. After the school expelled the dealer, he asked Ally who noticed she showed up to class on pills. She told him that I told Ms. B.

I don’t remember how the situation resolved itself. I think the drug dealer and I shared a mutual friend, who explained Jamie’s golden God moment to him. I do know the misunderstanding stressed me out as I took the SAT on my birthday, December 6th. I wanted to spend my seventeenth birthday sleeping and watching Disney movies, but I also wanted to escape my family via a college scholarship more. I wanted to spend my birthday pretending I was a six year old in a tiara, not sleeping after a pre-birthday night coke binge, as most Florida girls celebrate their birthdays. Miami’s underbelly that other teens loved (or at least bragged about loving) made me want to take a shower. I went to Art Basel, the world’s biggest art fair, and left feeling like I had just had anal sex in a strip club, although I had looked at commercial art and watched Real Housewife-types chug vodka and pills as they looked at art (a wheelchair glued to an electrical wire). I kissed boys at the mall but still felt like a public disgrace. I missed feeling clean.

Ashley volunteered to host a small party for me at her parent’s mansion. She had her own wing of the house and spent most her time taking pictures of herself with the teddy bears on her bed. I pictured the party as an innocent birthday party like the ones I loved in grade school where my Mom cooked ribs and my childhood nanny gave me Lindsay Lohan movie VHS tapes the Walt Disney Cormpany claimed would return to the vault in January. But my friends hated each other.

Emily and Nora hung out with cool kids (drug addicts) and considered Diva D a theatre kid. Diva D distrusted Vivian because she used to call him Crusty as in “Crusty Butthole” because he was a slut. Vivian wanted to slap Alex because he dragged Sarah to every party. Alex hated Diva D because Diva D stalked him after their relationship ended. But everyone loved me, so we sat on her pink carpet looking at each other and playing with a Ouija Board. Someone asked to play; Ashley screamed at them—this was her game. We were fine with that—we came from different childhood obsessions. We didn’t understand why she insisted we spend hours contacting the dead. We played Jumanji.

In retrospect, I realize Ashley demanded we play with the Ouija Board to reconnect with her sister who died ten years earlier, but I craved a small party. We were growing up, and puberty’s side effects—loneliness, not armpit hair—made us feel dirty. Revisiting childhood icons made us think we could restore our innocence. I praised Britney’s “comeback,” but Britney’s conservator kept her doped up on lithium, preventing her from doing anything besides making brain dead faces. We had grown up, and there was no turning back.


image via Flickr user emagineart

More from Mitchell Sunderland:

Five Books Every Twink Needs To Read

Dear LiveJournal: Car Wrecks, A Camry, and My First Date

My Fag Hags Through The Years

About Mitchell Sunderland

Mitchell Sunderland is freelance writer and social media manager in New York. His work has appeared in VICE Magazine, Thought Catalog, The Billfold, Rookie Mag, the Huffington Post, and Emily Books Quarterly. He has ghost tweeted as and managed social media publicity campaigns for authors at Simon & Schuster, Crown/Random House, and Plume/Penguin and various tech companies. He tweets and tumblrs regularly. Email him about your life and his work at

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