Lonely at lunch
By Dan Becker
I walked into the lunchroom and sat down at my usual spot, next to Kyle, across from Mr. E, and adjacent to Mr. J. The room smelt terrible, like bad food and kids who wear cheap cologne. I shot a glance at Kyle and gave him a nod. He returned the gesture.
I looked to Mr. J. He was spaced out looking at something that wasn’t there. I turned my attention to Mr. E who looked around the room with a dumb look on his face, erupting in fits of loud and random giggling at something that wasn’t in any way funny. Mr. E was the stereotypical pothead.
I never knew why I sat with the people I sit with until that day. That was the day I realized I sat with these people because no one else would accept me for me. I look at my group of ‘friends’ (if that description fits any of them other than Kyle who has been like a brother to me since middle school) and realized what we were — nobodies.
It was a depressing realization, but it was the truth, and it is impossible to deny. We are the kids who grouped up because we didn’t know anyone else, and no one else cared to know us. I never in a million years had thought that I would be one of the kids with very few friends/aquaintances. I have plenty of friends outside school. But I spent lunch freshman year playing video games, not talking to anyone and had succumbed to a lonely and near friendless life at school.
This year, I changed the way I act. I got back into skateboarding, guitar, and even dropped my previous antisocial behavior. But people at school couldn’t change the way they see me, and I was still unaccepted.
It was this day at lunch looking around, seeing groups of friends together having a good time, enjoying each other’s company that I came to the conclusion that I was a loser. But then it hit me, the reason people didn’t like me was not because of who I am, the things I enjoy, or what I stand for. They disliked me for what I’m not. I’m not into popular music or the style of clothes kids today wear, or the ever-so-popular gangster lifestyle.
Because of this me and the people I hang out with at lunch (who have similar views on teenage trends) are judged by our peers who have most likely never made a single attempt at conversing with us. The minds of too many students are shrouded by a veil of ignorance and misinterpretations of what to judge someone upon. Judge a person by actions and personality rather than their choice in music or the way they dress.