written by: Jenna Zen
I remember rainy walks to the bus with my brother. It was a ten-minute walk but I always thought it felt further, and every year it seemed to be even farther away.
I remember worrying there would be a bear, in the winter. I knew they were hibernating, but if they came out then they would be hungry. And my brother can run faster than me.
I remember the smell of pine needles.
I remember how I hated when pine needles fell in my hair.
I remember beach trips and the smell of the camper.
I remember running in tall sand dunes and scratchy plants.
I remember when I could spend the day outside in the backyard forest and never get bored.
I remember making a rope swing. I took friends back there, and one day it broke.
I remember biking to the neighbor’s house and playing pickle.
I remember how the fifteen-minute recess felt almost as long as the 30 minute one.
I remember Valentine's day cards and boxes.
I remember not realizing that the two girls making out on Glee wasn't something normal.
I remember asking my mom what being gay meant, and it didn't seem to be as bad as the internet made it seem.
I remember taking Her to the rock, seeing a bear, and not feeling scared because at least She was with me.
I remember single file lines, and everyone wanting to be first in line. I did too, but I never knew why I wanted to.
I remember the first research project I ever did, in kindergarten. It was on dogs.
I remember when I would get sick and not go to school. My dad would take that as his time to teach me math. I learned my multiplication tables early that way, and I remember learning how to easily add anything to nine. I remember crying until he would let me rest.
I remember reading 600-page novels, staying up late and getting up early to read them.
I remember science summer camps when I didn't worry about what people thought of me. I remember the first summer I decided not to go.
I remember how the different cliques had their own tree to be on. I had a tree to myself.
I remember the day I woke up and for the first time didn't want to go to school. I was 8.
I remember the day I woke up and for the first time I wish I had gone to sleep for the last time and wouldn't have to wake up again. I was 13.
I remember when I told my elementary school that I was going to a new preppy school, and I remember most of my friends didn't seem to care too much.
I remember realizing I wasn't the smartest in the class anymore.
I remember hiding friends under beds to keep them from leaving.
I remember hiding cognac under beds to keep them.
I remember long nights staring at my ceiling wondering why I can't sleep.
I remember my first therapist. We talked about stuff I could find in Wikipedia. It took months before I had a diagnosis and when we talked about more than just loss.
I remember my first prescribed medication. And the one after, and the one after.
I remember the first time I read a poem that I didn't hate. Years later I would go to a coffee-house and feel inspired, and I wrote my first poem. I discovered Bukowski.
I remember when I used to tell my mom that I was a happy person.