Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finals.. on a Monday.

 I found myself randomly standing in the middle of the room, staring blankly at the wall at the front of the class.  It was only after the professor walked halfway to me and said, “hey, uh…abbey?  You feeling ok?..”, that I realized the entire class was staring at me.. Of course, me, the one who sits in the back of the class and speaks as little as possible, was the one stuck in the middle of the room with an audience waiting for me to speak. Of course.  

I look down at my hand and wonder why I have a fistful of broken up charcoal sticks.  I wander back over to my desk, only to realize I should have been walking to my easel setup on the other side of the room.  I pretended to need something in my bag, decided it wasn’t as important as I thought it was, and walked back across the room while people pretended not to stare.  The art department’s basement is an old indoor swimming pool, so we have class right over the boarded up pool…and as you can imagine, old combat boots that are slightly too big make a lot of noise on hollow wood flooring in a building that has tile walls and ceilings that are two stories high x)  

Then I sit at my easel in my own lovely, perfect corner with all my charcoal and graphite and brushes and inks and drawing boards.  I sit there and stare at the 18x24" paper masking-taped to the board in front of me.  A perfect, beautiful, honor-show material, charcoal still life has to cover the page by Friday.  I have set up an old telephone, the kind with a dial and a coil, some yellow flowers, an empty picture frame, and a glass jar of paint brushes all sitting in folds of fabric.  I stare at the paper.  And stare. And stare. And stare. And stare…and stare. And stare. My brain possibly stops.. 

...and I stare. And stare. And stare. And stare.  Class ends. I keep staring. Stare stare stare. Stare some more.  Stare.  Glance at the clock.  Oh look, Its six o’clock.. my next class is starting. 
I grab my bag and run across campus to sit down ten minutes late to a three hour test session. 

This weekend  I was sick.  I had a very bad fever and slept all day Saturday, so I wasn’t able to write my final term paper.. which was due online Sunday at midnight.  (read: Monday afternoon sometime before class and hope the professor doesn’t check before then)
Sunday my fever was completely gone, but I had somehow managed to get strep throat.. But I was able to write my paper!  And thank God for James, he read my paper, corrected my mistakes, made lovely suggestions, and repaired my sanity.  He’s such an excellent writer.  But he’s an even better friend. 
The paper was written in first person as an ancient Mayan sacrifice.  It ends abruptly.

After the test, I locked myself in a study room in the Library’s ever popular coffee shop.  I take an online quiz that I missed a couple weeks ago, don’t remember why.. (oh yeah, I was at a birthday party)
Soon the dude in the room to the right of me started blasting crappy synth pop.  I can hear every single un-original word, every single un-original beat through the paper-thin wall.  *sigh*
Then he starts whistling along with that stupid whistle song.. but he’s not even doing it right xD

I try to block it out and continue my quiz… it’s hard, but I manage.  Until the guy in the room to my left starts blasting country music.. which is of course, crap.  The very first twangs cause me to squirm uncomfortably, and make me want to cut my ears off and throw them out the window.  It’s just as bad as the blatantly unwholesome lyrics coming from the right.

Dear Lord have mercy. 

I sit there for a moment.  Stare at my computer. Stare. Stare.  

And then I turn on Oh, Sleeper as loud as it will possibly go.
And then I smile.

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