What is a… Pariah
By Jordan Myer
In this essay I will be discussing what is a pariah.
A pariah is a person on the outside. A person who does not fit in, doesn’t bend to the ‘norm’. In this heady culture of testosterone and oestrogen, of young love and short sex, a pariah just doesn’t fit the mold.
The pariah can be noted by what they wear – ill-fitting jeans and a band shirt from a show they’ll never see. Their hair will be unkempt, because to be honest their hair is the last thing they need to worry about.
The pariah will read books that they have to hide under their bed, lest their parents find it. The pariah will look at things online, things they never should have seen but that leave an indelible mark on one’s soul. The pariah will relish in these videos, these clips. A community they can actually be part of, an identity one can tangibly reach for. A reason to breathe the first breath of the morning.
The pariah will question if they exist, if they actually are in the room. If their soul, already marked, can take that stain the one step further. If there is something they can do to finally stand up, literally stand up in a room and be noticed. Be seen. Just that once. The pariah will think about this obsessively, bump in to people in the hallways just to know they are, and therefore am.
The pariah will question their place in the world. As their mother cries, and their father punches a new hole in the wall. As the pariah says stop, no please, knowing their words will go unheeded. The pariah will wonder if the beat of their heart is akin to the pulse of a forest, and if the skip of the heart is just a tree falling somewhere. Because then at least they will have an effect on that somewhere, somehow.
The pariah will stare, dream and question. Will do what is needed but not what is implied. Will talk in to the mirror, watching themself in this weird reality. Will see the mirror person pointing a gun at their temple, the tears streaming down their face as their mother’s screams punctuate a reality not worth living.
A pariah will feel the hot heat from a cold metal. Will sleep with the gun that they wish was not needed, but know is the only way. Will watch the father drunkenly input the code for the safe, unnoticed in the corner. Year on year. Until they snap, break like that single tree unseen in the forest.
I still don’t know if I’ll make a sound.
The pariah is me. And I am what a pariah is.
Great work Jordan! Love the concept and the imagery. Please come see me after class to discuss.
Evidence 07 – 05/21/2022 RGL 021 045678 Moore School shooting. Dictated for court due to obscuring bloodstain.