Topics range from ballet to Eminem to paintball guns. Military families. Loneliness. First girlfriends. What I'm struck by most, however, is the visceral hyper-aware time that is adolescence. Unlike the dull thrumming of my 40's, emotions fever, smells permeate, colors vibrate. Each one simultaneously looks for friendship and wants the alone-ness of individuality. They are contradictions wrapped inside contradiction.
I have this odd access into their world. They reluctantly let me in, often dodging truth with vagaries: I was sad. I felt lonely. It was upsetting. I was bullied. I felt different. But even with this temporary license into them, I know I'm just an outsider, an old man sitting on "it's a small world" Disney ride, occasionally smirking at the serious ridiculousness of it all.