Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I've come to realize many things over the course of freshman year. One is to look out for Louise, the ninja security guard; another, to avoid Barbecue Days in the quad. However, one of my greatest lessons thus far is perhaps the etiquette of bus commute.

Ah, yes, the public bus. The giant box on wheels that children everywhere dread, and that adults claim "builds character". I sit squarely in the middle, the naive, confused little elementary schooler stuck in a teenager's body, an individual with the need to be places and without the means to get there, stuck purchasing a bus pass on a Tuesday night in order to ensure another month of hassle-free, at least moneywise, bus commuting.

The etiquette of this mammoth public transport vehicle is strange, at best. In the mornings, backpacks sit squarely on the few empty seats available, giving the clear message that companions are unwelcome. A few older people are sprinkled around, grouped together or on their own. Any seats by said older people are also unavailable. Being so blessed as to be on one of the last stops before a clear shot to school, I am often left standing, clutching onto the metal poles for dear life so as to stop myself from shooting through the windshield. Of course, even standing up has its etiquette: if there is room to do so, keep at least a foot between yourself and other standing passengers. Do not, under any circumstances, have any bodily contact whatsoever with anyone. Stepping on shoes is a crime punishable by death.

However, the afternoon commute is a different matter entirely. There is no civility; seniors are crushed amongst freshmen in order to obtain a coveted seat for their ride home. Girls and boys are equal, and elbows tend to come in handy. The unlucky souls who are left seatless are crammed together, and getting to the door is an unfortunate task for those like myself, who get off at one of the earliest stops.

God, I wish I could drive.

But, despite my complaining, the bus does represent more than the irritation that plagues my mornings. It's a safe haven from the rain, cold, and wind. It's abandoning my friends, and being abandoned. It's leaving an upset, vulnerable friend on the bus, because it's my stop. It's a meeting place in the early morning, and a brief resting place on the way home. It's a little battle every day. It's freedom upon escaping, and sadness upon departure. Watching the bus leave me behind is just another symbol for the fleeting days of freshmanhood, of childhood, for my departing comrades, hopes, and notions.

In the end, it just means that things will be different, and things will be the same. Next year, there will be new people on that bus, and many of the veterans will be gone.

But next year, I'll still get off and walk by my old middle school, smiling faintly at the little blue uniforms running the track. I'll crunch the leaves from the expansive hedge, and trace a finger along the calla lillies on the corner. I'll press the button, wait for the walk sign, and walk across, cautious of the traffic. I'll walk down the street, looking up at the sky and remembering when I used to spend my time praying that he would like me back. I'll remember dropping my keys before opening the door to the worst news of my life. I'll remember my childhood. I'll open the door and sleep, or go babysit, or do homework.

I'll laugh at the irony that my parents are suspicious when I eat no dinner, yet I walked around with cuts on my arms and dark circles under my eyes and no one noticed.

And I'll go on living.

Little girl, little girl why are you crying?
Inside your restless soul your heart is dying
Little one, little one your soul is purging
Of love and razor blades your blood is surging

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I walk down the suburban street, familiar even in the shadows, with moonlight mixed with streetlight dappled over the sidewalk. It is silent; the nocturnal creatures keep quiet, and the creatures that are so loud and violent during the day hide within their picket-fence burrows.

It is a sudden urge, a whim. I act on it. I look right, I look left, and I step into the street. I sprawl out in the center of the road, the hard concrete soft against my tired back. I look straight up. The sky is a deep navy, sprinkled with bright pinpricks of light, oblivious to the troubles that they are sovereign over.

It is a calming sight in a desperate time. My life is insignificant. I am just another collection of muscles and bones wrapped in skin, and despite the problems that present themselves, the stars will still be blazing, careless and free. They live peacefully, and die without being burdens.

Perhaps, when push comes to shove, the world is in a bad way, we can remedy our hearts' pain by simply laying back and gazing at the stars.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Musical Mayhem

Today, I inadvertently discovered that there are some songs that you literally cannot keep yourself from moving to. Green Day's ¡Viva la Gloria! being one of them (actually, this applies to basically everything in their repertoire, but I digress).This led me to analyze my iPod in search of more dance-worthy songs, but being easily distracted, I found myself musing amusedly (oh boy...) over how people would react to my taste in music. I'll put this out here right now: I was raised on punk, classic, and alternative rock. I was listening to Green Day, U2, and Bruce Springsteen in the car on my way to preschool. It often surprises people that the preppy, babysitter-tutor-good-grades-kid has willingly rocked out at a Green Day concert, to which I reply with nothing, other than humming Good Riddance under my breath.

My obsession with showtunes began to flourish around the 5th grade, after seeing Wicked for the first time. was never aware of how well ensembles could work together, or how so many voices could create such complex pieces, and was instantly taken. Mamma Mia! joined soon after, along with Phantom of the Opera, and, most recently, RENT.

However, what many may not know is that around the seventh grade, on a whim, I decided that I wanted to try something new. Pop was out, as well as techno; I looked upon rap and hip hop with disdain. And so, I entered with apprehension born of public opinion, the world of country music. And, shockingly enough, I enjoyed it. People assume that it's all old men with cowboy hats yodelling about drinking to a fiddle; to some extent, they're right. However, people tend to overlook artists such as Martina McBride and Rascall Flatts, who did Life is a Highway for the Cars movie.

Of course, these are only the three main genres; there is an eclectic dusting of pop, folk, electronica, and even rap residing in my iPod. I wonder endlessly about what other people listen to: Would they like this? Would this be on their iPod? After all, music tells a lot about a person.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It's Been a Long Day

The rain gives everything a cleansed, albeit somewhat dreary look with the huge clouds and the tall trees contrasting against the gray sky. It provides an interesting medium for photography, everything at its freshest and cleanest.

I always walk by my old middle school on the way home, but I've always viewed it as the place that a year ago, was home to my laughter and tears, with fondness and bitterness remaining, but nothing more; perhaps a smile at watching the sixth-graders run around the track, or a laugh as they run from the evil pigeons.

Today, it was empty, lunch hour long gone, and the rain keeping the kids mostly safe and dry inside the gym, damage by basketball not included. It was by no means beautiful; beneath everything, it was still just one more public school education. But, it did have a glamour to it: the frayed basketball nets, the slippery blacktop, the naked tree in the middle of the stark green grass, puddles of water lingering in wavering rivers on the edge of the track.

I managed to get a few good shots, all the while inwardly cursing about my lack of a good camera, and, more importantly, photography know-how. I took a few pictures on my way home, to put in one of my compilations, and upon returning home, promptly fell into bed, fast asleep.

It's been a long day.