It’s exam week, ladies and gentlemen. Today I did Social Studies (we’re doing Economics) , Physics & Chemistry (stoichiometry) and French (PRONOMSADEJECTIFSFROMAGE!).
I have a habit of being unable to fully concentrate on any task at hand – my head is in too many places at once, buzzing and frequently refusing to re-enter reality, giving me a spazzed out look. Sometimes I wonder if this is why no one will take me seriously, because they’ll only ever see me lazily cupping my face in my hands, tracing the cracks in the walls, watching the slippery steps of a spider, the quirky facial expressions of the boy next to me. They’ll assume I’m empty during these moments, thinking of nothing, nothing at all, when really that couldn’t be further from the truth.
But regardless of how I may romanticize about it – mentally wandering off is a (usually) bad habit. Sure, it’s my chloroform for boring Phy & Chem classes, but I’m going to have to learn the periodic table anyway.
During exams I’ll be describing Faraday’s experiments, proper grammar or anatomy and my thoughts will begin to walk away from me, circling until my hand is a separate entity, explaining small school details on my A4 paper, working with that small segment of my brain that still cares about my final grade. Frequently I’ll snap back, chide myself, remind myself to concentrate, dammit, but I’ve never been particularly willful with these kinds of things.
At nine fifteen this morning, while writing out the objectives of the European Union’s CAP (by the way, I am a CAP hater. That policy is u-n-s-u-s-t-a-i-n-a-b-l-e), my mental THINKTHINKTHINK wall began slipping. I thought about starting Perdita again.
The My Documents folder on Sushi has thirty or forty Word documents. The longest is one hundred and fifteen pages, written when I was nine, and the shortest is three lines.
It’s a graveyard – filled with bits and pieces of stories I’ve begun but eventually let go. I’ve written about superheroes, mental asylum patients, murderers, time travelers, the Holocaust, twins separated at birth, India, kindergarten, Mesopotamia, Cinderella, supermarket parking lots, what it feels like to drown, my grandmother, my kitchen sink. There are hundreds more abandoned on slips of paper, napkins, the hard drives of past laptops. But there’s always been one, just one, that’s always stuck to me. And that’s Perdita.
You know when you’ll be lying in bed, thinking about just random stuff (that guy you like – was he flirting with you, or are you imagining things, the spaghetti you ate for lunch, the last song you listened to)? I always end up planning out character development, plot lines, twists, unhappy endings, even though I don’t really have the time to sit down in front of Sushi and just get it all out. And the one story it all comes back to? Perdita’s.
I once heard someone say that writers pluck stories from the air and translate the letters of the wind into words so the rest of us can read them. I think it could have been my grandmother, or maybe I just pulled it off some bad 80s sitcom. The point however, is that, following that analogy, I don’t have time to sit around fighting with words and tugging them out of the sky. But a big part of me really wants to finish Perdita – even if it’s just that one story, for the rest of my life.
Fallas, our regional holiday, is in a week or so. I’m hoping the teachers will have pity on us and let us roam for a little while, for our fourteen days of holiday, so my friends can go shopping, so I can sit at home and find the words to Perdita from the air stagnant above my head. Maybe? Maybe.
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