Thursday, March 15, 2007
I didn’t really want to be here. Here being this run down building that looked like someone had locked the doors at a days end, shoving the keys in his jacket pocket, his mind already on dinner as he drove away, never remembering to return.
We pulled up in front of the faded brick gymnasium. The walnut colored covered walkway that led from the gym to the chapel acting the umbrella to weeds and grass that snuck through the concrete path. I watched fascinated as nuns garbed in full habit walked to the buildings in the distance. The black of their robes making them seem to float, lending a sense of surreal to an already imaginative canvas.
Somewhere behind us the bustle of life as I knew it droned on unknowingly. The roar of traffic, muffled and subdued behind trees and overgrowth, lent a soundtrack that was echoed gleefully by crickets and the cackle of birds. This was a place that spoke to me in hushed voices. It was neither here nor there, neither heaven nor earth. At thirteen, “between” was a state of being I knew all to well.
“Come on Kara.” My mother climbed out of our tan station wagon, the leather seats squeaking as she hurried to meet the caretaker waiting at the edge of the building. I scrambled out my side, relishing the slam of the door as it whipped my mothers head back to me. I watched her face tighten on words of chastisement. Swallowing them, she sighed, shaking her head as she walked away from me, leaving me to follow, or not.
These little things, the slamming of doors, my heavy sighs, moments of soaring happiness followed yapping at its heels by crushing sadness; they confused even me. I didn’t know where the churlishness of my tongue came from or how to stop words that seemed to fly from my mouth with wings of their own. I wondered briefly how I could enjoy watching her struggle to bite back her words; yet hate myself for it at the same time.
Pushing out my own sigh, I hunched my shoulders forward in such a way that my dishwater blond hair swung forward to obscure my eyes. I followed my mother into the building at a snails pace, discount barrel sneakers shuffling along below me, creating puffs of dirt clouds as I went.
The moment I stepped inside, the dim lighting settled about my shoulders like a cloak. My hair fell away from my eyes as I lifted my chin to watch the dust from a thousand days of forgetfulness float into the sporadic beams of sunlight like small fairies in a glen. The slam of doors echoed down quiet corridors, startling me with their imagined boom. Shouts of boys long turned to men tumbled down from the rafters, winging past me in swooshes of sound. I could smell the pages from school books gone and moldered and hear the clatter and bustle of a school going about its day to day.
I stood frozen in the entrance way of the old Catholic boy’s school. My stomach deep and quivering as a feeling of anticipation climbed with tickling talons up my spine, settling with nervous jitters at the back of my throat.
The world I had known had been thrust aside with gleeful abandon. I watched helpless as the past reached out for me with hands gnarled and smelling of mothballs and tobacco. I lifted a quivering hand in response, palm up, taking hold of something I didn’t understand, didn’t need to. Something that had waited years for someone like me, a person caught in-between…just like it.
****To Be Continued****
| posted by Kara at 3/15/2007 04:53:00 PM
Flyinfox_SATX had this to say:
You have a tremendous gift of writing. Have you ever thought about becoming an author?
Otherwise, if I have told you once, I have told you a million times...My Childhood Catholic schools are no place for a lovely lady of your stature to be...The onlything missing from this story is the Nun with the ruler waiting to crack knuckles.
- 7:41 AM, March 16, 2007
Carrie had this to say:
You do this to me knowing that I am about to leave. Thanks! Some friend you are. LOL
- 9:15 AM, March 16, 2007
Michael had this to say:
As another refugee from a Catholic school (St. Leo's in Leominster, MA) I can't wait to see where this goes...
- 11:56 PM, March 16, 2007
Steven Novak had this to say:
To Be Continued.
- 11:25 AM, March 19, 2007
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