I’ve decided that I want some ice-cream. I don’t want chocolate, or strawberry, or any of those other flavors that drive people wild. I don’t want to have to walk into baskin robbins and choose from 20 different, but all equally complicated, tastes. I want simplicity. I want very vanilla ice-cream; surprisingly delicious each and every time.

Art Class Escapism

“Mom! I can’t find my shoes again!” I have this problem with my shoes. My little brother feels that shoes do not belong in the bottom of the hall closet, but hidden, in the most random little crevices and nooks all around the house. This wouldn’t be a problem for most kids. Most kids have two or three pairs of shoes, but not me. I have only two shoes. A left and a right.

“I saw one in the refridgerator when I was throwing out the milk, but the other one seems to have gotten away.” My mom. There is nobody else I know who can keep track of so many little details and still be able to see  straight.

I am going to be late again. If there is one thing I wish for (besides another pair of shoes) it would be to live closer to school. I have to take the city bus everyday, and if I miss the 7:43 then another doesn’t come until 8:03 and then it takes twenty minutes to even get to my school and now I’m late. Last semester I had this teacher who was very anal about being  late.

“Being tardy shows a lack of respect for yourself as well as those around you.” I wanted so badly to tell him what I thought about lack of respect, but I’m not really known to speak up unless spoken to. Anyway, so this  teacher of mine, he got so angry because I came late four days in a row one week, that after that I just wouldn’t go to his class unless I could get there on time. It wasn’t my fault that my brother was sick, and my mom forgot to leave me bus money, and then I stepped in a big puddle of freezing slush and had to borrow a pair of old lady boots from my deranged neighbor.  These things were happening to me all the time. Being late was just a part of who I was. It’s just that school can be so restricting. If I could have shown up, when I was ready, I feel that I could have been a much better student. Not that I did bad in school, I was on the honor role every year. But I was never really there. I never really cared about learning or having the best presentation. For a long time, I didn’t care about much of  anything.

“Bye little buddy,” I gave my little brother a kiss on the forehead after he finally discovered my other shoe under his pillow. “Make sure you don’t give Ms. Blanche a hard time today.” Ms. Blanche was our deranged neighbor who took care of my brother while I was at school and Mom was at work. It  wasn’t that she was crazy, she took real good care of Andy and all, it was just the fact that all she did was look through old photo albums and sigh a lot. And she always made sure that people called her Ms.

“Not Miss. Not Mrs. I’m just Ms. Blanche. I feel that it adds mystery to my character.” I was never really sure what she meant, or how she could possibly be mysterious, but I humored her anyway. After all, I would  probably get mad if people kept calling me Miss or something and I wanted to be called Ms. Especially if all I had was memories.

So I missed the 7:43 bus. But this morning I don’t even care. I have art class first period this semester and so long as I create masterpiece after masterpiece, it doesn’t matter if I show up at all. If there is one class I  could really get behind, it would be art. I mean, I don’t have to use a calculator, or dissect any fetal pigs or any of that nonsense. I don’t have to memorize which year Canada joined WWII or why exactly Germany felt that the Nazi regime was really going to help them out of their post-war trouble.  I never could understand why we had to read Shakespeare out loud. I would read Shakespeare at home if I could. In fact, I can’t get enough of that crazy old english language. Thither this and mischance that. Until I get into English class and have to sit through a half hour of stuttering and mispronunciation until I hate everybody in the world who ever tried to read Shakespeare. Those other kids know they’re terrible readers, and they know we all know, but when the teacher tells them to read, they have no choice.  Highschool is a ridiculous place, if you ask me.

So, back to my art class. I can really get behind all this artsy shit because it’s all about expression. Expressing yourself in highschool is about as tough as diving into a pool full of wet cement. Sure, it could be  done, but once you’re in there, and the cement starts to dry and harden all around you, you have to hurry up and get back out before all that’s left of you in an imprint. Like one day I decided that I would look much better  with blue hair. I got to school and suddenly everybody thought I was making a statement or trying to draw attention to myself as being ‘different’. Those kids who always dyed their hair and wore crazy clothes and attached tails to all their pants, they knew I wasn’t different. Those kids with the gap clothes and perfect pony-tails, they knew I wasn’t cell phone, drinking mommies vodka, type material. So then I had to go around explaining to everybody that there was no reason formy blue hair. I just felt like doing it. It was like the cement. It was too late to climb out, and the imprint that everybody saw was getting harder and harder to change. It seemed that  I was spending more time trying to prove to everybody that I was just being myself, then I spent on actually playing the role of myself.

Art class was escape. I painted, I sketched, I sculpted and developed. I made a hell of a mess of everything and in the end, I was rewarded for my effort. I would look around in all of my other classes and wonder if  everybody else had that sort of escape. The sort of escape that art had made for me. I looked at Jay and Clayton, the jocks who gave everybody, including each other, wedgies, just like they always had since grade two, and I wondered if maybe wedgies were their escape. I looked at Melanie and Krystal, who carried hair  brushes and their make-up kits to school and kept them in their lockers so that they could always look their best. I wondered if maybe their looks were a form of art, a way to escape, they molded and painted themselves until they were satisfied. I looked at Thom, the guy with the bright red mohawk, the black leather jacket covered in british buttons, and his big buckled boots and wondered if maybe he escaped through the image of himself that he had created. Everybody has to have some sort of escape, or else, how could you survive? If you don’t have an escape from reality, from  normalcy, from the pressures of living and breathing everyday, then how the  hell could we be expected to get by?

Without a way to escape, I would be trapped until I finally went over the edge and jumped off a bridge or a cliff or something else that would only end in my splattering at the bottom right in front of some poor innocent child that would undoubtedly be scarred for the rest of his/her life and all  because I didn’t have my escape. And I certainly wasn’t going to be the reason why some poor child had to go through a lifetime of psychiatry sessions, forever afraid that everytime she/he neared a bridge a dead body was going to land nearby.

The History of Camouflage

Coming soon...


Texte: Rebecca Bowslaugh
Bildmaterialien: Google images
Lektorat/Korrektorat: Rebecca Bowslaugh
Übersetzung: N/A
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 13.03.2013

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Everyone who can't eat lactose and who dreams ice-cream dreams.

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