The eucalyptus trees were fluttering like sea anemones in the wind, and my mother’s jug of sun tea looked nearly dark enough to drink
I remember hoping she could convince him not to leave, but he continued to tie his shoes. He liked the loops in his bows to be exactly the same size.
The real catastrophes are always different – unimagined, unprepared for, unknown.
The bus stop was the hard ground where our school days always began, where insults were slung and secrets spilled or spread.
I could feel the eyes of the other kids on my face, attracted to cruelty like flies to meat.
A lie formed in my mouth. It tumbled out like a broken tooth.
From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of regret? But the new gravity was not enough to overcome the pull of certain other forces, more powerful, less known – no law of physics can account for desire.
This was middle school, the age of miracles, the time when kids shot up three inches over the summer, when breasts bloomed from nothing, when voices dipped and dove.
Mr. Jensen had a ponytail and a beard. He wore a lot of tie-dye. He rode a bike to school, and it was rumored that he cooked his meals on the Bunsen burners in the back of the classroom and slept in a sleeping bag under his desk. He wore hiking boots to school every day. He looked like he could live for many months in the desert with only a compass and a pocketknife and a canteen.
The Ferris wheel stood only partially erect: a single red bucket dangled from a single spoke like the last fruit of summer, or like autumn’s final leaf.
Even beauty, in abundance, turns creepy.
With a little persuasion, any familiar thing can turn abnormal in the mind.
There’s a certain kind of shock that’s possible only when you’re young.
On dark days like that one, the library windows looked lit up like an aquarium, the inhabitants on display for all the other kids to see: here the most exotic fish, the lonely, the unloved, the weird.
Points of Interest: Plants mentioned
- Bermuda grass