Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Don't Panic

What stresses you?

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"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Partners In Crime

One crucial piece of first-day information that nobody told anybody is the place where the buses go in the afternoons. So I head out a door and walk a quarter of the way around building. Buses. Where's mine?

Located G instead. The two of us start looking for ours. Six. One-twenty-eight. Seventy-two.

A bus pulls pass and I have a look at the number.

"G! That's our bus!"

We run. There's a billion kids in our way. A bus has certain locomotive advantages over a pair of girls with loose notebooks.

So we get on L's bus instead. She lives resonably near Swimmerette, who lives resonably near G, who lives resonably near me. Close enough. If my ID card with its white-and-yellow depiction of my face is supposed to be checked, it isn't.

We get off at L's stop and say goodbye. G and I walk a block or so, call S-B M, who isn't in a mood to be talked to, get a pair of shakes at Dairy Queen, split up, and walk home.

I'm home at four-thirty. And the only person angry with me was my brother, because I got a shake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Summer Lost

05 PE

Talk about disbalance. I absolutely adore the morning - drawing, French, English. All my favorite subjects. The only bright spot in the afternoon is history. Do you have any idea of the magnitude of willpower I am going to need to succeed at last-period algebra?

Toured school for the first time today. Alternating smells of exhaust and bacon, sloppy-looking janitors. Chubby trios of girls in boring brown belts and boho camis, purses tucked into their armpits. Staircases not marked on the map, a locker in the three thousands tucked into the farthest corridor on the third floor. That's my environment, my friends, my schedule for the next one hundred and seventy days. Starting tomorrow.

Was that really me, screaming for "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the shadowy theatre crowd? Fumbling words talking to French schoolgirls? Trying on Diesel jeans in Colorado? Splashing, sprinting through underwater quicksand? Watching the boy watching me, watching the boys who'll never watch me?

And will it be me, walking up and down staircases, faking friendly smiles, still fumbling French, still watching boys?

And how much of that will anybody but me ever see?

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

- Coldplay, "Fix You"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Get Moving

Remember back when I was the only one with a blog? And maybe there was the occasional abandoned Xanga lying around, but then gradually all the rest of you got blogs and secret blogs and new blogs and new secret blogs and secret new blogs and now nobody can keep track of anybody anymore?

Well. I will now proceed to outblog you all to pieces with my lovey-gorgey layout. This is my last, promise promise, last new blog. It'll be here for at least the next four years.

And the next four years! High school. Beginning Wednesday.

My schedule and sign-up things are at the moment residing in Swimmerette's foyer, so I don't know what classes I'm in yet. But, ooh, là là. Starting fresh. If the Ex-Guyfriend really does show up with Vuitton manshort-shorts and an onion on his head, I'm never going to have to see. And I'll probably miss almost all the rest of you to death, but I can always throw a party.