Flying and Auto-stress


Flying and Auto-stress

When I walk in the Library before 9 am, most of the students are asleep;

Lazy freshman who have yet to actually realize how great their classes can be,

Hung-over seniors and scrambling juniors, lucky to keep their sanity,

And the sophomores everyone forgets about.

I sit like a cat by these enormous windows, overlooking the shadow of the sun,

As it dwindles over the sky, streaming through cracks in buildings,

And the shapes it makes across the windows of Wescoe and phantom cement lines, drawn into the earth by some stupid, construction artist’s conquest,

Look different every morning,

Splotched with spatters of sunlight and sewn with sleep loss.

I watch the birds.

The birds I most hate, since I am a cat,

And most envy, as a human,

Speed like bird torpedo bullets in the wind,

The crank their wings just quick enough, rhymically:

Flapflap, cooooooooooooast… flapflap, cooooooooooooast…

And it is easy to watch their little machine bodies pass time.

I am comfortable watching them,

More comfortable than being in an airplane.

Today after school,

I realized something that made it just a little easier to breathe.

I hate it when my mom drives,

She whips around and stops with a moment’s notice, and my life flashes before my eyes when she turns.

But she drives like a micro (meee-crow; bus) driver in Chile,

And the same, tried and true trick I taught myself there works, when I begin to panic:

Just pretend like you’re riding a dragon.

That always helped when we sped up hills as I was standing,

I learned the most I know about balance not from being fat,

But from being fat and trying not to fall in the aisle, with lurching buses,

Bad grips,

And bad posture.


But it works the same;

If I allow myself to feel the motion of the car,

Pretend I’m a bird,

Or riding a dragon,

Sense when the vehicle will stop,

Allow my body to brace it’s self without fear,

Let my eyes half close and my heart rate sink back down,

I am completely calm.

It feels like I’m flying.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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