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Really Dark: Night Classes at PBJ High School

While some PBJ kids are asleep or relaxing, there is an intrepid portion of our student body that fights off exhaustion to attend class. These fearless students take remedial classes, attend AP study courses, and more during the wee hours of the night. We reached out to Avril Incandenza ’17, one of these night students, for comment. As she told us, “At night, it’s hard to see.” Truer words have ne’er been spoken, Avril.

Overhead here means sight and smell. The smells are intimate, newly clear. The smell bleach’s special flower, but out of it other things rise to you like a weed’s seeded snow. You smell deep yellow popcorn. Sweet tan oil like hot coconut. Either hot dogs or corn dogs. A thin cruel hint of very dark Pepsi in paper cups. And the special smell of tons of water coming off tons of skin, rising like steam off a new bath. Animal heat. From overhead it is more real than anything.

Look at it. You can see the whole complicated thing, blue and white and brown and white, soaked in a water spangle of deepening red. Everybody. This is what people call a view. And you knew that from blow you wouldn’t look nearly so high overhead. You see now how high overhead you are. You knew from down there no one could tell.

He says it behind you, his eyes on your ankles, the solid bald man, Hey kid. They want to know. Do your plans up here involve the whole day or what exactly is the story. Hey kid are you okay.

There’s been time this whole time. You cant kill time with your heart. Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.

Hey kid he says Hey kid are you okay.

Metal flowers bloom on your tongue. No more time for thinking. Now that there is time you don’t have time.

Hey.

Night approaches and classes begin.

Night approaches and the classes are filled.

 

Slowly now, out across everything, there’s a watching that spreads like hit water’s rings. Watch it spread out from the ladder. Your sighted sister and her thin white pack, pointing. Your mother looks to the shallows where you used to be, then makes a visor of her hand. The whale stirs and jiggles. the guard looks up, the girl around his leg looks up, he reaches for his horn.

Forever below is rough deck, snacks, thin metal music, down where you once used to be; the line is solid and has no reverse gear; and the water, of course, is only soft when you’re inside it. Look down. Now it moves in the sun, full of hard coins of light that shimmer red as they stretch away into a mist that is your own sweet salt. The coins crack into new moons, long shards of light from the hearts of sad stars. The square tank is a cold blue sheet. Cold is just a kind of hard. A kind of blind. You have been taken off guard. Happy Birthday. Did you think it over. Yes and no. Hey kid.

Two black spots, violence, and disappear into a well of time. Height is not the problem. It all changes when you get back down. When you hit, with your weight.

So which is the lie? Hard or soft? Silence or time?

The lie is that it’s one or the other. a still, floating bee is moving faster than it can think. From overheard the sweetness drives it crazy.

The board will nod and you will go, and eyes of skin can cross blind into a cloud-blotched sky, punctured light emptying behind sharp stone that is forever. That is forever. Step into the skin and disappear.

Hello.

This is my quote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few helpful tips on how to make night classes a little more enjoyable:

 

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