Second Person

You’re sitting in a near-empty classroom. It’s just you, the teacher, and about five other students, they rest of the room filled with empty desks because it seems that just about everyone decided it wasn’t worth coming to school today, and even though you know their probably just sick, you can’t help but feel like you missed out on something, on just the togetherness of it all. You know that since you’re taking up one sixth of the class the least you can do for the poor teacher is pay attention, but you don’t. You kind of feel like it’s not really you’re fault though, because they’re just reading out of a textbook that’s probably older than the school, and the only thing you’re really paying attention to is not getting called on to read next. You’re not really sure why you’re glancing out the window, because it doesn’t look like the never ending downpour of rain you call weather is going to change anytime soon, but it feels oddly nostalgic to look at the clock instead, because sitting there, taping your pencil against the desk you can’t help but feel like you’re doing it again. It just seems like you’re always waiting, and you’re not even sure for what. Maybe it’s for the school year to end, and for it to be summer, or maybe for the season to change to spring, or for the week to hit Friday and grant you the freedom of the weekend. Maybe it’s for this day, or maybe even just this class to be over, but it’s always something. You’re always waiting for your friend to text back, or for your favorite show to come on, or maybe at this moment you the reader are simply waiting for this insanely long paragraph to finally end.
You tap you pencil against the desk again, and push more lead out, though you won’t be needing it for another good twenty minutes. You just keep pushing at the end of the technical pencil, watching the lead finally snap and break when you hear a name being called to read, but the only thing you know is that it isn’t yours. The boy across the room begins to read to next section of the chapter, and take a minute to ponder his existence. You’ve never even really talked to him, but if someone asked you if you knew him, you’d say yes, because obviously, you do. He’s that boy that sits across the room from you, and he’s the one that probably just thinks of you as that girl in his history class, and for a second you wonder if ever thinks of you as anything else. You hear him mispronounce the name of some person, who you guess must have done something important enough to get him in a history book. You’re pretty sure he wrote a famous document or was one of the presidents nobody really remembers, but you are sure that he must have changed the world. Not just because of whatever it was he did that you don’t remember, but maybe it’s just because of that boy across the room, saying his name wrong. You think it might be fun to change the world, but you feel like you can’t do much that would make a difference. You can’t sing or dance or act, or anything that could possibly get you into showbiz, which seems like the most effective way to change the world, in your humble opinion. But for a second you think what if you did do something important, and two hundred years from now a girl is sitting in a classroom reading out of a two hundred year old textbook mispronouncing your name. You wouldn’t mind. It’s a complicated name.
You bite down hard on your gum, where the rubbery strip had been just lying in your mouth, neglected due to your fear of getting caught. You look at the teacher, who is simply gazing at the boy across the room like she’s absolutely engrossed by what she’s hearing so you risk it, and pop your gum in your mouth, where it echoes in the room but somehow your teacher doesn’t even turn, so you do it again. When the teacher remains silent you suddenly have the strange urge to spit the gum out of your mouth and say, ‘Hah! I’ve been chewing that for forty minutes and you still haven’t caught me.’ Of course, it’s not like you haven’t chewed gum in class before, it’s just something everyone does every once in a while, but being from a smaller schools you were always a little afraid of getting caught, but ever since you’ve started, it seems impossible. You can’t imagine getting caught for chewing gum, just like you can’t imagine winning the lottery or becoming king of the planet, it’s just so ridiculous it’s like your brain doesn’t even bother.
Out of the corner of your eye you see a girl writing something down on a piece of paper and for a minute you feel panic, but then you see she’s only doodling on the side of a blank sheet. She just draws a sketchy little star with a circle, and a bunch of impossibly straight lines until it forms some symbol you’ve never seen before. Your mouth burns with curiosity to ask what it is, but you don’t. Just because she was that kind of girl who take notes even when no one tells her to, and who will no doubt have a shiny car worth more than a house in high school thanks to the savings account she’s had open since she was two and blinks her eyes when she informs us of this, like she expects us to ooh and ahh and look impressed. And even though her paper is blank you know that she’s going to think that because you saw that you were trying to copy off her, and you doubt that would go over well. So instead you sink back into your chair and continue to tap your pencil to the beat of the song you have stuck in your head today.
The next thing you know you’re somewhere else entirely. It reminds you of crawling into bed after a long day, and it seems like you merely blink your eyes when the room is light again, bringing morning, and your almost thankful because it’s the easiest way for time to pass. Quickly. But now you’re more aware than ever that you’re sitting in math class, hair pulled back, staring down at a piece of paper full of answers that aren’t right. You can hear the teacher telling explaining to you how to finish the problem, and you try to listen, but it’s like grasping at a bar of wet soap while blindfolded, you’re completely lost and you find that, you really don’t care enough to try anyway. Because you’ve realized that you just don’t want to. You don’t want to be in math, and you don’t want to go the English after this hour of torture is over, because you just don’t. But you don’t know what you do want to either. Your fingers find you’re temples rubbing furiously, and even though it doesn’t help your ongoing headache, you know it looks like it does, and you know its seems theatrical and fitting, so you just keep rubbing, trying to drown out the sound of scratching pencil coming from the seat next to you. You can hear the boy mumbling to himself about how easy this is, and you almost want to turn and glare daggers at him, because how is it fair to be popular and smart? But you’re eyes are too tired, and really, you’re too exhausted to bother feeling angry. You finally rest your head in your hands and stare at the blondish-brown head it front of you. He’s bending over in front of his paper too, scribbling down an answer. You glance jealously at his paper, then your eyes wander back to his head, staring into the back of it like it will open up, and give you all the answers you want, and probably need to pass this class.
You’re not sure why you feel like this, so aware of everything you’re feeling and everything that’s going on inside you. You can feel your blood flowing and your finger tapping the pencil idly against your desk. For a brief moment you stop worrying, just to glance around the room. Suddenly, the colors are brighter, things are prettier, and everything is suddenly much more real. You blink, and then suddenly the moment is gone.





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Lilypad90210 said...
Mar. 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm
I like this. I can relate.
 
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