In one of my classes, a girl singlehandedly intrigues me with her curiosity and controversial statements. Despite having to work many jobs in order to pay for her tuition, she is still able to hold her head up high in class and cause a stir. Her stoic face reveals nothing of her complex thoughts, but her eyes dart around wildly, trying to read ours, to find that small fissure in order to pry her way through our walls we’ve build to prevent people like her from revealing too much. We would try our best to counter her sharp and graceful words, but sometimes we end up twisting ourselves up into those masterful metal art pieces. Most of us let those who are armed to combat her rather than letting our soft hands grapple at her. Let me make this clear, she isn’t a bad person. No, not at all. We are simply jealous of her fluid ability to manipulate words and spit them out without them being mangled. It’s a little embarrassing for us to constantly lose to the same enemy with no cheat book in how to defeat it just once perhaps. Her words hold power that no one else can learn from sitting in class.
In another one of my classes, another girl who sits in front of me manages to rack my mind full of questions because she is not like other people who aim to quietly blend in with the rest of the crowd. She doesn’t try and make herself on the same wavelength, but she twists around time and drags the atmosphere with her. On cooler days, her back is shown to us through the intricate patterns of her shirt. Perhaps she doesn’t feel the capacity for cold. On warmer days, she comes into class prepared not only with a massive water bottle, but with a hot beverage. Perhaps my perspective on her would shift slightly if I knew her preference was coffee versus tea. Perhaps it depends on the day. What if she chose tea on the day she broke down in the bathroom and her friend and classmate had to rescue her. What if she chose coffee on the day she came in late on the day the class had a quiz. If I asked her the questions, she wouldn’t answer. I know that for sure.
On the train ride back home, in the frantic nature of needing to find a seat as if there weren’t enough seats, I quickly plopped myself next to a girl who looked too small for her seat. I learned that she was going to Boston and that we went to the same school. She found out that I was two years above her and her exclamation surprised me because for once, I was reveled as somewhat of a role model. She bombarded me by asking me which classes were the easiest and I couldn’t help but chuckle. This girl honestly thinks that she could get through college the easy way. Mentally I bid her good luck, but verbally, I told her what I’ve heard. En route, there was a moment when she became older than me and my pride for my age was quickly lost because the moment to regain it was lost.
As I was walking home under the torrential downpour that my city carries, I look up from underneath my umbrella only to catch a glance of a man running through the rain and sheltering his bagel with wax paper. His feet sunk into the puddles and his head was doused in the rain, but his bagel remained dry. From this brief encounter, I was reminded by the universe to breathe and relax.
Written: 11/23/16 11:46pm