It’s good outside. I was out walking today, going to feed the neighborhood cats I have to feed occasionally, and I heard the snow melting. But it wasn’t just dripping, it was falling in on itself beneath the surface. I thought something was trying to climb out from it; I didn’t hear it initially as melting snow.
Every few steps or so, another piece of snow tried to climb out. I thought of myself: I’m almost through my last year of public schooling and I’m just about clawing my way out, too. This winter has been long and oppressive and so has this year in school, and, like most of my peers, it’s getting way old, way fast. I’ve never wanted out of school this much in my life.
I smirked at the snow tapping through the surface, rooted for its success; I can’t wait to see green. I feel spring, hear spring, smell spring, but when will I see spring? Green is a young color, a spring color, the color of growth; It’s my favorite color. White has left us blank, with nothing to do for a while; it’s not the pure, virgin slate it once was; it’s spattered with gray and rocky sludge; it’s getting old. Young green is good; better.
Good things come to those who wait, apparently. I like this idea because things wouldn’t be very good if they came around too often: we wouldn’t have time to miss them and realize how much we want them. But I don’t like it because haven’t I been waiting long enough? What about “Good things never last”: could I be waiting so long just to return to waiting? I really can’t wait anymore.
Waiting for more Good might be the reason why high school patience wears thin for us seniors – and senioritis is inevitable, even for the rebels and over-achievers – the Good didn’t last, there’s nothing left untouched, disobeyed, unachieved. The rebels have nothing to “get away with” anymore, the novelty of disobedience has worn off since 10th grade. The over-achievers have stretched the limits of all their assignments, and need something else to excel at; high school is conquered. And for people like me, who don’t work well with “the daily grind,” we need a change of pace or we’ll blow a gasket.
However, Good’s vacancy doesn’t necessarily invite only Bad in as a replacement. It’s just that Bad is harder to shake and Good “never lasts.” In other words, coping is harder than rejoicing. Minutes before entering the warm-up room at a jazz competition yesterday, my high E-string broke. I heard a tinny twang and looked down. Shoot. Ran to my case, ripped out another E-string, repaired the problem. I also had a very nice comrade who held everything in place while I did the surgery. I left the comp mad, though, despite averting the crisis. I was mad because I know people in my band aren’t practicing; because I didn’t do as well as I had hoped to – not even just mad at the night: I was mad because people are rubbing me the wrong way, can hardly stand them these days; because I’m so bored in class; just mad.
So I wrote. I wrote what I hated about right now in my journal. My anger had boiled over and I needed to contain it before I scalded anyone near me. I needed that culmination, the small eruption before I could start dealing with things because anger boils away the distracting shimmering water of minor details for me and leaves behind the dregs and sediment of my real root-problem. And I have to wait for that, too, to be able to write properly and start coping. Bad is just harder to shake.
At the cats’ house, one cat that normally never greets me trotted out right away; I perceived his angular jaguar face, lumpy gumdrop body and stick-tail with a smile. After a quick pet, he trotted toward the sliding glass door and mewed. (Very high pitched for a male cat.) Mewed and mewed. Then came the papping. He dug at the glass; turns out he only wanted out. I couldn’t let him out, though, because I wasn’t sure if he would come back, or if he was even allowed by his owners. He’d have to wait, unfortunately.
We all have to wait, unfortunately. I want out, the snow wants out, the cats want out, the seniors want out; we all want out, but we all have to wait until, well, we are out. And that’s soon. I can feel it. Hear it. Smell it. It’s a matter of time before I can see it, shake off the dregs and be out.