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Chalkboard Scribbles This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Scribbles on the chalkboard. That’s all that was really there, some shapes probably, numbers and some math symbols. He knew them all – not like it was a foreign language. It was just kind of pointless. It wasn’t even a chalkboard; it was a whiteboard. But chalkboards were more poetic. It flowed better, anyway. He let that thought swirl around his mind for a bit. Sort of like the mysterious liquid they gave you instead of wine on Thanksgiving when you were a kid.

Well not really, especially since he knew what the liquid was (sparkling cider) and thoughts don’t swirl. At least they didn’t for him. They just hung there, more like old rusty thumbtacks that hold up papers for a few days then pop out of the corkboard. Yeah, sort of like that. He let his thoughts drift. Considering they were rusty thumbtacks that were bound to pop anyway, he sort of let them hang for a bit then sink away somewhere. Oblivion perhaps.

Suddenly a hand touched his shoulder, he was half pulled out of his thoughts, staring at the whiteboard; he realized he hadn’t blinked in far too long. His eyes were watering.

“Zack, I would appreciate it if you’d pay attention,” the owner of the hand hissed. Oh yeah. Math. That’s right. Some variation of some useless formula was what the symbols and scribbles on the whiteboard were. He nodded, slightly, as if he didn’t really mean it. Because he didn’t mean it at all.

His mind was elsewhere, preoccupied with words, not numbers. Although he now seemed enraptured by the strange markings on the board, he didn’t actually care. He mentally laughed at his own thoughts, if he laughed in the physical sense, people would stare at him, probably snicker behind his back at some untold joke. Again, not that he cared, it was just kind of annoying, you know? No, you probably don’t.

He let his mind make the popping of rusty thumbtacks its priority. Did they make a sound? He’d have to figure it out, do some sort of scientific report on it or something. Win a Nobel Prize for it. What a clever little boy. No more snickering behind his back. He laughed, this time physically. Luckily the sound was drowned out by the fourth bell, the one that meant lunch. He snagged his iPod from his messenger bag and trotted, yeah, like a horse, off to the lunch room.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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rootbeerfloat92 said...
Apr. 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm:
I love how you let his mind wander, but it still makes sense. The whole thumbtack thing was really interesting, made me notice how I think; flowing thoughts verses thoughts that just hang there. I like how he's thinking about words, not the usual thing a boy is thinking about.
 
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Jana H. said...
Apr. 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm:
I really like this.
Its easy to relate to, especially if math isn't your best subject.
 
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Jamie said...
Apr. 3, 2009 at 2:20 am:
I really like this, it definately reminds me of all my math classes, except im staring at the clock, not the board. But this was pretty funny and very relatable.
 
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gosebmaster said...
Apr. 3, 2009 at 12:59 am:
this is great
 
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Gossamer said...
Apr. 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm:
I like this. I relate to this kid a lot - I spent most of my first term math classes in ninth grade bored and daydreaming. I always laughed at my funny thoughts, though, sometimes chuckling for minutes on end. Anyway, I love his voice, it's really quirky and realistic.
 
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