Imaginative Recreation: Short story set in 1960's America where the main character is "disturbed" and recommended institutionalisation

Essay by Alex499High School, 11th grade February 2007

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I stared straight ahead, trying to tune out the droning voice of my teacher. I checked my watch again, for the second time in less than two minutes and promised myself I wouldn't look at it until the end of the period, but within minutes my eyes were creeping back. I wasn't sure what I was waiting for anyway. To go home? Definitely not. Having to listen to my parents ceaselessly compare me to my perfect brother was probably the last place I wanted to be. I would never measure up to Peter's standards. At 18 he knew exactly what he wanted to do. As soon as he finished school, he was going to join the army and go to Vietnam, he would then come home and go to bible college to become a minister (Baptist of course). My parents couldn't be more proud of their eldest son who was fighting to keep them safe from communism.

Me, on the other hand, they were less than proud of. I hadn't even agreed to be baptized yet! They were disappointed that one of my only friends was a negro boy named Stevey who lived in a ghetto on the edge of town. As far as they were concerned I had no direction in my life. I went to school, received terrible grades and came home and listened to my "disturbing rock music". They were horrified that I idolized the likes of Elvis Presley, who "dressed so obscenely" and danced in "such a sexually suggestive manner".

But really I did have direction in my life. I dreamed to leave my conservative country town where so many constraints were placed on me. I wanted to go to California, or Las Vegas, or anywhere where I could be free to express myself. I...