Friday, June 4, 2010


Sometimes in the hallway at school, I find myself counting sheep to stay awake. 1, 2, 3 girls with identical side ponytails and JanSport backpacks. 3, 5, 7, 10 boys in letter jackets with their last names embroidered over the heart. In case they forget how to spell their names. Or if the homicide investigators need to identify the body. There are the reasonably popular girls with no guy friends—trendy but conservative tops and jean shorts—6, 7, 8 of them. No one really sticks out and grabs my attention. If I knew all the gossip, I’d probably be busy drawing invisible relationship maps and chains and timelines, but as it is, they’re faceless to me.

Maybe that’s just how high school is. Hand everyone the same homework and expect the “right” answer. Expect them to adhere to a down-to-the-minute class schedule with military precision. Until the bell rings you will listen to this lecture and takes notes as though your very life is dependent on the Defenestration of Prague but the second the bell sounds you will get the hell out and forget all about it in favor of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Make them wait in line for food and the pencil sharpener. Have them meet Presidential Fitness standards in PE. After a while, the conformity becomes natural. Like prison. They just become another jumpsuit.

We all move through class and halls and conversations on auto-pilot. It’s terribly clichéd of me, but we’re all sleepwalking through our world. My days are lethargic and full of dazedness and apathetic teachers. In most classes, I play that game where I slowwwly drift asleep and my head slowwwly droops until snap! My neck jerks and I wake up and repeat the process.

So at night I stay up and feel powerful and innovative and full of raw ability if only I could reach and scratch my itch, get out there in the world and do something and ease my yearning. I can’t sleep so I stay up and doze erratically while my mind churns and plugs away. And I can blame my continued captivity on my intellectual restrictions. Once college comes around I’ll need a new excuse, like everyone else.

But for now, I’m full of sleeping potential.


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