I was looking through my old Live Journal, circa late middle school early high school, and I found this charming little entry that I wrote on the lat day of Freshmen year that documented my unique morning routine. I’ve included two poorly-lit photographs for setting purposes.
It rained that morning, for the first time the whole year. My mother was more than happy to drive me and wait with me in the car at the bus stop. I couldn’t sleep on the bus though, i found myself being busy looking out the window, at the seemingly endless route I had been taking everyday for an entire school year.
I guess I should write about my typical morning, just so I never forget. Seeing as how I travel more and farther before the sun even comes up than most people do in an entire day.
I wake up. My hand instinctively slams down onto a conveniently large snooze button, although from time to time I find sleep-addled aim knocking my poorly-placed frames onto the floor. 5 AM is the time that reads, as far as my blurred vision can tell me. I’ll spare you the whole “bathroom” scene seeing as how it’s pretty routine.
I go outside, the weather is usually hot and humid, except during winter when it’s absolutely exquisite. The bus comes about 10 minutes later than scheduled, every morning, so I guess you might say that it’s on schedule to be off schedule and 5:40 is the time usually illuminated by my cell phone as I check for text messages and missed calls I might have received overnight.
I am always careful to shield my head from the after wind kicked up by the halting bus so it doesn’t mess up my hair any further than the humidity already has. I brush down all the strays as if the world is watching when I step onto the pitch-black bus. The bus driver always greets, me, which is nice. He’s the first human communication I have all day, even if he only exchanges a phatic greetings with me. As I make way to the back of the bus I can make out Rafeal’s recumbent figure, joining the gap between bus seats. I always settle for the seat two in front of him as to not wake him up, even though I know he’s not sleeping. Some days I’ll lie down and try to sleep, but it’s kind of difficult when I don’t have my batman pillow, which is constantly in the wash (and yet is always dirty). Other days I’ll sit up watch things, like streetlights and early morning commuters.
It’s a long while before we make the third stop of the morning at Eskimo’s. I usually never experience this because by this time I am almost always already asleep. I do recall one day near Halloween when I had the idea to scare Eskimo with a ridiculous rat mask I had procured from a Party City bargain bin. I got down on my belly and dragged myself along the floor of the school bus until I was directly below his seat. I popped up from under and made some inhuman noise reminiscent of a goose with Strep throat. Eskimo instinctively elbowed the rat monster in the eye socket causing it to fall to the ground unconscious.
With the staccato release of an air brake everyone on the bus rises from their comas. It’s still dark as we warily wamble off the steps of the bus. I rush to the escalator and that is where every morning I say hello and start a chat with Rafa and Eskimo.
Usually we just go on through the handicapped entrance, but sometimes we are hassled with the prospect of reaching patting ourselves down in search of a wallet, just to fumble with through it in search of a metro pass that reads the name of the current month superimposed on a ghastly floral pattern.
We usually try to catch to earlier train because it picks up an interesting group of kids from New World School of the Arts at the North Side station who we enjoy carousing with on the 30-minute train ride. I am most of the time unsuccessful because it leaves slightly before we usually arrive at the platform. So instead I stand high above the surrounding area and watch a purple and orange sunrise as a secret breeze reserved for rooftops and treetops makes its way past, kissing my cheeks.
“A south bound train is approaching the station, please step back on the platform edge. please wait until passengers exit the train ‘be foreboding’”- I would always make that play on words in my head, it reminded me to take on a certain character that day. Standing on the yellow line, the string of cars brings along a heavy gust of wind that almost always officially wakes me up. Once on the train Rafa makes smooth transitions between cars to be in the company of his fellow upper-classmen. Eskimo and I don’t mind, we know about the high school hierarchy by this point. Eskimo and I like talk about the previous days activities, the going-ons, the gossip, we love it. This continues the majority of the time that we’re on the train. We get off at Allapatah and take the “J” or the “36” (which we often find ourselves running for) to 36th and Biscayne Blvd. We escort each other to the school about 3 blocks away. On the way I usually point out a stencil or two I had put up on a day where Eskimo was sick or truant. We always share a laugh at Eskimos “bag boy” stencil on a traffic light across the street from school. We walk into school, greeted by the shrill cries of the caged finch and the sweet aroma of rotting vegetation. We were never able to locate the exact origins of the smell, but it was always there, it was a staple. In the cafeteria we would rest our heads until some disturbance startled our slumber.
A sector of the schools courtyard.
There were days when it would rain and flood the courtyard so that our school had our own temporary lake until the sun drank it up.
At 7 AM, we wake up, eat breakfast, and copy your homework quickly. The menagerie that is the student body enter the cafeteria of Design and Architecture Senior High adorned in high school regalia that tests the most outer limits of our schools already lenient dress code. Conversation sparks and flows left and right frenetically and you get caught up quickly and in a very confused manner. The bell rings at 7:40, we exit the café to our first period classes and the day really begins.