I remember the first time I felt like an adult. I was reading Call of the Wild. I didn’t have to look up the big words, I already knew what they meant. I read most of the book standing up near the tall bookshelves in the back, in study hall, in eighth grade. Now that I think of it, that was the last time I took a study hall. I felt like resting would be a discredit to my father who put himself in debt to put me through good, private schools. But, in part because of those schools, I could understand the sentences as a whole, that included words like imperious and intolerable and imperative. That feeling of understanding makes me feel like I belong.
I was so happy I belonged. I started using those words in my speech, my everyday speech. I was told I sounded like I was trying to be smart. Now I’m ashamed; ashamed when I make other people feel inferior. I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to be smarter. Because I don’t think I’m smarter. It had the effect of telling someone they have a strange smile. You won’t ever see their laughter again. Unless they’re stronger than I am. And have that magical ability to not care.