I find it’s in the small moments that we die.

April 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

I find it’s in the small moments that we die.

I’m standing at the pasta bar in my dining hall. It’s Monday and I’m more than exhausted. There’s tired, and there’s very tired. And then there’s exhausted. When your mind starts to slip back into uncharted territory, where things become a little less real. Blurry around the edges. I want to do more than just slump over the cold metal railing, eyes glazed over, staring blindly at the woman preparing my ready-made, store-brand noodles. I should smile maybe, or at least make my eyes look a bit more alive. But instead I slump. The girl next to me is slumping too. She’s wearing a sports shirt. At least I think it’s a sport shirt. I don’t ask what she plays. Slump goes another girl, and dead go her eyes. And we are all just existing there, for a moment, suspended in time. We do not speak; we appear not to think. We may not be there at all. The woman’s name tag says Marta. Tomato sauce or pesto? Red peppers. Yes, just the peppers. Please. She moves her spatula slowly, rolling over cold, just-out-of-the-refridgerator pasta of the day, jabbing at vegetables already burnt to the pan. Her eyes are on the pasta, pasta she has seen a million times today. Maybe not a million, but it feels like a million. She’ll see more tomorrow, and the next day too. And more students. Dead.

And it makes me crazy.

It makes me crazy that she’s wearing a shiny name tag that says Marta, even though no student here will ever call her by name. It makes me crazy how slowly she walks to the supply room to refreshen her rubbery mushroom supply, how carefully she dollops the tomato sauce. And that’s exactly what she does, she dollops, frickin’ dollops and she does it methodically, carefully. Almost with purpose, but really, it’s just part of the routine. Really it’s just pasta, vegetable, dollop of sauce. Pasta, vegetable, dollop of sauce. Pasta, vegetable, dollop of sauce. Pasta, pasta pasta, vegetable, vegetable, and A DOLLOP OF FRICKIN’ SAUCE.

I want to reach my hand over the glass and just start throwing pasta everywhere. I want to spill tomato sauce onto her shoes. I want to grab her face and shake her eyes, ask them to stay with me, help is on the way. I want to stuff the rubbery mushrooms into the face of the girl next to me and laugh about it. I’ll make music with the pots and pans and throw some at the snack bar, while I’m at it. And I’ll scream, scream MARTA MARTA MARTA MARTA. Then they’ll kick me out of school, and I’ll get a desk job, if I can, and I’ll waste everything I get and I’ll die alone.

I slump and stare.

Dead.

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