It makes me sad when I see loud-mouthed pre-teens cursing so confidently on the train platform during rush hour. Their school bags dangling from their backs a blatant testament to just how oblivious and silly they sound. They curse like the words are new toys, like they want all of us boring adults (safe strangers who won’t tell them off), standing around on the platform with our boring work pants and purses and buckled flats and ties and buttoned shirts, to know that they know these words— they are cool and they know how to use them (but not really). As if they’ve uncovered some secret insight to a realm reserved only for adults.
It makes me sad not because I don’t curse or because I was an angel at their age, but because they know so little of this world—they have yet so much to experience and to curse about; they know so little of just how powerful (and empowering) words can be, and just how much words can cut. Or maybe their little curse words are just a reflection of how much the world has cut them, and that makes me even sadder.
Good luck to you, kid. One day you will curse and actually mean it and feel it and you won’t feel so “cool”, just sucky, and most likely frustrated, and you will curse under your breath because you wouldn’t want anyone to hear you… you’d want everyone around you to think that you have it all together. That you are all right. And that you have no need for curse words because you are much too cool and sophisticated and content with your life. And because the serious matters on your mind cannot be translated by those words, only exasperated by them.