It’s raining out. You’re sitting at the desk in your brothers room typing on the computer; an assignment for English. It will make up 70% of your grade. Through the shutters you see the outline of an abandoned house and an old tree. It’s older than the neighborhood is. The sounds of cars pass by at an average interval of seven seconds. You know that because you always received an “A” in every math class you’ve ever taken. You think either the sky is orange or the window is dirty, but you know it’s beautiful either way.
You begin to get sidetracked again, just like the night before. You open the Internet browser and go to your favorite social networking site. You’ve already become bored with MySpace and Facebook and moved on to Twitter. You used to think it was an evil place until your best friend convinced you to make one. It dawns on you that you never paid this friend back for all the times she got you a snack or bailed you out of some peculiar situation. She claims that you owe about $143.69, but when you ballpark it you say it’s actually only about $40. She laughs and calls you a liar. You know she’s right. The orange sky is now a depressing gray. The tree sways in the mellow breeze. A flashback ensues.
It was almost a year ago. You thought you knew about love, but you were ignorant, only three months into being fifteen. You thought time was on your side, but the clock seized to tick any longer. Out of the blue, she wouldn’t text you back. You asked what was wrong, and she said nothing. But you never see her again. In December, she texts you about dealing with a parent having cancer. You know all about what it’s like. Both of your parents are survivors. A week ago you learn her mother passed with skin cancer. You text her with your regrets. You get no response.
You’re a page into the assignment. The Metallica mix CD you were burning before you started is complete now. You went to one of their concerts for your fifteenth birthday with your best friend. It was the only concert you’ve ever been to. It was the best concert you’ve ever been to. Metallica is your favorite band after all. You have seven Metallica shirts, one for each day of the week. Your favorite is the Metal Up Your Ass one your mom forbids you from wearing to school but you do so anyway. You love how only a few of your friends understand the significance of the shirt. You find that it has a hole at the armpit after the first day you wear it.
The raindrops on the window blur out the streetlights. While on the subject of blur you remember the blur of time that was your Bar Mitzvah, your sisters wedding, the first person you ever loved. All the times spent together were not blurs, but rather how you became friends. It was a he, but you weren’t gay. You were nine. Ever since you can remember he has been in your life. You do everything with him; you go on vacations to La Quinta at Palm Springs, Santa Cruz every summer, snowboarding trips. Football. Metallica concerts. You and him are friends still, but go to different high schools. Different schedules. Different sports. He plays soccer; you play water polo. He plays La Crosse; you play tennis. The bond is still there. Some things never change.
You’re slacking off from your assignment now. It’s starting to get late. You say, one more text, but it continues like a bad dream. You can’t concentrate. There is too much going on. You just realized you had a math project due the next day as well. You start to curse. Your stomach becomes a washing machine. The organs are the articles of clothes, bodily fluids are water and detergent, your being is the machine. You mused about why you went so in depth with the metaphor. It makes the story sound better, you say to yourself. You go back to writing and realize that your only half done with your assignment. You curse again.
Your mind is caught up with all the possibilities. There are five potential relationships that could happen. You don’t know what to do. The girl you liked for a while is now going out with your best friend. You try to pretend that you’re cool with it. You are now, but it took a week or so. You come close to going out with her sister, but she has a sudden change of heart and has to become better friends with you first. You were upset, but you got over it. You find that her best friend likes you know. You’ve always had somewhat of a crush on her. Another one is someone you always thought was pretty too, and she just told you how she feels about you. The final two are not as important, fail-safe’s you call them. The whole scenario is adding an enormous amount of stress to you. Your mood fluctuates between sorrow, and frustration. You turn to Metallica to meet the needs of your mood. They can accommodate the sorrow and frustration perfectly. Now all you want is a person that can make the same accommodations.
You can’t stop thinking about how you’re getting your license next week. You’re contemplating on which friend to drive to first. You know you aren’t going to last long obeying the law that makes it illegal for someone to drive with an unlicensed driver for six months after receiving his or her license. You give it two hours. You decide on who you’re going to hang out with first; your best friend from 2nd-8th grade. You have many vivid memories involving him; from San Francisco Giants games, to sleepovers, and everywhere in between. You wish you went to the same high school as him; it was your dream and his as well. Things change.
You look at the clock. You’ve been typing for three hours. Wrong. You have been procrastinating for three hours, writing for twenty minutes. You’re tired but you have to keep going. You wish you could be doing so many different things in so many different places. You want to go back to Israel and Italy. You want to become part of the land. You love the people. You love the food. You love the land. You wonder why your parents stayed in the piece of shit city that is now your home. The entire city is, is problems. All the city has is problems. Your house is nice, in a lovely neighborhood that lasts for approximately a fourth of a mile; the best part of the city. Unfortunately the city is much larger than that.
You take a deep breath. You think about the whole night. Everything you thought about, all the memories that had a short resurgence. Now you breathe out. You are done with your assignment.