What relaxes you?
I'll stay up all night, doing homework or planning outfits or just jumping on my bed. I'll wake up with dark shadows, but I'd rather run out of the house with wet hair and no makeup than miss my bus. It stresses me how much French I've forgotten over the summer, but when I sat down to practice guitar for the first time in three months I was only struck by how much I remembered.
But in the last week, my biggest stress hasn't been that I'm coming down with something, that I get no sleep, or that I only own half as many pairs of jeans as a girl needs. It's honors advanced algebra.
Not just that it's difficult to make it there on time, or that I'm among very few freshmen, or that it's last period and my energy is long wilted. Math is what it seems I can't do well in, no matter how hard I try. Which is very, very hard, and more so every year.
I could drop to an easier class. Well, of course I could. Do you think I ever would?
The first quiz is Thursday - it's on our homework, done with our homework out. An easy grade. And I know what will happen when it's announced in two days' time. My heart will sieze up and beat its way out of my chest. The hints of an invisible, icy sweat. Maybe I'll bite my lip. You wouldn't know it to look at me, nervously squeezing my eraser. I'm scared to death. I want to curl in a corner and whimper.
What relaxes me? Krispy Kreme. A cozy sweatshirt. A favorite story. Yoga pants warm out of the dryer. Bedtime. "Lyla" and "Good Day Sunshine". Doing a problem correctly the first time.
What stresses me? Failure.
One, two tries won't do it
You do it all your life and you never get through it
Everything they had to say
Had been erased in just one day
- The Strokes, "I Can't Win"