by Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Friday, July 02, 2004
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A time I would rather forget.
Who are you to say that the yearbook that's been stuck in my magazine rack
for a decade now is nothing but a hundred pages of static pictures --
of blank faces with fake smiles -- all resembling a greyhound that
has neither been hosed nor fed for weeks?
If I could, I would dump the pitcher of lemonade that sits on the table between us
on your head and wet your hair that's been greased with your grandfather's pomade.
Your not-so-subtle put-down of me, of my high school yearbook, has fanned my ire
and now I am sizzling with a decade-long frustration of wanting to tear those pages
that have always reminded me of what a failure I was in high school.
Would you laugh if you knew I would do anything to erase four years
of my life now stamped for eternity in that yearbook? Would you laugh
if you knew pain, failure and never fitting in are my synonyms for high school?
And would you laugh if you knew my life's regrets have been subtracted
and the remainder sleeps between the pages of my yearbook?
You may be right in saying we were nothing but greyhound faces; yet
you would never know how it was to be sixteen, to be a cast out, to have no place
that would have made it easier for anyone to exist in a world where acceptance was
measured by how much money you had and what your dating history was.
Oh yes, those greyhound faces you smirk at now have always been
the constant ghosts -- the ominous silence -- between then and my today,
and perhaps the minute splinters that will always be present in my future.
And now you sit there laughing and leafing through the pages that are still crisp.
You had it easy -- that's why you can laugh like how you are laughing now:
You sang your way through high school and you have always belonged.
If you knew, you would wonder why I have kept my yearbook if it reminded me of
a time I would rather bury; And the sizzling anger is not because of what you
said; but what your words have made me remember for I have always thought
of the faces in my yearbook as greyhounds -- doggedly trailing after me without
any signs of ever leaving me alone.
I remain holding my glass while the pitcher sits on the table between us; and you
continue to pour through the last tangible evidence of my teen years. You chuckle
at every photo and every page you turn over, my hand grips my glass tighter,
my face displays a smile you would never know doesn't reach my eyes.
I breathe a silent sigh of relief as you turn to the last page, close my yearbook
and put it back on the magazine rack where it will remain untouched
until you decide you want to see the greyhound faces again
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|Reviewed by jude forese
|well written ...
just a small insight to the continuity of imagery:
a greyhound also encompasses the elements of motion and agility ... stating the greyhound has not been fed for weeks somewhat achieves in weaking the image but in reality the greyhound would be dead ... unless that is you desired effect, faces that have ceased exisiting for you, in that sense it is very effective ...