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TCT’s The Countless Thanks 2021: Kelsey Dantuma

Seasons mark every fifteen minutes on the clock for me, time moves faster this way—is more bearable this way. Everything I have touched over the past year has fallen apart in matters of seconds; innocent twitches of the big hand on the clock turn into sand slipping through my fingers, and all I do is watch. 

That being said, it’s hard to find words, words in general that is, to describe all of the above alongside the people who have watched me fall apart. But then there’s those who have been there consistently to pick up the pieces, it is their faces in the glass shattered on the floor that reflect color so beautifully, and I find that spending the limited energy I have writing to them might just be enough this time to feel worthwhile, somehow.

Abby Wright, for telling me I speak in sonnets

You are mere blue bubbles away, always; though, I wish it didn’t have to be like this. But you once told me that sometimes, distance is good for people—that it makes everything just that much more special when you finally connect again. A lot of times it feels like I’m screaming to get people to turn around and nod their heads in acknowledgment of the things I am saying, but never with you. Thank you for being there to talk through the things that prevent me from shutting my eyes at night, for hearing me even when my voice is barely above a whisper.

Mrs. Anderson, for making a classroom a home

We both know that school has been particularly hard for me this past year, not necessarily just the work itself but the environment, social challenges, and everything in between. No matter what the scenario, may it be happy or sad, you are always there to greet me with open arms, a box of Cheez-It’s in hand, tuned ears, and a level head that is ready to tackle any problem that might come my way. I know we don’t always get to talk about you a lot, mainly because of the absolute mess that I just so happen to be, but I want to thank you for helping me to change my perspective on various issues at hand, and for making the beige brick walls of our school more colorful, and so, so much warmer, through the loving and accepting nature of you and your classroom.

Lauren Ergelic, for being my green

I have always wanted to be the color green, but unfortunately, I am certainly not well organized or well planned, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t quite seem to achieve any resemblance of an easy-going nature or version of calmness and general collectiveness of oneself. Lauren, you are all of these things, and you fill the empty spaces and patch them up with neat little bows and ribbons—making them beautiful. You truly are my other half, my platonic soulmate, someone who brings new joys into my life just when I think I have exhausted every corner of this city in search of something that makes the bad things go away. I learned a long time ago to stop looking, that what I needed was right in front of me, for you force your way into my heart only to make the warmth spread from the inside out until I reach that moment where I forget how to frown, if only for a sweet second.

Mason Yarnell, for providing consistency in every sense of the word

Consistency is hard for me to come by these days, everything feels like it is either changing too fast or too slow, but your light is always there to bring me out of the darkness no matter how deep I may go. You have been there since I started grade school and learned how to ride a bike and discovered that math really isn’t my strong suit. You held me while I cried after donating a ridiculously large collection of stuffed animals. You sat with me while I ranted relentlessly to you about minor inconveniences while eating popcorn and watching movies on your couch downstairs. You were there no matter what. I’m not really sure whether or not I have accepted that childhood is over, but you had to go and move away and leave me here to finally try and sort out my own problems for once, how inconvenient. But I must admit that picking through all of these thoughts in my head is tedious work, it was just a little bit easier to dump them out on your basement floor and then organize them together. Nonetheless, I want to thank you for thirteen years of friendship—for a bond that is so unbreakable that it weathered both of us going through puberty.

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