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Conversations With The Wind This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   We go to the homes every Saturday. The old age homes. We go to sing to them, and to say hi, and because they expect us, and because we love them. And every week, we sing a few songs, not enough to satisfy me, and then all of a sudden, we're singing good-bye.

Someone asks how long we'll be doing this. Another kid, sort of the leader, I guess, says as long as weather permits.

We start the thirty-minute walk back. To some it's a long, hard trek, but to me it's a wonderful walk through a part of town I don't get to see much. It isn't the best neighborhood, but everyone I see says hi, and everybody smiles at a stranger.

I'm thinking Why should the cold weather stop us? Last year, I went to two other nursing homes too, adding another two miles to our weekly walk, and we went through rain, heat, and even a blizzard or two. Nothing stopped us. I wish it could be that way again.

But I don't voice my questions. The people I'm with aren't really my friends. They of course, do not agree with my ideas and they aren't the greatest people to argue with. They're smart and know how to argue so that in the end, you come over to their side anyway.

The wind slaps my face and brings me back to reality. C'mon, she says, there's always a limit to kindness. Why, I ask, isn't kindness everlasting?

For God maybe, but you're human. I mean, puh-lease! the wind throws back at me. I have to go, I tell her. I love them. The wind is angry and blows my hat off. I hear her ask if I always have to be so sentimental and mushy. I don't answer.

The people I'm walking with are talking about love, and how to say it. Or more like if to say it. They all seem to agree that saying "I love you" is nerdy. I don't agree. I wonder why, if you love someone, you should hide it. I tell my mother I love her. I love all my friends, and they know it, and they love me, and we tell each other.

The wind butts into my thoughts again. She whirls around me. What do you mean, you love all your friends? You're a kid; you don't know what love is. A baby knows what love is, I tell the wind. You can like anybody, but love takes a special connection, and that's friendship. I don't have many friends anyway, so the ones I do have are pretty close. You're a snob, she interjects. I am not. Picky then, she decides. But you see it all depends on who you call your friends. If your friends are who you like, then the whole world can be friends. You mean, if you met a guy on the street, you'd automatically like him? Sure, why not? Even love him maybe, if he's cute enough. Ha, ha. I mean, really, what did he ever do to me? He could be a murderer, a rapist! With me, he's innocent until proven guilty. It might also be too late. And what if he's innocent? Then what? I had a bad opinion of him just because I didn't know him? Which would you rather want: being killed or having a bad opinion of someone? Not everyone is bad. Yeah, yeah. Back to the subject. I'm not too picky with my friends. All they have to have is a kind heart and a carefree mind. Whatever happened to intelligence, religion, cleanliness, how about normalcy? Give me a BEREAACK! Intelligence is only a disgusting prejudice, and I believe in letting people believe what they want to. And if no one respected the so-called dirty people, the slums would be worse off than they already are and who's to say what's normal and what's not? Lotsa people think I'm strange. You're warped. You think you're talking to the wind. I don't see too many other people doing it. Without me, you'd be pretty lonely. Shut up. What ever happened to someone liking you back? Someone shouldn't have to like you for you to love them, I tell her. That gives her something to think about.

We're approaching my house. I haven't said a word the whole way. Bye, we say, and I hope I'm saying good-bye to the wind as well, as I dash into the house to escape her. And that's when I find that I am only arguing with myself. c


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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