Friday, October 31, 2008

Brave Hearts

I taught at the high school for the third time today. My heart isn’t really in it yet—in fact, I don’t really know where my heart is lately. Hibernating, maybe?

I asked 90 tenth graders to write short essays in the form of personal ads. One brave boy wrote, “Loves making music and traveling at high speeds. Daring. Sort of smart. Lacks confidence. 16, male, wishing for someone to help.” One of the girls said, “Seaching for a new family, preferably sane. Looking for a new me, too. Same requirements.”

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Writing on the Wall

Dr. Fiancé and I rented a U-Haul and moved the last of my things out of the old school yesterday. It’s remarkable—and exhausting—and ridiculous!—how much a person can cram (artfully!) into a 20-by-20-foot space. You think you've emptied out your filing cabinet, but then your fiancé pulls open the second drawer from the bottom, the one full of stuff you might need for an art project some day: your mom's old dollhouse dolls, a plastic "no smoking" sign, a pewter creamer that might be a family heirloom, some old forks, a glue gun... This move has been like a parade of clown cars—the cars keep parking in the alley and stuff keeps coming out, making a mockery of efficiency, organization, and simple living. The guest room is now crammed full of boxes, and the dining room and foyer have become home to bags, boxes, and piles, too.

Moving in for real will have to wait until Dr. Fiancé and I have returned from Iowa and settle back into a routine—if we can do that with a mattress and two headboards leaning against a piano in the dining room and a bedroom of boxes threatening to crash down onto our heads from the second floor.

At the Old School today I wiped down the sink, swept the floor, shut the windows, and wrote a note on the chalkboard for the next tenant, asking them to take good care of a place that took good care of me. Then I left the keys on the counter, turned out the lights, and—for the last time—pulled the door closed behind me.