Posted tagged ‘stepping over the line’

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

July 30, 2015

If I could go back in time, I don’t know exactly when I’d choose. Lots of places in time were wonderful for me. When I was eleven comes to mind. The teenage years weren’t even on the horizon yet. Boys were around but had no real importance in my life. I loved school. Riding my bike all over my little world took up many a Saturday in the summer. In the winter was the matinée. I was a girl scout still and did fun overnights at the camp in town near the zoo. I remember the cots there were the old canvas ones tricky to open. We made camp fire stew for dinner. We hiked on the trails through the pine forest which smelled like Christmas. Life was easy when I was eleven.

I might give thirteen another look. We were the big wigs in school, the eighth graders. I was finally a teenager though nothing miraculous happened. Boys were barely interesting but were definitely seeping into my consciousness. The future was rearing its ugly head. I had to pick a high school. My friend and I colluded and were accepted into the same school. That was cause for jubilation. I had the best fun inthat eighth grade. The nun was crazy, not harmful crazy but old age crazy. We got away with everything. I, who seldom crossed the line, spent most of my eighth grade over the line setting a trend for the rest of my life. The line became arbitrary. Life was fun when I was thirteen.

I think I’d be twenty-one again. I’d get to vote for the first time and legally drink for a change. That was my senior year in college. During second semester, every Friday, we had a happy hour beginning at noon, a couple of hours before our last class of the day, and ending in the late afternoon at a bar owned by a friend’s family. It was always elbow to elbow with people, most of them my classmates. We were enjoying our last times together after four years of closeness. That was also the year I was whacked in the head with a sign which said in capital letters DECIDE. I had to plan my future. That was a bit scary so I hedged my bets. I applied to law school, interviewed for a teaching job and applied to Peace Corps, my first and only choice. The rest were back-ups just in case. All three came through, but I accepted Peace Corps, something I had wanted for so long. I remember the day the mailman brought my special delivery acceptance letter. It was in January. I was elated. Life was scary and life was crazy when I was twenty-one.

“If I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior.”

October 12, 2014

The sun is back and 70˚ will be here by Tuesday. This is such a weird time of year, one which can’t quite figure out what season it is. Am I still fall or late summer or early winter? My heat went on this morning. It was set for 65˚ so the house must have been quite chilly, slippers and sweatshirt weather. We did go to the dump yesterday in the rain, Gracie and I. There were three cars counting mine. It was a brilliant move on my part. Today will be filled with cars parked hither and yon and people wondering why they didn’t go yesterday in the rain.

I got an e-mail about my 50th high school reunion next year. I was eleven when I graduated. Okay, I’m lying. Anyway, there was a bland questionnaire which even asked about pets. There was a list of deceased classmates, nine of them, but I know it is incomplete as a name I remember is missing. He was struck by lightning. One of the questions was favorite memories. I remembered my English classroom which had two doors, one in the front and one in the back near where I sat. When Mrs. Baker, called Ma Baker by us, was facing the board I used to sneak out the back door. I’d wander a bit or head for the library. When I figured I was gone long enough, I’d sneak back in. Once I wanted my friend to sneak out with me. She was afraid of being caught, but I cajoled and convinced her. I went first then signaled when she should follow. We didn’t get caught. I always wondered how Ma Baker never noticed two empty seats attached to desks with books.

My friend Marie, who has been my friend since I was ten, claims I have always gotten away with everything. She’s right. The key  was to step confidently over the line in plain sight. Sometimes I’d say, “Watch this,” and over the line I’d go. The adult, right there with me, never said a word, never castigated me for line stepping. I think it had to do with me being the least likely to step over the line. I never caused any trouble or sassed anyone, was smart in school and generally did what I was told so whatever I did was never suspect. Even now it drives Maria crazy because she always got caught. I still laugh and make fun of her. That too drives her crazy.

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