2.The next day at school I’m standing at my locker and I see the kid walking towards me, or at least in my general direction. I look at him to see if he’ll recognize me but I don’t think he does and as he walks by me I see that he’s shaking and I can see the bruises on his wrists. He’s not yelling anything.
I go to the library and find my friend Rodney at a computer. I go to see what he’s doing and he’s searching for a collection of poems but he doesn’t know which one he should get. The poet is Sylvia Plath. I follow him to the checkout desk and when he asks which Plath collection the librarian recommends she says “I haven’t heard of her. Is she British?” and Rodney says she’s not, but her husband, Ted Hughes, was. The librarian nods and says, “Oh yes, I like him.” Rodney just looks at her and then we leave without any of the collections.
The sky hangs low and its gray hue is like a sheet above us but I can see it fluctuate in the wind. Occasionally I feel drops on my head but it’s not really raining yet. I go to the bathroom and in between the tiles there is graffiti, tags I cannot make out. I also see a sentence that says “Kay should drown” and then an arrow someone drew to it that says “He can’t swim so maybe he will” and someone else has written next to that “I know who you are”.
During school I write things down and hope that I can absorb them. I imagine what my teachers think of my fellow students. Between classes I put headphones on but I don’t listen to anything and when people I don’t know or care about try to talk to me I just pretend I can’t hear them. Once in class I reach up to check that I didn’t accidentally leave them on and then I realize I didn’t but I don’t know where the teacher is and I look around and all the other students in the class are sitting there doing nothing or maybe whispering to a friend very quietly so it sounds like white noise. Then the teacher says something and pokes his head out from around the computer and I realize he had to look something up that he didn’t understand from our textbook.
At lunch I sit in the quad with Rodney and Eli and the girl Eli was telling me about comes over and talks to him. She has really long, auburn hair and thin arms and legs but is also very graceful. She smiles at Rodney and me but Rodney doesn’t notice and I just wave. When she leaves Rodney looks at me and says “What happened with Sara?” and I say “Stuff.” And he says “are you cool?”. I nod earnestly and lie “Yeah.”
Then near the end of lunch a big guy with short, black hair and really white skin comes over to us. His face is also really pale, except this makes his acne stand out so much it looks like he has chicken pox. He’s wearing a light gray tank top even though it’s really cold and keeps his arms really stiff, with his hands in his pockets, and then suddenly starts yelling at Rodney. I can’t understand what he’s saying because he’s talking really fast but Rodney is just staring at him and looks like he might cry. Rodney is huge, about 6’5 and incredibly strong from water polo. He has dark brown hair but it’s bleached from the chlorine. His eyes are large and dark green, his irises so huge they seem to bleed into his whites.
The pale guy yells at him for about two minutes without stopping, and he keeps looking from his feet to Rodney as he yells. His hands and arms never move. His words are fast and vehement, but I don’t understand them and I don’t know if Rodney does either. Then when the guy stops yelling he spits over in Eli’s direction but it doesn’t hit Eli and then the guy leaves.
Eli and I look at Rodney and Rodney looks back at us and says “People are nuts.”
At home I do homework. I’m having trouble with my math and the answers or explanations are not in the back of the books so I type the equations into Google and find the answers there. Eventually I get it done and then I do my English, which is to read Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”.
I’m done with my homework by eight. I walk around my room, which has gray walls with a hint of purple, and as I walk I feel a tendon in the back of my right knee snap every third step or so. When I move my arms back and stretch my pectorals, I can feel my chest ache with the strain. I am in perpetual physical pain. My back aches when I sit up for too long, so I usually sit low in my chair, with my shoulders almost level with my seat rest. When I stretch my elbow out straight, it pops and cracks. Every time. Occasionally my jaw cracks loudly. Sometimes my left ear will begin ringing and I can’t hear anything for almost a minute.
I feel the back of my knee snap again so I lay back on my bed. My room is tightly packed with CD’s, an electric guitar, two amplifiers, an acoustic guitar, two bookshelves packed with books and a random assortment of items I’ve collected over the years and that are important to me, and a small fish tank with a single red and purple Betta Splendens, also known as a Japanese Fighting Fish.
Straight across from me is a little wooden sculpture I mounted onto my wall. The sculpture is small, about ten inches long and two inches at it’s widest. It looks like a small log. The wood is smooth and light, a creamy tan color. Carved right out of the wood, so that it looks like it’s climbing on the log, is a lizard. The lizard has not been painted; it’s just a continuation of the wood. Its tail and hands grip the log tightly. It’s head reaches out past one end of the log. It’s eyes stare out expectantly, curiously, like it wonders what is beyond the log it’s stuck on. I think it looks really good on my wall.