Old school.
Wednesday, 02/04/04 - 1:39 pm.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning. It wasn't very dificult, but it reminded me of the bad side of being a schoolgirl: getting up early. Only I just wasn't wearing my uniform anymore (it's been two years now), I only had to wake up my nephew for him to do so. I put on The Beatles to wake him up quickier. Music always helped me in the morning (only I didn't listen to The Beatles by then -I regret it now-, it was Aerosmith -this, I don't regret-).

So we were ready to go, at 6:35 am (if there isn't traffic jam, my school is just 5-7 minutes by car). I took a picture of my nephew, because there's an old disposable camera nobody has used, so I'm finishing the roll by myself, taking pictures of Frog, the parrot, Frog and the parrot, my nephew, my nephew and Frog and the parrot...you get the point. I came out to the street, and I remembered the good side of waking up so early: the warmness of the enviroment. The sun just coming out, a colorful sky, a little cold, quietness. Beautiful.

I got to school. The 11th grade (the equivalent of senior high) coordinator, as well as my philosophy teacher, Hector, was in the parking lot looking for a parking spot, but he didn't see me. I was about to knock softly on his window, but I didn't.

I made my way to the 2nd/3rd grade hallway, almost at the other end of the school (for the most part, it's not a building, it's just rows of hallways, with small forests in between). All students outside of their classrooms, waiting for the coordinator of their grade to unlock them.

I passed by Fidel's office, and to my disappointment, he wasn't there. Maybe on my way back. I passed by what used to be the gym for elementary school, and I discovered they'd turned it into a nice library for children. Heh. I was jealous. Back in my day, that used to be a chamber of torture for me, being afraid of gymnastics, and sucking at it. And now it's a library. School always evolves, but it only seemed to evolve for better after I'd gone through the grade (like they got new playgrounds for elementary school, the year I started middle school).

Well, I dropped my nephew at his classroom, I met his teacher (she seems nice...but she'll definitely be gone in a couple of months, she's pregnant...that happens a lot with elementary school teachers). And made my way back, not really looking about. I knew the place very well, but nothing of my life in it came to my mind.

I passed by Fidel's office again. Door closed, he wasn't there (he never closes his door when he's in). But next to his office there's the 9th grade coordinator's office. She's very friendly and nice. I think I've never mentioned this here (and not to many people for that matter) but she saved me from failing 9th grade and going to summer school. I'd failed math at the end of the year, but she told the math teacher to make me take it again. And I passed it, so I passed 9th year, and I scaped from the embarrasing summer school (people asking me: "YOU? You, at summer school?", with that haha-you're-not-superior-anymore tone people who mistakenly put you on a pedestal seem to have). I wouldn't say she helped me just because I was the sister of a friend of hers...everybody (and I mean everybody) knew I was doing my best in math, and yet I was failing miserably.

Anyway, now I've told that little secret (I never told anyone, because they might get mad at me, saying I had connections and such....I just thought my acquaintances would fail to acknowledge that it wasn't just because she was friends with my sister or felt pity for me...she told me herself, I'd earned an opportunity...I think I never did or would thank her enough), having said that, I knocked on her door and she greeted me gladly. It was a quick conversation, though. It was time for class.

Like I said, Fidel wasn't in his office, but I had one more hope. And just like I expected, I found him one hallway further from his office, in the 10th grade hallway (duh, he's the 10th grade coordinator), talking to someone. I walked up to him and he gets all happy: "Hey, it's wonderful to see you!". And I gave him a hug. I sure missed that man. We had a quick talk (because my dad was waiting for me...you didn't think I'd drive myself there, would you? let alone drive a child, oh, no) and gave him the little present I'd made for him. I said I'd come back some other day and I'd stay longer to have a cup of coffee and talk. I was a little nervous, for no reason. He said again how great it was to see me, I said something similar, we hugged good-bye and...good-bye.

I came back home, read, read, read (finished to kill a mockingbird...beautiful book), and then fell asleep. When I woke up, everything seemed like a dream. Going to school, seeing Fidel. I dream of my school very often, sometimes three nights in a row. And this seemed like just another dream to me. I tried not to think about my school for so long or else I'd become emotional. I didn't want to start crying over something which time is long up.

And I didn't. I sat on my bed and realized how odd for me not to reminisce, after being in a place where I spent every morning (later on, four afternoons a week), everyday, for 10 months for 13 years of my life. I just don't remember a whole lot. And I realized I don't want to. Maybe I do, but I'd like to talk about it with Fidel, or Hector or Geovanni (the 11th grade psychology teacher, sometimes I thought of running to his office to tell him I was a cutter). I'd like to look back holding the hand of somebody who was there (and I don't mean classmates or friends, because I've never counted on them for such delicate tasks). I don't want to miss that life, because I have another one now. Not better, not worse, just different. You seem to fit different lives in your lifetime, don't you? Sadly, as far as I remember, I've only had 3 or 4. But not to worry, I think I lived them well. Not perfectly, as I'd change a few things, but nicely, nicely enough.

I refined Fidel's present, by the way. It wasn't just a dead butterfly. I painted the bottom of the safety matches box with black marker and liquid paper. I drew Simeon on a piece of paper, smiling. I added a tiny withered rose (the size of my fingernail...mom has the strangest plants) and a sharpless razor (that, of course, belonged to me). I also made him a haiku about the biological foundation of the memory, to let him I know I think of him often. And a sticker of a local gas station.

And that is all. Maybe it's just a coincidence, but as I'm sitting here talking about my school, I receive an e-mail telling me that the schedule for semester 01/2004 is up on my university's website. And, as certain Beatles song chants, ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on.

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