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Being Averagely Extraordinary
It is the year 2000 and there are no ancient ruins replacing the local parks, no flying cars, and I don’t think we’re slowly being replaced by robots. Everything is exactly the same in San Antonio as is was last June. Maybe it’s just here. Maybe in New York there are automated everythings. Hopefully they’ll eventually make their way here. It makes me wonder though, will we ever not have to walk? If so, I really need to rethink my career choice.
Eighth grade just ended and I have absolutely nothing to do. Mrs. Dreschel, who is probably the only German person I will ever meet, has “pissed at men syndrome” so staying home is absolutely not an option. Either way I was going to go out for some coffee.
“You’re going to shrink with all that caffeine” she tells me in her thick barely coherent accent “You’re only 14 you still have 10 years to grow”
Her 2 years at a technical school obviously didn’t tell her that that was a myth. Caffeine doesn’t make you shrink, just makes you poop. Anyways, I drink decaf.
So back to my adventure planning, I think the downtown library has a new coffee shop nearby, I’ll go there.
I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to respond to you lately, things have been crazy. So you got accepted to the Health Careers high school, that’s great. A step closer to being on your way to becoming a physical therapist. By the way you promised me you would tell me why a bright mathematician like yourself wouldn’t even consider a career in engineering.
I did, didn’t I? How about we continue our game of twenty questions and see if I can maneuver my way around it?
I admire Bailey greatly, she’s the smartest person I know. I met her through AIM. She lives in some small town in Maryland when she could be off in NASA. I guess that’s why she wants me to be an engineer. Well she’s a great friend because she lives so far away. She doesn’t get to see me and all my little quirks. Just like all of my friends she is virtual. The rest are just people I wish were virtual.
Hey what’s up?
I haven’t heard from you in a while little man
I’m not that little.
Yeah, you’re an adult now right? Didn’t you turn 18 a few weeks ago or something?
Yes sir 18 as of May 7th!
Okay I know I lie but what person would take a fourteen year old seriously about the topics we get into
So, have you finished your story.
Are you interested because you’re eager to edit it to help me out with my assignment or because you genuinely like my writing?
What does it matter as long as I help you, huh?
It is a well known fact at school that I’m a horrible writer . But, at school there is nothing to write about. I am not particularly eloquent (though I used the word eloquent), but I can work my way through literary tools when I need to.
Who’s turn is it?
Nope I just asked my question. It’s your turn now.
Not cool man.
Ok well, how do you think that being a PT is going to help the world transition into the new century?
This is why I don’t lie to Bailey. She knows me most of all and still treats me according to the way I think, not how old I look or seem. She doesn’t care if I already have patches of graying hair or how incredibly girlish my hands are.
It’s not so important to me that the world get through the 20th century but that I do.
Did I tell you that my mom is schizophrenic...?
After I explain everything about my mom people can make sense of me and all my quirks. I jump at every little sound because I trained myself to be like a new parent. You hear something unfamiliar and rush to check on your baby.
There he was silent and sliding into slumber. His eyes were like a heavy fabric welcoming him into a doze. As the young boy let his arm fall, spilling his highly sweetened drink onto the rug, a horrendous scream pierced the air. The boy ran to the next room to find a woman, both frightened and frightening, over her dresser. The boy withholding tears walked toward her cautiously extending his arm. To the woman, this meant comfort.
She ran to his embrace, the boy startled by the sudden movement braces himself for the worst. When nothing but tears came he petted her hair and held the sobbing woman closely. He sat there with her, his lethargy gone, listening to her mumble “m-m-mmed-d-di-c-ca-tion”
You’re 18 how could you possibly capture all of this?
I’m not eighteen, I’m fourteen. And I lived this. My mom was pregnant with my soon-to-be younger brother and was forced to get off of her medication.
Oh I watch a lot of independent films.
Some people have the weirdest inspirations.
“Excuse me young man,”
I looked up from the computer screen and the new librarian was standing over me. She smelled like tea, which made me nauseous, and her close proximity made me uncomfortable. I answered her politely nonetheless.
“I’ve noticed that you spend a lot of time in this li-berry” she said
What kind of librarian says “li-berry”?
“Yes, I do. Is there a problem with that?”
So there’s a new library policy. I can’t spend more than an hour and a half on the computers .
There are too many people wanting to use the computers for me to be “hogging the machine”
Oh, well then, are you being kicked out for today?
Yeah, Well I’ll make an effort to come multiple times a day.
Haha, I found a loophole.
I don’t think that counts as a legitimate loophole, but okay.
Message me when you can, bye.
I didn’t bother to say goodbye to John. He was too busy editing his latest article for the Burlington Free Press.
I walked home in the San Antonio heat. I could have taken the bus, it saves me 15 minutes of travel time, but i don't like large vehicles. Tourist would stop to ask me where things were, and honestly I didn’t know. I would tell them go here, turn at that tree, and that seemed to suffice for them. One little girl, whose parents were looking for the children’s museum, noticed my watch and laughed at me.
It was my mom’s and aside from the sentimental value it holds for me, I wear it because men’s watches makes my hands look even more girlish. It puts me through hell at school.
My apartment is near the mall so there are people from school around all the time, it sucks. They wave and invite me to eat or something but I always just wave them off and promise some other time. I climb to the third floor and try to catch my breath. You’d think that after five years in this same apartment I’d be used to the steepness.
Through the door I hear Mrs. Dreschel’s Celine Dion cd and her off key attempt at private superstardom. Another deep breath before walking in.
“oh!” She says “Good I’ll be right back. I need to buy some cookies”
She means sanitary pads..
“but...I’m not supposed to stay alone” I feel like i’m eleven again, small and scared.
“Oh, You’ll be fine. I’ll only be a few minutes”
And with that the door closed behind her leaving me trapped. The air, my feet and my heart felt incredibly heavy.
“Else” called out a feeble voice
Crap! “Mrs. Dreschel! Come back!” I yell at the door.
The sound wave bounced back at me, hitting me hard in the gut. I turned around and walked to the room I never dare to enter. And there she was, laid out on the bed, tall and beautiful as ever.
“mom..” I whispered. And when she turned her head her sunken and hollow cheeks brought back the memory of car horns and headlights.
“Chris” she whispered back “I know...look at me. This is the first time in how many years that you’ve seen me? No matter, I don’t blame you.”
I took a few steps toward her and immediately my eyes burst with tears. Everything about her was so sad, was so broken. She patted the enormous bed calling me over. I walked over almost in a trance. When I climbed into bed with her she was at an angle and left me little leg room. I almost asked her to scoot over, but she can’t. She can’t feel how cold my feet are and she can’t come with me to all the cool places I’ve found. This is where she dwells and where I have to find her.