The “Bad Husband” Chronicles

Just another day for you and me in Paradise

Time stands still

Posted by mozziestarlet on October 24, 2008

7am:  My first day of unemployment wakes me at dawn with a splitting headache.  I meander downstairs, put the coffee on and say, “Good morning, dirty dishes from last night’s supper.  Ever get that not-so-fresh feeling?” I’ve always believed in the notion that Mom taught me when I was a little girl. ‘If I cook, you clean.’  In my home, the notion is: ‘If you cook, you clean and I lean.’

8am:  I check my email and professional profile on www.linkedin.com.  I am completely floored that in less than 24 hours of getting the proverbial ax at the office, I’ve received ten recommendations from prior managers, co-workers and clients.  And just when I was certain that kindness was a dead art form, along with chivalry and fidelity, KA BLAM!, I am touched by the genuine sincerity and concern of others.  This puts a remarkable pep in my step as I face the day.

11am:  I arrive early for my first interview now that I am officially ‘on the market.’  I meet with the most fantastic gal, a real peach with a precious personality, and we chat for an hour or so.  If you’re reading, hun, I hope you are smiling as well. 😉

12:15pm:  Since my interview happened to be in the area where I spent my childhood, I decide to visit my old stomping ground.  I drive by my elementary school, which is now abandoned and full of spider webs, and reflect on the golden memories there.  Childish hopes and dreams, days spent in laughter and silliness, the joys of an endless summer where it never rains.  A perfectly suitable lyric pops in my head by Jeff Lynne, a brilliant musician and songwriter:  “Remember the good ‘ole 1980s when things were so uncomplicated?  I wish that I could go back there again and everything could be the same.”

12:30pm:  I drive through my old neighborhood, past the homes of neighbors long since moved, by the pool where I got my first sunburn, and park outside my childhood home.  I am overwhelmed with nostalgia as my heart swells with fifteen years of memories flooding over me.  Morrissey is with me as always and I hum the words, “I would love to go back to the old house, but I never will…I never will.” And with that, I put the car in drive and head on to visit my high school.

1pm:  I am sitting in the parking lot of my high school and I pause and watch the rain trickle down my car window.  I reflect on those years here, days spent in a tormented, misfit stage of adolescence.  I stroll up to the front door, wipe my shoes on the mat, and am greeted by a security guard in the main foyer.  He smiles at me and asks politely if I am a teacher or parent and offers his assistance.  I ask him if by any remote chance, my favorite AP English teacher is still employed there, knowing the odds after twenty years are slim to none.  He replies, “Oh yeah.  She’s in room 2109.  Third period is about to begin, so she should be in there.”  I am completely stunned and at a loss for words.  Twenty years have passed.  She’s taught a thousand students and watched them flow in and out of her classroom through the years.  There is no possibility she will remember an ordinary girl like me. 

Suddenly, the bell rings signaling third period and I shudder at the recollection that seems like yesterday.  “As loud as hell, a ringing bell, behind my smile, it shakes my teeth.”  I slowly stroll down the hallway, past students now tardy and fumbling with their lockers, and marvel at how young they seem.  Did I once look that way…young, impetuous and invincible?  As I approach room 2109, I realize it is the same classroom where I sat, twenty years ago, in her AP English class.  I pause outside of the doorway and hear her voice as she is reciting several stanzas from Macbeth.  I quietly peer inside and see her standing before the class, arms high in the air, re-enacting each line.  She spots me in her peripheral vision and for five seconds looks confused and perplexed.  I cannot repress the smile emerging on my face when I see her, as she is almost unchanged, after twenty years.  Suddenly, her expression lifts and her eyes light up with joy and rays of sunshine.  She rushes over to me in the doorway, takes my hand, and hugs me with such sincerity.  She looks at my face, obviously older and wiser now, and says my name.  I tell her that she is even lovelier than my memory recalls. She introduces me to her class and explains how I was a student of hers years ago, before they were even born.  I bashfully introduce myself, look over to the second row and third seat from the window, and tell the young girl sitting there, “Hey, girl.  You are sitting in my seat!”  The class roars with laughter and I am amazed at how they are so captivated by my presence there.

I explain to them that I was born a writer, however, it was their teacher’s influence, encouragement, and passion that fueled my desire to pursue it and to share my story.  I lean in towards the class and say, “Ya’ll won’t believe this, but I am…(gasp)…35 years old and I have never forgotten this woman.”  I hug her once again, bid farewell to her students and wish them success.  I want to remind them that the world is their oyster.  Carpe Diem, young diamonds in the ruff.  Make your lives extraordinary.

“To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.”
 

 

3 Responses to “Time stands still”

  1. SRW984 said

    Once again your story continues to intrigue and touch me. Ever thought of writing a book? You would be on the NY Times best seller list for months..I am sure.

  2. Judy said

    What an amazing story!! So touching.

  3. Rich said

    This is your best entry yet. A real insight into you and the beauty of your writing. I hope there will be more like these. I feel like I’m reading a book and on the edge to read the next chapter.

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