Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
~ T.S. Eliot
The party is going on, half barbecue, half cruise, depending on whom you speak to. This one girl seems like she could become a friend. I went to high school with her, but I don’t remember her to be honest, and she looks like she’s only around 18 anyway, so it doesn’t make sense.
But she is nice to me, so I hold seats for us while she leaves, then returns with two hula hoops. It’s very exciting until I realize that even if I could get that tiny hoop to spin around my waist, I doubt I can pull it over my chest or hips. It is a nice gesture though, so I spin it on my finger for awhile.
Gradually, the girl loses interest and goes to play with the people who fit into their hula hoops, and I notice the school that sometimes appears, my old school, changed by remaining unchanged, save for the foliage that’s beginning to grow. Its hallways are empty as usual, but this time, so are the classrooms.
I sit down on a chair in the hallway and the desolation starts to gain presence. The hall grows darker and I see across from me a new half of the school. A kindergarten. Every bit as colorful as the hallway is not, but it doesn’t warm me. I look some more. The kindergarten grows brighter and warmer, filled with and run by what seems to be a benevolent, fire-colored energy.
The space around me becomes darker and more oppressive, and it feels like a storm is coming soon. But I can’t take my eyes off the scene before me, and suddenly remember Ramona Quimby. Downtrodden by the adult ways of first grade, missing Miss Binney and that kindergarten classroom of love and hope, filled with remorse as she passes it by.
With that, I am overcome. The light, the fire, the love – why can’t I go back, or just visit for a little while?
I watch, and I yearn, and I freeze to death.