Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Tomorrow is December. How'd we get there?

It's the season of earbud wires frozen stiff and yellow lights wrapped around the bottom halves of saplings. Finals, the week after next, are just close enough to loom, review packets like tests of tormado sirens on sunny days. The morning is as dark when I leave the house as it was before daylight savings time. My cutting-edge love intrests are worn down like golden-brown beach glass.

I've been in a curious equlibrium between being astounded at being in the present and just being in it. If time flies when you're having fun, lately mine has slowed down a lot. Einstein might say it's me, speeding up. I'm no Einstein. I say that winter is colorless and bitter cold.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wild Creatures

My sister keeps pestering me to pack for Thanksgiving.

Now, really. I'm in no hurry to enter the realm inhabited by Pokèmon, Bop-It, and my cousins. I don't like turkey. Long monologues on the finer points of Runescape with irritation imbrue. Next weekend will be spent in a farmhouse, full of kids and grandparents, on the top of a wooded hill in the middle of nowhere. I'll live through it for the sake being through with it.

But when conversations turn to the long-dead, when books are overpersued, when I plead for fresh distractions, come audition. Be the man my imagination projects on the great expance of slanting white ceiling tiles. I don't have a double bed anymore, but you'll fit. You'll sleep with lights blazing, kiss my hair when the air smells like cranberries Thansgiving morning. I can listen to your whisper over the loudest ruckus. Walk with me, past the dark niches that hold the statues of last year's boys.

Tender, sparkling vine trendrils of fantasy wind across beams, spiral down studs. They spout tiny flowers, furling fast at any touch. They creep under the front door into the darkness, down the drive, gaining speed now, sprouting from nothing along dusty rural highways, puzzling morning travelers as they bloom through overpass supports. They ensnare traffic cones and blanket the bleak faces of concrete barriers, fight wilt across toll booth roofs, and bolder, springing down the center of suburban streets.

Timid, now, up through a back window. We're hundreds of miles apart, but the final, crowning flower is Venus's trap.

She's in love with the world
But sometimes these feelings
Can be so misleading
She turns and said, Are you alright?
I said I must be fine because my heart's still beating

- The White Stripes, "Fell In Love With A Girl"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Don't Snow

Wind whips pathetic, dusty drifts across unoccupied asphalt. The chill wrenches its tune from the strings of guitars and hearts. This is the final death of my summer. I'm shivering out the open window, empty hand exposed, begging for it all to stop. Memories cost a terrible price.

This week last year, a day thoughtless of snow, I was asking out the Crush. I'm deeper now than then, sinking fast. This year, winter blows coldly down my throat, ever fighting my persistent and anxiously patient summer mind.

I won't wear a bandage; well, then, I won't get hurt. Reversed logic plays Jenga with the magnets that keep me just balanced on the edge of the knife. This isn't Serene standing at the synagogue, professing the climate "nippy". This icily evanescent intruder freezes my heart, reminding me of Christmas, of this and him and that, of everything I've wanted but can't have.

...Please don't snow.

Friday, November 11, 2005

There Is Only Diversity

Seventh is one of the best hours of my school day. It makes up for an afternoon that's otherwise gym, chemistry, and advanaced alegbra. It's history, of course, which is usually interesting, frequently facts I've learned before, and, for me, difficult not to absorb. I can suck it in, spell it out on the test, and earn my ninety-nine-point-three-eight A.

My seat is front of the windows, open yesterday despite brisk gusts of wind, and next to Swimmerette. We do, of course, spend most our time on history. But if I don't have my ancient teacher for medieval next semester, I'll be very dissapointed. She talks about Harry Potter and tells droll stories about her crazy in-laws. She started the Harry Potter Club, swore at boys who crashed in late, and asked extra-credit questions answered with such words as "Weasley" and "Quidditch". And Wednesday afternoon, while being the only teacher to give us December's exam schedule, she orated a fantasy that mingled semester's-end anxiety with resigned bitterness.

It takes place in a very familiar high school, not too long ago. Exams weren't held until January and Ramadan was in December. The week before Christmas vacation was occupied by chorus classes caroling in the halls, a riotous, candy-throwing assembly, teachers as Santa Claus, senior valedictorian singing the Adam Sandler Hanukkah song, and a universal freewheeling, festive spirit that drove uncooperative teachers up the wall.

Now, think of a very familiar high school, right this minute. Scrooge says students will forget everything August through November if they have half of December to do it in. Scrooge says there is no such thing as Christmas vacation, but merely "winter break". Scrooge says call off the festivities. Scrooge says the only thing resembling a holiday show will be the ever so aptly-named "Evening with the Humanities". Scrooge says put exam week in December. Scrooge says there is no such thing as good cheer or majority rule, but only diversity. Scrooge says politically correct it is and will be.

Tell me: who's the happier?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I Want To Rip Your Clothes Off

I cannot wait until one can illegally download clothing.

It'll come, you know, someday. The music and movie idustries are just first because they're easy targets. Their products are the ones that fit into little binary boxes. Eventually objects will too. And then every manufacturer will be screwed. But, 'til then, my ultimate fantasy is to be able to rip the clothes off everyone.

You, G, in your Billabong hoodie. I wore that for a day, once. Sewn-in thumb holes. There is no better garmet than the sweatshirt. Elizabeth, you who sits next to me in EP, take off your jeans. They're the most pefectly beautiful shade of blue. Anybody in a swoopy boho skirt - I want to swirl like a cancan dancer. When the trend's over you can have it back. And you, Necker's sister, going through your pink-zippered Dickies purse. Punk, and functional, too. I may be incapable of talking to you, Fai, but gimme that!

I'm obsessed by fashion. I crash into people in the hallway, trying to twist back and get a second look at something going the other way that caught my eye. They're never just clothes. And I'm so critical. I thought Brittany said she could "find something cheap about everybody". It was actually "something cute" - but I could find something cheap about almost everybody. And I'll enjoy my time with you more if I can't spot a pair of those generic brown clogs or stupid square holes in your jeans. I try to be insightful, not superficial. Everybody who sees what you look like forms opinions about your personality.

And, like everything interesting, fashion changes. Fads lie, trick you into admiring something you don't like. Fads make it so difficult to be different. But fads make it so difficult to be different - to be unique, you really do have to be unique. And occasionally they're even good of themselves. Brown, orange, and tan should be the next fad colors. Not too radical a shift from blue and brown, but less cutesy, and both restrained and kicky. Bring in some yellow in time for spring, and maybe pleats to replace these little flounces. Next week, keep your eyes out for brown and orange together. I see more of it all the time.

Hey, all you girls who wore fabulous striped, heart-patterned, and polka-dot kneesocks on Mismatch Monday. Can't you dare wear them any old Monday? You don't deserve them. Hey, you, reader. Strip. Give me your clothes and then go away.