Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by Kathleen Lynch
I sat staring around the empty room for forty-five minutes. Twenty-two empty seats, the now blank walls stripped of Macbeth movie posters, an overflowing garbage can, a tattered copy of Romeo and Juliet on the floor. Fourth row. Third seat. Jennings's desk. Guess he won't be getting to his reading over the break. Sigh.
They left today for holiday, with the bravely, boasting brunt of adolescence, jeering them onto the buses that will transport them away, away, away from here, the deeply seated enemy. They are so excited to be released, and would never dream of letting you feel a remote inkling, a minute possibility of any reluctance of leaving this room, this home, or above all you. You who have become the target of the rolling eyes, and labored exhales as loud as the last breath of life from a twenty pack a day emphysema patient. I have been reduced to the form of the jester whose mere attempt at any form of knowledge is so comical…pitiful…
How dare I expect something of them? How dare I expect something of them? Who the hell am I anyway? And in the quickening passing of 180 days, I begin to wonder, who the hell am I anyway? I second-guess myself for the tenth-thousandth time.
They walk down the path toward the buses, and I watch the embraces that would weaken Russell Crowe at his best. Kisses so deep and meaningful they would carry anyone over the age of 35 through 400 years of solitaire… and then some. I try to imagine in my mind's eye the world that is waiting for them on the other end. The impending hallmark and hell mark moments on the horizon. I miss them already.
Earlier this morning, when my alarm rang out, I tightened my eyes and audibly said, "Not again…" And now I sit here, and I miss them. I realize I will come to my senses, live my life, enjoy my holiday…and will wake 12 days from now, rolling over, closing my eyes, Here we go… again…and again…and again…and so it passes…
….and here I am. The holiday box has been emptied and another year has passed. The alarm is going off. I think of them. I recall a vague…vague,,,mmnnn… sense of missing them. Shower, coffee, darkness. 15 degrees. Jeez... I piece together my welcome back class… I finally smile a bit when I turn into the parking lot and remember.
"Well, let's talk about the themes in Romeo and Juliet. Jennings—let's hear what you think."
And so, the battle begins once again. Welcome home.
January 21, 2004
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