Help! Am I a Psychopath?

Lili Forgács

Dear Diary,

Something really strange happened to me today at school, and it made me so confused.

In the break after Hungarian literature, my friends and I talked about the poem that we had read during the lesson. Emotionally it was hard to handle, as it was about the death of one’s grandmother. Everyone was made to think about the loss of one of his or her loved ones. Consequently, I don’t have to say, the atmosphere was depressed and gloomy. I decided to cheer them up, so I said:

“Anyway, just for a happier topic, have you heard that sixty-three penguins died in South Africa?”

“What?” the question arrived.

“I read it on Euronews this morning. The penguins probably walked into a hive of bees accidentally, so they got bitten until they died. Just imagine how funny it must have been, the way they tried to toddle away.” I just envisioned the situation and couldn’t help but laugh.

To my surprise, I got no more answers. The others just stared at me. As soon as I noticed the lack of reactions, I stopped. Had I said something wrong? I couldn’t figure it out. Fortunately, the bell rang, signaling the start of the next lesson, and the conversation ended there.

Am I believed to be a psychopath now? Oh, no! I just wanted to lift their mood. And of course, I don’t find the fact of dying entertaining or anything like that. I laughed at how misfortunate someone or something can be in a situation like this. I feel pity for them.

At home, I told Mom everything. I even cried. She advised me to clarify the situation the next day, because it was very easily misunderstood. She said my reaction wasn’t appropriate, that the story itself didn’t call for laughter.

I feel really down now, and I hope it will be resolved by tomorrow. I wish I had thought it all over, before I spoke… but maybe next time I will be smarter.


This diary entry is entirely fictional.