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February 27, 2010
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Paper Cranes

What if the world really had been flat?
What if everything the Pope says is true?
What if my English teacher is a witch?
People laugh when I ask "What If?" questions.
"What if? What if? What it?" they chant.
It's a lack of imagination on their part, a simple mind.
Because what if the world does end in 2012?
What if my hair were blonde?

Today, I went to school, and then I went to practice.
And then I went home, and ate some food and wondered:
What if the apple I was eating planted a seed in my belly and it grew?
And then I watched some television, but it wasn't very interesting:
I didn't come up with any "What if?" questions.
And then I sat in my room and listened to my mom and dad talk in the kitchen
What if they knew that I heard everything they said?
What if that made them mad?

Today, I rode the bus to school.
And then I went to first hour,
But I didn't ask my teacher any "What if?" questions because that makes him mad.
I don't like it when people are mad.
And then, during lunch, I asked myself, what if people couldn't get mad?
And then I thought about that for a long time.
And then I went home. And then I listened to my parents yell at each other.
What if they don't believe in true love?

Today, I thought about friends.
What if they liked me because I ask "What if?" questions?
And then I laughed out loud because that was a funny "What if?" question.
And then my teacher got mad because I laughed while he was talking.
And then he sent me into the hallway to "think."
What if all of our classes were in the hallway?
And then I went home.
What if we didn't have to go to school?

Today, I counted the number of sidewalk cracks downtown.
And then I went to the beach and tried to count the grains of sand.
What if sand weren't scratchy?
What if the water at the beach all dried up?
And then I bought some bread at the store,
And then I fed the geese that live in the park.
And then I walked for a long time.
What if cars had never been invented?

Today, when I got home from school,
My dad was angry.
I locked my bedroom door. That makes him more mad.
What if he didn't try to unlock the door this time?
And then I opened my window and leaned as far out as I could go.
And then I watched the birds flying and I yelled at them to leave me alone.
What if birds spoke English and humans chirped?
What if that made my dad less mad?

Today, was the weekend so no one had to go to school.
What if we lived in Japan and went to school on Saturdays?
What if I knew how to make paper cranes?
And then I learned how to make paper cranes.
And then I took them outside and tied them to the apple tree.
And then I watched them all fly away.
What if the apple tree didn't like my paper cranes?
What if my paper cranes didn't like me?

Today, I woke up early.
And then I went to church with my mom and dad.
The preacher talked really loudly, but I don't think my mom and dad were listening.
And then we came home and I went into my room.
What if no one could hear anything?
What if everyone was trapped in an empty place?
And then I knew that my mom and dad were trapped in that empty and alone place.
What if I didn't care about my mom and dad?

Today, I got in trouble at school for not paying attention.
And then I came home early because I was mad.
And then my dad was mad because I was mad.
And then I locked my door, but he unlocked it.
He said the only way for him not to be mad was for me to make him feel happy.
And then I made him feel better and when he got off of my bed and left,
I cried.
What if my mom could make my dad happy instead of me?

Today, when I woke up, I decided that I didn't want to go to school.
And then I lay there for awhile, looking at the ceiling.
And then I thought about some of my favorite "What if?" questions.
What if the entire world was underwater?
What if people rode dragons to school?
What if 1+1 didn't equal 2?
And then I got up and picked up the beer bottles next to my dad's favorite chair.
What if my dad had a job?

Today, something bad happened.
My school called because I wasn't there.
And then my dad got mad and I had to make him happy.
And then
I cried
Again.
What if my tear ducts stopped working?
What if I stopped everything?

Today, there was a new counselor at my school.
She wanted to talk to me about stuff.
She was nice and she didn't laugh when I asked her a "What if?" question.
What if everyone was nice like her?
And then I had to go back to class,
But I get to talk to her tomorrow, too.
And then I got in trouble for talking in class, even though I wasn't talking to anyone.
What if someone had been listening?

Today, the school counselor didn't have time to talk to me.
And now she never has time.
And now she doesn't answer my "What if?" questions.
And now I can't be happy about that anymore.
And now, when I go home, I don't get to look forward to talking to her anymore.
What if I could make her sad like she made me?
What if I could make my dad sad?
What if I had the power to make other people sad?

Today, I decided not to go to school again so I went for a walk.
And then I walked to this really high place that is above the water.
And then I walked right to the edge of the high place.
What if I could fly through the air like my paper cranes?
And then I took five steps back.
What if no one else ever asked "What if?" questions?
And then I knew that I had to keep asking "What if?" questions even if it made people mad.
What if everyone is sad and mad...except for me?





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