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I can’t think. I’m thinking and I’m wondering but I CAN’T THINK. My fingers are poised at the keyboard but I am thinking about what will happen in the next week. I am trying to force my brain to conjure up something to write about but it keeps saying “NO!”
“Tap tap tap,” goes someone’s pencil on their chin, then desk, then back to chin again. I wonder if they are wondering the same thing that I am wondering about them. I shush myself and poise my fingers back up to the keyboard. My mind jumps elsewhere. I think about the summer, and whether I’m going to get a job or laze around before I have to start acting like an adult. I close my eyes and shake my head.
“Whirr,” the heater hums constantly from the opposite side of the room. But it eventually stops, and the silence gets louder and louder. My mind goes completely blank. What am I thinking about? I’m thinking about what I’m thinking about again. My lips are chapped so I reach down and grab some chap stick. I smear it on my lips and rub them together.
“Snap!” goes the chap stick when I put the cap back on. I am now ready to write. I begin to type but my mind has already wandered away. When I look at the screen, I realize that I’ve been holding down on one key for a minute or so. I reach up and scratch all of the itches I suddenly feel on my body. I then erase the millions of “eeeeeeeee’s” that are sprawled out over the page.
Someone coughs and it makes me jump. It’s been so quiet since the heater turned off that I forgot there were other people in the classroom.
“Click click click,” go the other keyboards as they type. Why can they write so easily while I’m digging further into my own head? Someone is outside shuffling around and I can’t tell if they’re opening up their locker or sliding across the floor on their backpacks. Someone is snapping outside. I laugh at the thought of the one video I saw a while back about “hallway swimming.” That must be really gross. Imagine all of the dust and germs covering someone’s clothes after they go hallway swimming. I growl at myself inside my head, angry at myself for getting off track again. But there is no track because I STILL HAVEN’T WRITTEN ANYTHING.
Mr. Sackrider clears his throat and I immediately wonder if he has finished grading my poems. I only like a few of the poems I wrote. Some of them were written late at night, but that’s the best time for me to write.
Maybe I should write in the shower, because I think of a lot of stuff in there.
“Bump, whirr,” the heater starts up again. Why can’t they just either stay on or off? They’re very distracting. Someone is cracking their knuckles. I immediately crack my neck in response. It’s a habit.
Alyssa comes up to Mr. Sackrider to ask to go to the bathroom, and her hands SMACK on the podium.
“There’s another sound for you,” she whispered quite loudly. She’s a bad whisper-er. I grin at her and continue tapping my fingers on the desk beside my laptop. I remember when I used to use my sister’s old laptop from college. It was a lot more boxy than this one and it was a lot louder. It would hum quietly and eventually my legs would be burning hot. I like my laptop way better.
“Slam,” goes a door in the distance. Someone is walking around in the hallway and I wonder where they are going. I check the clock to see what time it is.
Someone sneezed loudly and several “bless you’s” came from the peanut gallery. She sneezed again and I heard a cart rolling around in the hallway. It reminds me of New York, when the snack cart would roll around during our version of “seminar.” We called it Advisement. My lips purse into a tight line as I begin to feel a longing to go back to New York. I miss it. I miss my friends. Maybe I should write about them? No, they wouldn’t fit in to the story. Wait, how long does the story have to be? I glance up at the screen in front of me. Mr. Sackrider froze it on something else that wasn’t our assignment description. I curse to myself. Not only do I have writer’s block, I can’t even remember what the assignment is about.
Someone is shouting in the hallway, and I roll my eyes. Why can’t people understand that there’s classes going on? Shut up. SHUT UP! Tryin’ to write here. But I can’t write because I can’t think of anything even though I’m thinking about everything and those people outside won’t SHUT UP!! Stupid brain, stupid loud people, stupid laptop. Why don’t you just write for me?
“Sniff,” goes someone’s nose. He sniffles a lot. It’s quite annoying. I wonder if he’s allergic to everything no matter what season or he’s just been sick for the four months that I’ve been here. He sniffles again.
“Cough cough,” someone hacks to my right. I totally lost my train of thought even though it really wasn’t a train. It was more like space, where things are floating around and I can’t seem to reach my destination which happens to be a few coherent thoughts that I can turn into sentences that I can turn into a paragraph that can turn into multiple paragraphs that can turn into pages of paragraphs that can turn into a story. But can I think of any of those coherent thoughts?
Someone is shifting in their chair and I can hear every creak. Another person thumps their foot on the ground and reminds me of a beat of a certain song.
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaaay, says my brain. STOP! THIS ISN’T CHRISTMASTIME IT’S ALMOST JUNE FOR PETE’S SAKE.
He sniffs again and I groan inwardly. Just go to the doctor and get your nose checked out so we all don’t have to listen to your constant sniffling. Please. It’s as if he’s heard my thoughts because he sniffs even LOUDER.
Someone is kicking one of the bars attached to their desk and it “boings” quite loudly across the room. I can smell McDonald’s and I want some. Like right now. Someone is clicking the backspace button. I can tell because it’s like a million clicks per second.
Someone comes over the announcements and announces an alert. Mr. Sackrider has left the classroom so the chatter started. I screech in my head and I still can’t think of what to write. I’ll ask Mr. Sackrider to put the assignment description back onscreen when he returns.
The chatter begins to get louder and I can see that the class period is almost done. Everyone packs away their laptops and I stare at my blank screen.