“i’m gonna be up all night looking through every freaking notebook to see where i wrote my math homework down. it’s due tomorrow morning and i don’t have a clue what we’re learning. my cockiness got to me and i thought it wouldn’t matter too much if i didn’t study. i may be doomed. but probably not.”
pause. mom and dad are listening, but they are both on their computers.
“i cut four hours out of my work schedule. now i have wednesdays and thursdays off. it’s gonna help a ton, but getting tuesday off would have been better. because all of my long days are monday and wednesday. i don’t have any time to do wednesday’s homework cause i work monday and tuesday right after class. but it’ll still help. i’ll just have to do all of the next week’s homework the week before.”
“i ran in to a High School friend, Mackenzie, on the trax today.”
“Who’s Mackenzie?” Mom says.
“She was in my AP literature class in High School and the… the… Oh yeah, the editor for the Op/Ed section. She was the one that wrote the Huck Finn article and the principal had to come up and talk to us about the cartoon.”
“Ohh yeah.” she says.
“Yeah. She looks super cute. She’s not doing anything with journalism either. Her boyfriend is going on a mission this fall, so she wants to move up to Utah State with her best friend. I really liked talking to her.”
“Yeah?” Mom says.
“Yeah. It made me miss my girl friends again.”
“I had my appointment with the social worker today.”
“You did?” Dad asks.
“How was it?” Mom asks.
“It was fine. She said she thinks group therapy would be best for me. Like I’d be with other students at the university who have anxiety. They have like yoga classes sometimes and breathing exercises and they go around and talk about their different problems with anxiety. Well, I think that’s what it’s like, I guess.”
“That’s good, Anne!” mom says.
“Yeah, I think it will be.”
“I’m glad I’m not lazy. Well sometimes I’m lazy. But I’m not a lazy person.”
“I’m a messy person, though. I need to fix that.”
“I’m also a forgetful person. And I lose things quickly. I need to fix that too.”
pause. longer pause.
“None of my favorite regulars came into work today. Richard wasn’t there.”
“Which one’s Richard again?” Mom asks.
“The older man that wears hawaiian shirts every day. I’ve never seen him wear a coat. He’s the one that always gets the Summer chicken salad and buys two extra scoops of meat for his dog, Sasha. Sasha is blind. She’s been blind ever since he’s had her. Would you buy a blind dog over a dog that could see? I don’t know if I would. I don’t think most people would. But he just seems like that kind of person that would. Someone that wouldn’t care about that kind of stuff.”
“Mmm.” Dad says.
“I like Richard the best because when he comes in he smiles really big and shouts ‘Hey Anne!’ He’s very sweet. He asks me how school is every time. Then he tells me how Sasha is doing. He’s a funny man.”
“I think it’s important to have those small conversations with people, you know? Like talking to Richard for five minutes a day. Or just running into Mackenzie. Or even saying ‘good morning’ and ‘have a good day’ to the bus driver. Or acknowledging someone’s presence in the elevator. It’s so easy to get caught up in the monotonous and boring parts of life. People get bored with their lives. People also get lonely, too. It think it’s important to show people that you notice them, and, if you have enough time, listen to them. People like to be listened to. People like it a lot.”
pause. longer pause.
“I think that’s a reason why I hate headphones! Because when I have my headphones in, I could miss something, you know? Someone might say hi to me and I wouldn’t be able to hear them. Or something interesting might happen in the corner of my eye and I’ll be distracted by my music… There’s too much happening around me to just plug in my earphones. It’s the same reason why I hate drugs. And naps. Something’s always happening around me. And if I don’t have control over what I’m doing, and I’m kind of in my own little world, I might miss something.”
“Mmm. Mmm-hmm.” Mom says.
“I’m going to Star Wars 3D with Spencer and his sister on Thursday. I’m excited. I’m glad Katie is coming too. I really like her. I also can’t wait to watch Spencer watch Star Wars 3D. It’ll be hilarious.”
“Okay, I better find my math homework now.”
“Mmkay,” Mom says, “Goodnight Goose.”
“Goodnight, Anne.” Dad says.
“I love you guys. Thanks for putting up with my rambles.”