Being picked last sucks. Nobody can understand what this means or how it feels unless they have been picked last. High school sports, a gym teacher, the big timers up in front picking their friends. And there you stand, hoping against hope that today will be your day. Today will be when they break tradition and give a skinny nobody a chance. But it never happens. You get picked last, and you never even get to pick up a bat, or dribble the basketball. Nobody ever throws you the football and you are a certain target in dodge ball.
The hierarchy of high school gym and sports is lost on those who are popular or those who have the athletic reputation. They are always first on the team, and they get to have more than their share of times to shine. They shove you to the deep outfield, or hidden on the bench so the coach won’t notice you not playing. Not that it would matter if he did see you standing there, scratching your arm and wishing someone would hit it your way or pass it to you. Hoping that THIS day, you will shine and they will see that you are somebody too.
The cruelty of it all is when finally something does go your way, the ball is hit to you or they pass it to you on a deflection on accident, you flub it up. You drop the fly ball, you dribble it off your foot, and you let the pass glance off your fingertips. Or even worse, just as you’re about to show your worth and catch the damn ball, some asshole cuts in front of you and catches it just to show how awesome they are and further shove you down the ladder of nobodies.
They never know how it feels, not that they give a shit either. Al that matters is their stupid image, and how they look to girls or the coach. Nobody gives a shit if you are dying on the inside because for four years of your most important life, nobody looked at you twice. Nobody cared if you were having a bad day, or even a good one. They only served to make you more and more miserable by ignoring you in the only time where you have a spotlight on you, team picking.
They even manage to ignore the fact that when you actually got the bat in your hand for once, you lined the ball hard into the gap and finished with a stand up triple because you were so fast. “He got lucky” is all they say, and inside they’re thinking that they need to hold you down even harder because you showed them something and it made them afraid. Because if the “freaks all week” can be a hero once, maybe they can do it again, and then again, and before anyone knew what was happening, possibly the order of things might change.
So they push harder to destroy your spirit, crush you soul, and tamp down on your only few smiles. They revel in the fact that they are killing a person’s only chance to be someone. Don’t bother looking to the coach for help, he’s just one of them, but older and with more power. It’s nice to see in movies and TV shows when the coach has a heart, but most times in real life that don’t happen Jack. All that happens if you get pushed down and he looks the other way.
The world is oblivious to our plight, and we suffer in silence because to speak up would mean a beating or even deeper ostracism. High School, the biggest fucking joke ever, but also the most important 4 years ever lived to any teenager. We hate it, we love it, we desire to be gone, and then we spend the rest of our lives wishing we were back there whether we admit it or not. Even if only to show that they were wrong about us, we want to go back.
I know I do. They were wrong. Give someone a chance. Give ME a chance. That’s all we ever ask, hoping desperately that someone will hear and actually listen. But they never do.
They never do.