Thursday, February 17, 2011


Allison has both weight and self-esteem issues.  She takes most of her self-image from what others think of her, especially boys.  Here, she begins a new diet, one of her many attempts at changing herself to meet others’ expectations.  Allison first appeared in OGW 4/8/10, and again on 10/28/10.
Allison:  I’m sitting all the way back at a table by the courtyard window, nowhere near through-traffic, and yet a bag of Fritos hits me in the head.
     “Sorry,” says Soulsucking Loser Number Two Hundred and Twelve – they’re all the same, the boys in my class.
     “No problem,” I say, putting the bag on the lunchtable and sliding it towards him. 
     Before the Loser gets to it, my fist smashes down, pulverizing the Fritos.  “Sorry,” I say.
     “Freak,” he says.
     Yeah, whatever.  Go home and cry to your momma.
     Now where was I?
Oh yeah, Diet, Day One:  I’m starting on a diet of Goldfish – the cheddar cheese flavored kind, not the swimmy kind.  First, I bite off the tail, carefully so the rest of the fish stays together.  If the fish breaks, I punish myself by throwing that one away. 
     After the tail is chewed five times and has basically just dissolved – I wouldn’t consider it swallowing, more like I absorb the taste of cracker… after that, I put the fish body in my mouth, and use my tongue to position the body upright between my top and bottom teeth, and then I split the body into two pieces with a gentle bite.  I chew on these five chomps too, and then I swallow three times.  Running my tongue over my teeth, I make sure they’re entirely clean of goldfish, and then I reach into my ziplocked baggie and get another one.
     And that’s how I do it.  That’s how I get through lunch.  Day One:  Twenty-two goldfish.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Ella suffers from anxiety and depression since becoming a teenager, and it seems like no one understands her, especially her mother.

Ella:  I don’t feel like writing don’t feel like writing don’t feel like writing my mother is making me do this she says I have to stop crying and this will help she says I have to write a whole page I don’t feel like writing I don’t feel like writing Mom what’s wrong with me?  I feel like crying all the time, and sometimes I really want to do something, like, something fun, but I can’t get out of bed, I mean I can’t lie down either.  I have all these ideas of things to do but I don’t want to do anything but I want to do something but I don’t know!  Why are you making me do this Mom, it isn’t helping.  I still feel frozen.  I’m still crying.  I don’t feel like writing.  I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I always love writing.  I finished the first chapter of Saving Ella, which I know you want me to let you read
I don’t feel like writing I don’t feel like writing I don’t feel like
Oh I don’t want to draw either.
You don’t understand!  Why won’t you listen to me?  You say you can’t understand me if I don’t stop crying, but how can I stop crying if you don’t understand?  Writing and drawing help you, they don’t help me.
I don’t feel like writing.
There, that’s a page.
I stopped crying, are you happy now? 
Oh.  You probably are.