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back to school
the world is not simple
summer is not over yet in my mind but whatever
"Tin Bucket" by Jenny George The world is not simple. Anyone will tell you. But have you ever washed a person’s hair over a tin bucket, gently twisting the rope of it to wring the water out? At the end of everything, dancers just use air as their material. A voice keeps singing even without an instrument. You make your fingers into a comb.
psychology of september
A recurring dream I have is about band. I played the alto sax for all my years of school, but in my dream I have dropped out and am walking past the band room, hearing my section practice, knowing I have not shown my face there in months. I can spin out the code to my high school locker (#60 across from the cafeteria). In a different but similarly recurring dream, I have skipped honors math (the only class I ever finished with a C in) for months, and there was no way I could go in there now. I must continue to hide. And I dream of my high school graduation a lot, the hours right before it happened.
Beyond my other regular subconscious visitors (my family and friends suddenly hating me, walking barefoot through the city), my school dreams have the most realistic hold on me.
Why do we dream of school well into adulthood? Psychologists chalk it up to the fact that we spent our formative years in school and had our first experiences with performance-based judgment during that time. It is also where we developed an understanding of how the world works. Recurring dreams might signify unprocessed emotions being facing today.
Is life like gym class? As often as I envy children I see around, wishing I could be as carefree, I know that when I was 12, there was nothing more harrowing than having to do gym. Not taxes, not debt, health insurance, nor any faraway inconvenience of the promised adulthood could have had me wishing anything other than I wish I could grow up. I can’t wait until I’m an adult and I don’t have to do gym.
For me, the end of every summer feels like the first day of school. Something in the air shifts and a tension arises. Summer flees like water between my hands and winter looms in the back of my mind like a great white cloud. Like always, I am asking myself where the time went as if checking a receipt. Where was it all spent?
But I bought myself a new notebook today just because. The feeling of the clean paper makes me miss school, and I can smile. I rewrite the narrative. I think of the bus stop at the corner of my front lawn. My kneecaps. I think of the dogs that saw me off every day. Lemonade. I think instead of my mom combing out my long, knotty hair.
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