Because one day, it will all just be something that happened to you once. You keep everything in there, in that soup of a brain you have, and the special things pop up at the same rate as the unspecial ones, ringed noodles all alike.
I can’t tell you why the memory of the first time I tried to like running bobs to the surface more than others. My grey sweatpants with the broken waistband sagging to the side, impeding any speed I would have gathered from my eager legs, but giving my Debbie-Downer-lungs an out. There were sheep, because it was France, and you wouldn’t recognize me then if you knew me now, but this is probably the story we should start telling children. Not look at me then, what a mess I was and didn’t know what I could become, why didn’t I know what I couldn’t know, but look what you have to look forward to because seventeen is rotten and getting old is rad.
My junior high writing teacher opened seventh grade by telling us it would be one of the worst years of our lives, and if it didn’t feel like that, then think of how great the rest of everything would be.
He could have told us the people who felt OK were peaking right then, but he didn’t, and I think this means something grand about him, and something important about how my brain spaghetti now works.
One day, when I worked for the public school system, $53,000 was accidentally deposited into my bank account. Directly into my checking account, to my name, like a lottery for the mob. I bought my very first Powerball ticket a couple of weeks ago, and I had to talk myself into it like I was cleaning my room. Because what if I did win? What if all that hard work I’ve done to make something cool of my mind is now made easy and dull? It cheapens the millions somehow to not have burned for it.
To never have hated running before it grew on you, slowly, mildewing you into submission.
This, of course, was not exactly the thought process I had when I checked my bank account on a February morning to make sure I hadn’t overdrafted my rent check. Sitting in my apartment that I could barely afford, with my hand-me-down furniture and no heat, I called several people and asked them how this could, rightfully, be mine. Or how I might accrue interest on it before turning it in to the proper authorities. The feedback was a resounding, no, your moral compass points to teacher’s pet, so I called the department and agreed to have it debited back out.
They, however, had no idea it had even happened.
Whether or not they would have figured it out eventually is debatable, and some days my noodles are of one persuasion, and sometimes another. But I do know that I wouldn’t be here now, if my life were one salary richer for no reason. And I do know that I’m happy now, and I wasn’t then, so I’ve decided that I just wasn’t ready to peak yet.
There are some special things in this soup of mine, but it’s these that broke the surface today, red broth and waxy memories, and it’s all just something that happened to me once.