August 19, 2019:

I began dramatically challenging The Adult Authorities to notice me.

I became more and more brazen in my absences, and I was more and more frequently intoxicated when I showed up. When a football player insulted one of the special-ed kids I socked him smack in the nose. Hauled in front of the Vice Principle to explain myself I called him a "fat cunt". I was unjustly flunked in Chemistry, the one class I truly loved. After that I refused to return, so that I flunked second term as well. Turned out I had a "counselor" — who knew? The one time she spoke to me she was entirely disinterested in learning who I was or what was happening in my world. Instead she restricted herself to expressing her personal disappointment over my chemistry failure — I assume this means I'd diminished her performance evaluation. After that I got drunk every day until they expelled me.

I had no framework for understanding these experiences. "Depression" wasn't yet a term that was in popular currency. I wasn't Holden Caulfield, I wasn't Esther Greenwood, I was rebelling in an entirely more confrontational way than Søren Kierkegaard, and there were no additional models that I knew of. The idea that I had a mood disorder, or any other mental aberration, was not available.

Someone should have known, someone should have done something. But how could they? I was a cypher to all my circles of non-friends and unless I was socking people in the nose or calling them a fat cunt I was invisible to the authorities. I would of course never have reached out. I felt the authorities had betrayed me, and at this exact moment I was reading about Vietnam, discovering that we'd all been betrayed, by authorities far larger than the San Diego Unified School District.

With nowhere to turn I collapsed more and more inward, until at the end of this evolution I flatly refused to leave my room. I stayed there for a year, despairingly reading Kierkegaard, Kafka, Dostoyevsky, and Joseph Campbell.