Hejira

 

 

gagged by your ribbons

December 16. 2000

winter:

sunset

sunset on the way home

*

 

Another somnolent trek back to Lebanon, staring into the pink, purple and azure mishmash of the sun setting in front of me. I think I must space out while driving on the highway, because by the time I pulled into the driveway, I couldn't even remember most of the ride.

The entire weekend was cold and rainy, which matched my mood rather well. I had an art history test and a paper due on Monday, I spent most of the weekend finding ways to avoid working on it. I'm such an academic, I tell you. It was really a pity, too, because I liked my art history class a lot, but I just didn't put the time in that I needed. The story of my life.

My parents and I went to my sister's choral concert on Saturday night. I really hate going back to my high school. Then I see the people I went to high school with, I must smile and pretend I like them and pretend to be interested in what they are saying. It's not even that I dislike them, it's just that we have nothing left in common and nothing left to talk about, except to relive our illustrious high school days, which is not something I'm eager to do.

I knew from the beginning I would not be one of those kids who would come back to high school when on break from college and visit their old teachers and walk around feeling cool and glowing with a worldly wisdom. When I was handed my diploma, I knew my work here was done and I could do no more damage, to myself or to others. Yet I am still dragged back here every year to be reminded of the things I've been dedicated to forgetting.

I was safe til I came out of the stall in the bathroom. As I doused my hands with icy cold water, I heard a sprightly voice behind me.

"Hi, Bethany!"

I turned around. It was Angie. We hadn't been particularly good friends in high school, but she was an excellent singer, so our paths crossed in Chorus and Concert Choir.

Before I could even ask, she quickly informed me, "I'm not in school anymore I got married you wouldn't know him he lives in Carlisle but I'm working with disabled people and I really like it so how are you where are you going to school?"

I glanced quickly down at her hand. A large rock adorned it.

We exchanged pleasantries, and extricated myself quickly from the conversation. I really have no social graces. I think that's why I get so uncomfortable making small talk with people I haven't seen for a year or more. The conversation stays on the surface. I don't get a chance to ask people how they've really been.

People ask me, "So, how's school?", and I briefly consider telling them the real, messy truth. I'm pissed at my work right now, I'm happy with my apartment and my life in Philadelphia, if I in fact had a choice I would never come to Lebanon again and I how I need some more computer RAM and that I am dwelling on the fact that I will never be even a halfway decent writer and I spill my guts and idiocy to the world on a website that I spend way too much time working on and how I really need to lose some weight and start at least exercising so I do not become an ever bigger lump than I already am.

Usually, I just smile and say noncommitally, "It's good."

As Tesserae said in one her recent entries, if you're gonna talk to me, TALK TO ME. Don't come up to me after I've not seen you for a year and a half and expect me to be the same person I was when I graduated from high school. Don't expect me to smile sweetly at you and talk about the weather. Don't expect me to forget the time you talked behind my back in tenth grade, the time you laughed at me when I was trying out for the high school musical, the time you made me feel like the stupid, fat little girl that I'm so desperately trying to leave behind. Don't expect me to forget anything either, because if there's one thing you can count on with me, it's that I don't forget and I don't let go.

One Year Ago:
"We toasted to the semester, and to the friendships we made. Looking around at that circle of people, and knowing that they weren't perfect people and had flaws, just like me, I realized that despite all the shit that I went through with them, they're still my friends. And I guess I am lucky to have them."