So I eat a lot. And drink a lot. And in high school I studied, a lot. I devoted most of my free time in the library buried under a blanket of books and flashcards, with a sharp awareness that I spent absolutely way too much time in that damn building. Naturally, with the library as my home away from home, I developed quite the relationship with the librarians. They knew my name and face, laughed at all my jokes, and let me comfortably bend all the rules. While everyone else struggled to hide their food and drink from the librarians, I never worried. They turned a big old blind eye to me, even showed me places in the library where I could eat my food without retribution. I was invincible, and then they decided one day that I had pushed my boundaries too far.
I had been practicing for an oral presentation, and in an act of desperation, I drew a bottle of kombucha out of my bag to quench my dying thirst with a life-saving, miniscule droplet of the hydrating drink. But my immunity with the librarians was dead, and within seconds there was discipline, there was banishment, and there was absolutely no food or drink for me.
Mrs. Kroy formally discontinued our friendship and showed me the way to her bad side. She made me a black sheep, an outlaw, a receiver of stink eyes like none other. I spent the rest of my high school years with a pitiful stain to my name as a declared enemy of the library.
This morning I woke up at 4:40 am to catch a flight to St. Paul, Minnesota, ultimately on my way to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. I haven’t worn anything related to my high school since I was probably a junior, but this morning I decked myself in two bright blue sweatshirts advertising exactly which high school I am from.
I sat down in seat 20A, arranged my bags and readied myself for the flight ahead of me. Want to know what else is ahead of me –want to know who else is ahead of me? Guess who is sitting directly across the fucking aisle from me. It’s Kroy, trying to travel somewhere as cold as her heart is. Hopefully, this is just her connecting flight to Siberia.
I’m looking at her and she has on the same glasses she wore when she punishingly narrowed her eyes at me oh so long ago. She has the same short, grey Jamie Lee Curtis hair that I would try to criticize when I ranted about her tyrannical rule, and she’s with her husband who she must be paying or blackmailing or something.
How funny life is. And by funny I mean uncomfortable. And by life I mean this flight. How very, very uncomfortable this flight is.