it doesn’t feel like a school day as you stumble through the hallways, trying to find your classroom, even though you’re smiling wider than you have in days; into strange, small, slightly-scared faces. they light up for a split second when they see your smile, as if the sun has peeped through the clouds and the world is temporarily golden. but though you’d like to linger long enough to really warm them, you suddenly remember what age you’re living in. you bend down and shuffle through your backpack until you find your mask. the one with the giraffes all over it – because you’re still a giraffe. still the tallest girl – the second tallest kid in school. slip it over your nose and mouth and suddenly your senses are full of fog. everything – your own voice, the voices of others – even your eyes. you’ve always been like that, strangely enslaved to your senses.
it doesn’t feel like school in morning assembly, even though your friends are by your side and everyone is praying and rising for their beloved country together. the mask is awkward on your face and you’re already craving the clarity it takes from you.
assembly is over, and you swing your backpack onto your shoulders. it’s so much lighter than last year. everything is lighter than last year, really, except for the heaviest things. but the weight is comfortable on your shoulders now. you find your study hall room and notice how things have changed. only one kid per table, unless you’re with a sibling. your brother (the only kid taller than you) is somewhere outside the door searching for his teacher, until he blushingly realizes that he is actually supposed to be in study hall. he drops into the chair in front of you. you whisper some things to each other, rebelling against the silence of the room.
it doesn’t feel like school when you go looking for your next classroom, and find yourself outside bible history with 5 pairs of blue freshmen eyes waiting for the door to open. one pair is your sister’s, and this will be your only highschool class together. and only because you forgot to take freshmen theology until now. she’s just beginning, and you’re ending. you’re ready to leave, she’s barely even starting. it’s hard to comprehend that. it’s hard to comprehend the fact that there’s a whole bunch of wide-eyed children just peeping into this world you’re soon going to leave behind.
you’re a senior, for goodness’ sakes. get over it. stop thinking so much.
you’re faced with the fact that you must exist, like this – for another year. one more. you must pretend to care for another twelve months. to try and breathe through the fog day after day.
but – maybe it won’t be so hard. maybe you’ll find a passion for government, and of course you’ll enjoy reading ancient literature. (once you’re home and away from the masks).
and – maybe there’ll be time to study the things that you’re suddenly so voraciously interested in. things they don’t teach in schools but are infinitely more important. birds, trees, stars – the things that are small enough that most people don’t think about peering closer into them. you want to learn the most innocent, mossy, pointless knowledge. but not quite pointless, because you know you can find God in anything he’s created.
you snap out of your daydreaming, back into something that still doesn’t feel like school. it drones on until suddenly you’re in the car, turning the keys into the ignition. your parking job from the morning was just as bad as you remembered. you wonder if you’ll ever learn to park right. 3 more kids tumble in and suddenly you’re driving away from the day. your sister says the same thing, it doesn’t feel like the first day of school.
how is summer gone? you’re nested into the corner of the livingroom couch and you’re scrolling through messages and you can hardly believe that you were wearing a school uniform an hour ago. responsibility hasn’t gripped you by the shoulders yet. summer is still lingering like shards of gold hesitating on the edge of a sunset. they die slowly, like embers, being consumed by the night. but you still refuse to acknowledge the night.
you begin some homework, but it feels like a joke. you and your sister are sprawled on your bed, forcing your out-of-shape brains to form cohesive sentences. you barely succeed, and then suddenly it’s time to say night prayers and finish chores and sleep again. will the rest of the year fly by like this day has?
you’re finishing sweeping the kitchen when all of a sudden your dad flies down the stairs with an unusual look in his eyes. embarrassment, maybe? combined with panic?
yes, it has just begun pouring outside and his convertible top is still open.
you fling aside the broom and run for towels. every towel in the garage being frantically grabbed, you find a blanket and throw it into the car on top of your dad who is furiously sopping up every surface in sight.
“not a blanket, jul!”
you run upstairs and grab another armful of towels and fly back out to the car where the top is now down and closed. you fling the blanket back into the garage and then climb into the passenger seat and spend the next 5 minutes wiping down the entire rear. in the end, no damage, only some minor dampness.
you feel breathlessly happy once you stumble back inside, staggering under two armfuls of wet blankets. raindrops are shivering on your hair and face and suddenly you realize how lovely it is to be home.
another year of school sounds endlessly tiring. especially when you’re ready to bring your intellect and your soul into a higher sphere of knowledge, into a bigger community full of people who you will learn so much from and truly bond with.
but another year of home is lovely. it’s a year of being with the people you love; have loved from the moment you first opened your eyes; watching them grow, living life alongside them. something you probably won’t ever have again.
it’s the last first day of school. there’s so much, too much to think about and shuffle around in your head until it’s ready to combust. you’re hoping that most of the time you’ll be able to capture some of that pent up energy into words before any explosion can happen. like you’re doing right now.
“we destroy a part of us, every time we blink an eye” ~going down
(instead of reading this long messy ramble, listen to that song instead because it’s basically just this post, but with music. how do you know me so well, tyler)