The Other Side of Noth­ing


Room Magazine - - BALFOUR | CAKE -

The only rea­son they’re alive is be­cause I was go­ing out to that field to die. You might think it’s stupid for a four­teen-year-old kid to want to die, but if you were me, you’d want to die too. There are lots of rea­sons I want to die. I’ll tell you a few of them.

One: I’m fat. Not husky or big-boned, I’m mor­bidly obese. I can’t even buy clothes in the boys’ sec­tion. I have to buy men’s clothes. Fat men’s clothes. Ba­si­cally, I wear grey track-suits every day. I’ve been fat for as long as I can re­mem­ber. And I hate my­self for it.

Two: I’m ugly. I know that I’m ugly be­cause ev­ery­one tells me I’m ugly. Even my dad. Ugly and dis­gust­ing, he says. And he’s not wrong. I have acne, rosacea, and a head shaped like a potato. I used to hope I’d get bet­ter look­ing as I got older, but ac­tu­ally, the re­verse is true.

Three: I don’t have any friends. I had one, his name was Bruce McAl­lis­ter. Bruce lived on a pig farm. His clothes smelled piggy and he got lice a lot. But he was my best friend from grade three till grade six and we made forts and rode bikes and went fish­ing in the creek be­hind his house. Two years ago, his par­ents split and Bruce moved to Saska­toon with his mom. I wrote him a let­ter once. But I never sent it be­cause I didn’t want Bruce to think I was gay for him. I just buried it in a Fol­ger’s tin out be­hind our tree-fort in­stead. I think about Bruce a lot, but I know I’ll prob­a­bly never see him again.

Another rea­son I want to die is be­cause my mom left me. Well, she left my dad too, but that hap­pens all the time and is not re­ally that big of a deal. What is a big deal is when you leave your kid. Just up and leave. Bam. She left right be­fore I turned eleven. I came home from school one day and ev­ery­thing on her side of the closet was gone. That was it. She never sent me a birth­day card or noth­ing. We don’t even know where she went. We tried to find her for a long time. No one had seen her, no one knew a damn thing. Or else they weren’t telling us what they did know. You know you must be a pretty shit-kid for your own mom to leave you. Your mom’s the only per­son whose job it is to love you un­con­di­tion­ally for your whole en­tire life, so if your mom ditches, that’s it. You got noth­ing. That’s me. I’m ugly and dis­gust­ing and I’ve got noth­ing.

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