In a 7th grade math class at 8 in the morning I begin to swoon from boredom and fatigue. Maybe I am unwell, my head is in a fog, why am I here? I labor to focus on converting fractions to percents so that I don’t have to contemplate my life. I duck into the bathroom in the 3 minute break between periods, I take my last 2 ibuprofen. I can’t decide if I should throw the container away in the garbage. All of the adult bathrooms are locked so I am in the little girl’s room. I’m pretty sure ibuprofen is contraband. I wrap it up in a paper towel which just makes it look more suspicious, but I’m running late, got to move on. I have to pick up a “high profile” boy and escort him to class. He walks at a ridiculous speed in a valiant attempt to shake me. He turns to check on my location every 8 feet or so. If he wasn’t so tetchy I’d gleefully confess to him that he is no match for me: I effortlessly keep the distance between us exactly three feet. It’s the most fun I have all day. I sit uselessly in a social studies class while a geography bee is conducted. It is surprisingly difficult to restrain myself from blurting out the answers. Lunch, oh thank God. I sit at the table. A sandwich, an orange, a few chocolate covered espresso beans and then I block out the teacher’s chatter and read. Back to social studies class. God damn it, I get the same answer wrong that I got in the first class: the continent that Cortez invaded was North America not South America. Come on Jessica, he was in Mexico for his conquest, think before you answer…to yourself. It would almost be worth sitting in a third class to try and get it right, but no, off to art. My boy comes in throwing his books down. The woman handing him off arms me with her room number on the 4th floor if he is any trouble. Great, I’m sure I’ll have time to track you down Lady. He is in no mood for art. After angrily wasting 3 pieces of drawing paper, stuffing one in his pants pocket, I give him one more, “settle down” I tell him. They are suppose to trace their hands so that they overlap and then draw in them things that are meaningful to them or that they like. He draws three hands overlapping in the middle of the paper and then fills them with small swirls. It is quite beautiful. I look closer, he has written “I hate my life” in the center.
The Art of Life
Posted on January 5, 2012