Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. Perhaps these thing will one day be pleasing to remember. The wasted time, the trials of a three-test day.
Eight Creative Writing students squeeze into a booth designed for three. Laughing and joking they disregard their assignment and watch the freshmen from their booth, the booth that was designed for referees, cameras, adults.
These 18 year olds have seen too much, done too much, that the freshmen have not even considered possible. Gloveless, the team of 23 outfielders outplays the 27 batter lineup, but it feels like hundreds. Maybe thousands.
Now we seniors sit watching in quiet reflection, watching the children we’ve shaped without talking to. Students absent because of the Legacy retreat miss this opportunity to witness their Legacy in action.
A fire alarm buzzes between the new Walmart and Kohlmann Hall. It is unclear which building made the mistake, took the test, or burns before us. A siren wails, blocks away, for a few seconds. Evidently, he found his way.
Construction, Construction workers, and traffic humm their endless chant. No quiet exists, no real silence, will ever be found here.
2 students with free seventh period throw a football in each other’s direction. 2 students from Creative Writing sit in the bleachers, where they were before the rest of us moved on. They wanted to stay. 2 students sit, injured, unable to play hundred-man softball. They’re the lucky ones, who fear not the ridicule of a missed catch or a bad run.
As freshmen, there is no celebration. Only defeat. Everybody does many things, and they always do them wrong. A peking order is established, because some kids are better at making fun of their classmates. Those kids will succeed, for a few years.
The teacher blows a whistle and the freshmen run inside, eager to laugh at each other awkwardly. 2 sage workers sit atop the bleachers. They used to be in the shade. They’ve been out here for hours, every day for a long time. For them, this is it. Adults know how things work, and they’ll be content here for a long time after.
I’ll never be an adult, 3 years after freshmen year. I sit 18 years old and wonder how in 3 weeks, these “formative” years will be my past. In 30, only a few of the most important parts of my life will even surface in my mind, My kids will give me questions about high school and, forgetting, I’ll make up a story loosely based on a movie that I’ll see in 25 years.
Time takes all. Time took the freshmen inside, just as it brought them out. Time took the parking lot and made it a Walmart. Time took the freshman and made us seniors. Time took students and made them friends. Time took memories, arranged them by importance, and erased the unnecessary ones. Time will take the 2 friends playing football, remind them that this could be the last time they ever play football together, slap them and split them up.
Time cannot control my pen. Time cannot control where I hide my notebooks of this single memory and time cannot wear its pages while I keep it safe. Time cannot stop the friends from enjoying this last moment together. They play in front of the church where we will graduate in a month. There they will look each other in the eye, remember this moment, smile (maybe), and move on with their lives.