Desk Vandalism: A New Messaging Medium
Reading Time: 3 minutes
“Truth be told, I never was yours.”
I sat back in relief. I was so edgy, so emo, and so in need of releasing my deep dark emotions that I resorted to scribbling this song lyric onto my desk in English class. I know, it sounds cringy. You wouldn’t understand. No one does.
The day after that, I returned to class only to find a wonderful surprise—someone had written back!
“The fear of falling apart.”
Could it be that someone out there comprehends the depths of my very soul? How could anyone else know of a song so indie and underground? Excited, I wrote again, the flick of my expensive pen dispensing ink as dark as my spirit.
“WOAH U LISTEN TO P!@TD 2? SO COOL WHATS UR FAVE RELEASE”
I could hardly sleep that night. To know that someone, somehow, at some other point in the day, connected with me at such a deep level! That I could see their response the very next day! I hoped that the skull I drew was emo enough to initiate a conversation.
Sure enough, over the next few days, they continued responding.
“Ms. Jackson. Wbu?”
“Doesn’t it have 92M views”
“ur funny, random kid”
My desk in English class was essentially my personal DMs with this kid, which is also really cool and quirky and old-school. Physically writing to someone is a genius idea that only I could have come up with. It’s a wonder that no one’s done it before!
“You look nice with that short haircut.”
I paused. What? They’ve seen me before? That’s odd. Why didn’t they say hi to someone so clearly on the same wavelength as them? I was almost offended. I thought we had a connection. They went so far as to say my haircut looked nice. Wow. How dare this lad not show themself?
“Woah u have seen me? who are uuuuuu”
My desperate desk message was only met by a disappointing, “no one important.”
“so mean of you… i wanna meet you”
“nah. anyway, tell your mother i say hello and that the stew she’s cooking up looks great.”
Now, I’m not scared of things. I like creepy things. Creepy things are edgy, and liking them makes me super cool and edgy and #notlikeothergirls. But this was kind of weird, bro. Was my emo music buddy a… stalker? Only I knew that my mom was making stew tonight. Could this person have been watching from a window? Or maybe I slipped it in conversation, and they overheard? No, they said they SAW it. I couldn’t just let it rest. Desk vandal buddies don’t invade the privacy of other desk vandal buddies. It’s so not cool.
“ayo? How do you know that?”
“beats me. Also, quit drinking so much coffee, it’s not healthy.”
“lol you can find out a lot of things with just a name and birthday”
Birthday? BIRTHDAY? Gosh, I should have expected this. It’s no wonder I had a stalker. I mean, who could resist the urge to talk to someone so mysterious and quirky? But I couldn’t just let it slide. What other information did they have? My number? Social security number? That one fourth-grade school photo where I sneezed at the flash of the camera? It was too risky to just do nothing.
So, I did the only rational thing an intellectual would do. I skipped all of my classes to see who occupied that very desk during the other periods.
Period 1 was some band kid in a striped t-shirt. So not emo.
Periods 2 and 3 were emptier than my heart.
Period 4 was that one freshman who Naruto runs to P.E. at the warning bell.
I was ready to give up. Disheartened, tired, and honestly just feeling dissatisfied with life, I turned to leave the hallway.
Until I heard a snicker while dramatically walking down the stairs.
“That’ll teach ya not to mess with school property.”
My English teacher, who had been reading my personal essays all year, clicked her tongue, spun around on her heel, and left the floor, one black oil-ink pen in hand.