I want to break my arm. Get a cast. All of that. My right arm. Is it hard to do? I don’t think there’s much shame in doing that for attention is there? How can I do that without really hurting the rest of me and without looking stupid? I could fall off my bike onto a curb, but that would have to wait until the spring. I could get in a car accident, but then someone else could get hurt. I could get pushed down on the ground by someone. I do get pushed a lot, but nothing happens. I could fall down the stairs at school, or home. But that’s scary. I think stairs would be the best thing. Not at school though, I could really hurt my head. Maybe I should. How could I do it? I’m a klutz, so it wouldn’t be a surprise. I’d be more likely to hurt my leg though, and that would still work, but it would be inconvenient. Especially if I had crutches. I should do it. I should break my arm. How? When? Where? I want anything too bad though. Just a mild fracture. I don’t want to snap anything. How?


Dear teen-aged Matt,

Are you familiar with “cutting”? These days when people talk about self-harm they’re often talking about cutting. Apparently cutters cut themselves in order to feel something when they feel emotionally numb. I know that’s not you.

Then there are people who are suicidal, but not really suicidal, they just don’t know how to ask for help (this is arm chair, tv psychology, so don’t put too much faith in my understanding of the issue). They’ll overdose, or crash their car, or jump from a height that’s unlikely to kill them. Stuff like that. That’s another type of self-harm, but that’s not you either.

People into tattoos and piercings are maybe closer to what you’re talking about, there’s an element of self-harm, but it’s permanent, and it kind of about seeking attention, but not really. Most of the people I know with tattoos seem to think of it like an accessory that you’re always wearing.

I know what you’re thinking about, it goes back to that idea you had for a movie where the protagonist is a movie star in europe but nobody knows back home. You want to give people a reason to talk to you. I understand that. I still understand that.

I suggest you give people a different reason to talk to you. Do something creative and show it off (nevermind, I know you will), because that will produce prolonged conversations. The cast on your arm will be, “holy shit Matt, what the fuck happened?!”

“Oh, I fell down the stairs, broke my arm.”

“Wow, that fucking sucks balls man. See ya later!”

and that will be it. Maybe people will ask if it hurts. Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend it.


– FutureMatt