January 31, 2008
The bell rings for lunch.
Everyone grabs their already packed backpack,
racing out the doors to get to the front of a line.
Although it doesn’t matter for the people who cut,
who do it everyday and have it as part of their routine.
Walking through the hallways,
I see all different groups of people unpacking their lunches.
Some playing with cards, others simply talking.
I pass G-hall, where a group of guys play music and break dance.
I stop to watch, entertained, then continue on.
There are tables full of studious Asians,
filling their tabletops with binders and textbooks instead of lunch bags.
Some white girls stand near the rally court,
all wearing pretty much the same thing, but in different colors;
sleeveless shirts in the frigid weather.
Music turns on and blasts out the speakers above the Apache clock.
The only thing it achieves is making people talk louder in order to be heard.
A pair of girls walks to the cafeteria together,
afraid to go alone for the fear of looking like loners.
I realize that lunchtime is just another important part of high school,
used to show others how many friends you have,
how popular you are,
to get in some extra studying and show others your A+ test.
Have we forgotten the true purpose of lunch?
Have we abandoned the need to help ourselves
in exchange for being afraid of what others think of us?
I reflect on this, sitting down at my normal lunch table,
stopping when I realize that I’ve forgotten my lunch
and wonder if there’s anything decent I can buy for less than $4.50.

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