I spent the last Friday of summer vacation spreading hot, sticky tar across the roof of George Washington High. My companions were Dopey, Toothless, and Joe, the brain surgeons in charge of building maintenance. At least they were getting paid. I was working forty feet above the ground, breathing in sulfur fumes from Satan's vomitorium, for free., my father said., the judge said. Court-ordered restitution for the Foul Deed. He nailed me with the bill for the damage I had done, which meant I had to sell my car and bust my hump at a landscaping company all summer. Oh, and he gave me six months of meetings with a probation officer who thought I was a waste of human flesh.Still, it was better than jail.I pushed the mop back and forth, trying to coat the seams evenly. We didn't want any rain getting into the building and destroying the classrooms. Didn't want to hurt the school. No, sir, we sure didn't.
Mr. Freeman: You are getting better at this, but it's not good enough. This looks like a tree,but it is an average, ordinary, everyday, boring tree. Breathe life into it. Make it bend - trees are flexible, so they don't snap. Scar it, give it a twisted branch - perfect trees don't exist. Nothing is perfect. Flaws are interesting. Be the tree.
Another page turns on the calendar, April now, not March..........I am spinning the silk threads of my story, weaving the fabric of my world...I spun out of control. Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest.I wanted to swallow the bitter seeds of forgetfulness...Somehow, I dragged myself out of the dark and asked for help.I spin and weave and knit my words and visions until a life starts to take shape.There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.I am thawing.