Living vicariously through your friendship with me

Like a scene from your favorite movie, she rides down the middle of the street on her golden bicycle, her summer skin caressed by the fading sunlight she so desperately yearns to chase away. 

Away—anywhere but in the flow of over-productive students, meandering on to my next class. She told me this story with three minutes to the bell; I had not much to do until the detrimental start of geometry. Passingly, I glance up at the clock and take notice of the time. In rushed awareness, I run into her—’someone new,’ I think.

I think I should talk to her, but how am I to know of any similar persona? Ignoring my inner voice, I push any negative thoughts deeper. I put a friendly, half-hearted, closed-lipped smile on my face and add purpose into my step. In my unintended haste, I had forgotten to ask for her name. She begins to tell me about her old town—her favorite town. 

“Towns like these never have very many interesting people,” she said. “Where I used to live, every building’s glass exterior gleamed with the grace of thousands upon thousands of office workers. Every building had character. Every face had a story.”

Stories. I suppose everyone has one, but whether it is an action-packed page-turner or a required college entry novel is what is called into question. Even though both have enumerable points, I simply find the pages to be average. I prefer a much more important script—one that I can use to make the outline of my life. 

Life can be bland, beige. For me, I’ve never had much of an opportunity to simply relish in the sweetness of a clear sky and refreshing air—my mind never stops.

Stopping the thoughts is like holding back a magnificent waterfall. They pound against the glass and slip through the cracks until it all shatters and the floodgates open. 

Opening up to people about this is hard; I find it troubling to pick and choose a proper story to tell. I find it quieting to pay attention to others. Listening to their stories is a relief from my reality. Busying myself with futile tasks is the other distraction; my life has turned into the kind of novel I hate. Still, I continue on. 

On-and-on goes the cycle. Like worn clothes in a drier, my days shuffle through a continuous motion. 

Motioning for me to come over, I snap out of my inner monologue. My eyes falling down the waving open palm, held high above the tired line of lockers, attached to his arm; I reach his smiling face. 

Facing the front of the classroom, my headspace begins to settle within the unfortunate reality of first hour. I lay my head on my hand and allow my eyes to droop closed in a second of silence. 

My brain is still swimming from the stories of the last twenty minutes, I find my attuned attention to be placid and shallow.”

In letting my guard down, he sneaks over and slams a palm upon my desk. My brain is still swimming from the stories of the last twenty minutes; I find my attuned attention to be placid and shallow. His words begin to muddle into an endless array of sentences. I catch his thoughts on the latest political events; my mind comes to the color of brown.

Brown, like a cardboard box. Brown, like a paper bag. Brown as in boring, as in like me. Do I sound like this when I speak? Unfortunately dull? I yearn for excitement, adventure. Still, I am stuck to the adventures of others for listening is my overactive skill.

Skillfully, I live vicariously through your friendship with me. I recreate the castles in my mind as a way to place myself somewhere much more favorable. You never knew, but I thank you for your inclination to words.

Words are who you are, but there aren’t many that make up me.