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English Class Vignettes

By , Tucson, AZ
1. Out of my window, and over the adobe wall. Palm trees whisper with the wind and I walk lightly so the gravel under my feel doesn’t crunch. Every now and then I trip, and I’ve got the scars to prove it. The street light flickers as I open my gate and begin my night. I jog down to the church down the road and settle down in the grass. I am the only person, and it’s almost like I can see the stars in the sky shift as the world moves. I imagine, miles and miles below me, hot lava bubbling and gurgling. In my mind the earth separates and I fall into the center of the earth. I fall past old foundations and bone meal and history passes me by as I go deeper. I imagine me lying against the core of molten iron in the center of the earth. As I melt, parts of me go everywhere. I see myself in the ocean, in the trees, in the mountains around my home. I feel every breath everyone takes and every sensation. I open my eyes and count enough stars in my sky to put my mind at ease. There are some sacred moments that you don’t share with people. I’ve got this long, winding book in my body that goes in and out of darkness. More often than not I seem to be defined by the time that I occupy more than what I do in the times that I’m in. I’ve got these scars all over my body that tell my story more than I ever could.

2. Midnight earth seeps through my fingers and onto the ground. I watch my seedlings unfold as the night progress, opening themselves up to the subdued light of the moon. Halloween anticipation electrifies the air with the magic of a childhood, of long Christmas Eve nights and fairy tales that came to life and ballerina dreams. The vines climb through the cracks in the adobe wall that many a cat and many a person have scrambled over. Catnip rises in the herb bed, and oregano covers the air with its bite. Thyme and rosemary dot the edges along with nameless plants. Hibiscus has one flower and a couple of leaves left as grasshoppers chew away. I sit down on the sandy bed where people used to make fires. I watch the stars go by and I feel like everything is okay. I’ve seen night time all around the world and they never get old. It’s odd to think that time is the only constant all over the world. No matter where you go, there will be a night. No matter where I fall asleep, I wake up to the same sun every morning. There’s something sacred in that. No matter where I go or who I’m with, the sun and the moon will always be beside me. The same stars projecting our lives differently.

3. When you’re jet-lagged enough, you start reading the same sentences over and over again in your book without realizing it. The seat in front of you blurs in and out of focus. You don’t know that you’ve closed your eyes until you end up opening them. Between you and the effulgent dawn are a couple tons of metal and three inches of glass. You are in a chair in the sky. It’s easy, sometimes, to see the plane hit turbulence. A wing or an engine begins to burn. It’s easy to imagine the clouds or the ocean swallowing you up and to spit you back out on the other side of the planet. It’s so easy to get lost in the sky. You wish you could kiss the clouds and fall. You truly, truly wish you could fall to the earth. You would have, say, maybe a minute of pure adrenaline as you descend. Through the atmosphere, you’re a comet and you see these motionless people running around, but someone they’re the same. They’re always the same. No matter how fast you fall or how high you go, people will always be motionless.

4. Needled cacti turn their arms up to the sky. An ephemeral golden-rose glow falls on my face like a kiss. A few birds flutter on the horizon, and the landscape quiets. An instant of gravity settles over the desert, and I can feel the breath of evening on my lips. The sun turns away from the sky, slithering under the horizon. In twilight the crescent moons glimmers among the smoldering of first stars. The car slows in anticipation of the coming moment; windows go down, sunroofs open, and everything is still. I breath the air that a billion people have breathed and it feels new. I feel new, like I am the lone creation under the sun. Coming into the night is my greatest pleasure; it’s been a comfort since I was young. I go to sleep with thoughts of new beginnings and hope, for a surprise visit from my father or an adventure to somewhere new. Nighttime has never frightened me, it’s been my greatest comfort. There is hope. Something changes while the sun sleeps. Giving yourself over to sleep is the most sacred thing you can share with someone. You are completely vulnerable. You exist only in an instant of mindfulness.





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