Blue Castle reverie

My Saga
2002-05-26 05:33:29 (UTC)

Graduation

Thursday I graduated from high school. We had graduation
practice that morning, which mainly consisted of us finding
our seats, and being told how to shake hands. And
nothing. No big "Hey, this is almost it", it was just
another assembly, another rush to get in and rush to get
out. Maw Maw and Paw Paw and Grandma and Grandpa came in
that afternoon, and we all visited, a lot. And the only
thing abnormal was that we dwelled on me slightly more than
Elliott for once. The whole thing didn't really hit me,
and I guess it still hasn't. At 5 o'clock I finally
realized I had to start getting ready, and was freaking
out, not because I was about to graduate, but because I was
pissed off that the glitter nail polish wouldn't come off
my nails. The whole thing was so focused on details that
the big picture hasn't come into focus yet. Shoes,
pictures, signs and lines, lists, megaphones, Science team
cords that Sarah had made the night before, an under-
current of tension that slightly perplexed me, as others
glanxed anxiosly at watches, while I merely glanced
impatiently, and sweated in the maroon robe, and wondered
why my forehead itched, until I reached up to scratch, and
felt the cap on my head, and tried to make myself feel how
huge this was. It didn't even bother to feel surreal, it
was so detatched from any sort of feeling of importance it
was totally real, totally normal. The only time I really
felt it, just for a moment, was when we were walking onto
the field, with "Pomp and Circumstance" blaring, and seeing
the stadium filled with people all looking down at the
winding trail of maroon clad seniors, and I got to stride
across in front of all those faces. And then we sat down,
and the girl next to me was busy trying to pick up the the guy behind
us, as we all stood there, trying to find our families in the crowd,
and knowing we probably shouldn't be twisted around. And then the
speeches started, and I thought "So this is graduation. Well,
isn't that nice", and proceeded to cringe at the apalling lack of
speaking ability prominently displayed. And when they began to
direct the rows out of their seats and up to the front in a long,
snaking line, honor graduates first, I sat there and smiled at the
people I knew, and tried to listen for my friends names, but ended up
tuning them all out in the influx of unknowns, only to guiltily turn
back to listen again. And watched them all walk by, some as gaudy as
peacocks, resplendant in stoles and cords, medals and pins, and
others, fiercly proud and defendant of their one or two honors, and
then those who had nothing, either ashamedly or defiantly carry on.
And then, sitting next to the end, they beckoned my row to come
forward, and their was no big epiphany for me; the only things going
through my mind were:try not to trip, and 'take with your left, shake
with your right' and smile for the picture. The lipstick was wearing
off my lips, and so I wet them, and fussed with my hair, and they
called Colin's name and I realized we were at the front, and he
walked across, and I wished I had been paying attention to everyone
else, and I walked across, but I couldn't honestly tell you whether
they said my name right, or how I shook Mrs. Corley's hand, or
whether I was smiling when they took the picture, because then I was
through, and they snapped another picture, and I followed behind the
others to my seat. Someone on the corner told me "You looked so
nervous!", as I passed her, and I wondered what she was talking
about: there wasn't anything to be nervous about, I was just worried
about my hair. And walking back through the rows I smiled at people,
and looked for my family, and sat back in my seat, and went "Oh. So
that was it". Ad then it dragged on in a blur of names, until
someone said "2 more to go", and that was it. We turned our rings
and someone threw their hat too early, and it hit me on the head, but
almost no one noticed. All the beach balls and bubbles had been
confiscated by then, so we turned our tassels, and someone told us it
was over, and some people threw their hats, and everyone ran for the
corner of the field to get their diploma to place in the stiff, shiny
cover they had been so carefully handed. And everyone pushed, and
shoved, and pulled their way through, and all of a sudden I was
standing a little ways away, holding a cap and a cover, and an
envelope that I suddenly hoped very strongly held my diploma. Of the
700 people there, I didn't even know a third of them. So I tried to
find the ones I did, or my parents. And they found me, on the other
side of the field, and I just wanted to go home.