“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone?”
How many times did I think “if only I didn’t have this job, I would have more time for my work?” or “this job is going to kill me” or “it’s impossible to draw boundaries with this job”? I was right on all three counts probably. This semester I co-wrote a full-length musical, wrote several poems and songs, did several gigs ( okay some of them were benefits) and started a screenplay. Plus the blogs. I imagine that’s only going to get easier now that I’ve taught my final class.
I’ve taught my final class. Why can’t I type that without crying? Class ends at 6. Nobody left. “Go away now” I said. “I don’t want to cry.” “But we want to watch you ride off into the sunset on the wheelchair with your red hair flowing” said one of the girls – a poetic nymph who wrote to me that the galaxy had decided to throw a big party and make me the piñata. “I will cry when I pick up the loot” she continued, “ only because the stardust inside is so beautifully, blindingly, brilliant.”
All of their words and smiles are little treasures that expand like sea monkeys when my tears fall on them. Later that night I would come home to check my myspace and another student, a young man, had written a full-length poem which I will immediately put up on the wall with some of my favorites. The line he chose for the book the kids gave me was “loving you is simple, taking in your smile like a child gazing through the night at a mountain, never bothering to wonder what lies beyond.”
They humble me, surprise me, entertain me and occasionally shock me. I always used to accuse them of sucking all my chi but now I realize I was the vampire feasting on their youth and joy to stay eternally young.
We all sat there a little longer, casually chatting. Outside the sun was shining, dinner was waiting, some of them had an improv show to attend or to work on but we just sat. One burgeoning talent played with my hair as she did on the last night of the show. Several of them followed me out to the car and helped Lisa load up the wheelchair ( which fits in the back of a 2 door Honda Civic!!! ) It was unremarkable, quiet and sweet. No tears, just the sunshine and smiles and long luxurious hugs.
Then I drove away from 14 years of my life.