Sunday, July 30, 2006


I remember high schools, plural, because I went to more than one, though it wasn’t by my own choice or even fault.

My parents are die-hard subscribers to the (somewhat unpopular) belief that bearing children is no excuse to stop living and breathing an independent life. So because of that, we moved to my mother’s whim; her falling in love with a house here or there, my father’s need to pursue other jobs, other towns, other chapters.

I have no roots. You’d think it was unfortunate, but I’ve found it’s not. It’s liberating, not lonely.

I have been able to rewrite the story of my life, or really, have it rewritten for me, but who doesn’t want to have a new chance every once in a while?

The drawback is, my thoughts of my younger years are choppy, and though they mellow with time, perhaps they do so untruthfully.

Instead, spots are crystallized. Anxiety magnified, sadness overblown, happiness positively manic.

So I think of high school in a strange way, not as four fluid years in my life where I saw this and did that and boy, I was so young and wow, I didn’t know what I had. I think instead of these parts of me which can’t be sewn together because they existed singular, even, in different states.

At one in Connecticut, after most had gone each day, a girl no one really ever saw sat in the east hall and played her violin. Its sound was a beautiful, low haunting that permeated and echoed, past tacked art projects, soccer cleats and the smoker’s corner. Like it was big, alive and slithering, you could feel it everywhere. I remember that, and almost only that, in regards to September of my freshman year, pacing the linoleum tiles as I waited for my ride.

Even then, I was dimly aware that this was a wonderful and rare moment that would never be duplicated and still, I did not close my eyes and let the music pass through me, maybe because I was fourteen and the idea to sit and meditate/love/feel anything seemed so lame and so what my parents would have done, or even worse, what they would have wanted me to do.

Instead, I scowled and wondered why whoever was so late was so late. I said to myself it was weird that the girl played for no one. I said to myself it was annoying because I was trying to talk to a friend. This wasn't the soundtrack I'd picked for my life, yet here it was. I thought, I wish she’d stop. But really, I just didn’t want her to, and I didn’t want anyone to know.

That was the first, I think, I experienced panged duality of appreciation and wistfulness, and how maybe one was not really either, but both.

I’m not really sure why I remember things that way, or did what I did, or even still, do what I do. I just think that maybe because I felt then, as I do now, my lack of roots equated a lack of obligation, only disposable responsibility which could be taken or not, and what I should have done was walk to her and tell her she played well and that she brightened my day, when instead, all I did was pretend I didn’t like it, and then, like so many other times to come, packed up my belongings and moved away.


Marnie said...

I came upon your blog randomly with that 'next blog' button, and I just wanted you to know that this post is written very well. I can relate to it in several ways. Thank you so much for writing it!

Cheetarah1980 said...

I always wanted the opportunity to start fresh and be somebody else when I was in high school. The way you tell it, I think I would've enjoyed moving around a lot.

Another twentysomething said...

I cringe at those feelings now of being "too cool" to do or enjoy something. Today me desperately wants to go back and tell "too cool" me to succumb and just enjoy what lie offered. I completely relate!

Pink Lemonade Diva said...

so thoughtful and introspective lately. Keep peeling those layers girl - you're getting better by the day!

Anonymous said...

This is sad, but really relatable.

jm said...

Been there. It's very hard to make the choice to not walk away, sometimes, isn't it?

#10 Sash said...

My time at highschool was fractured as well, partitioned in memory. I share your same feeling, a fishing ship with no port to return to. It used to bother me, the untethered drift. However, I think due to it, you become more adaptable, new situations less frightful. Regardless, it shaped me and, save for some minor adjustments, I would not change anything. This post was one of your better. You are a much stronger writer when sharing the difficult to articulate.