As a kid, like everyone, I learned about limits. I
figured out how far would be too far
, what I could
get away with. Constantly
pushed the limits,
but never stepped over the line.
That was all
the fun, knowing how who would take what
from me. Which teachers would try not to smile
when I was sassy, which I had to sit still for and
I'd still rub the wrong way.
My mom never got it:
'They love you, those teachers. You're such a
cheek, you never apply yourself, they tell me. But
then they smile!'
I used to grin and try to
skip off, before she could start in with the other
teachers, (the majority), the ones who minded when
I almost flunked their courses. (I never made it: 'Come
back here, young lady; I'm not done with you!')
I knew not to actually fail any of my classes, that
would never work. I knew to have at least 3 classes
I was acing, one or two instructors who thought I was a bright
young lady. I managed to sweettalk my way out of a
suspension. It would have pushed too many
buttons. I couldn't have handled the screaming,
recriminations, and worst: the guilt.
with our tangled hierarchy of principalship, there
was one who would have done anything to get me expelled,
2 who would fight for me, one who I never figured out
either way. I danced on the edge of politics I couldn't
figure it out. Flaunting, flirting with a crackdown,
I told my friend I'd be the first in school to layer her
hair short. She wanted to be; I won. I'm going to be
the first one wearing boots, (something forbidden
implicitly, not explicitly in our uniform.) I won.
She said she'd be the first one with 2 holes in her
ear. She won; got suspended for a few days.
not in school anymore, but I still teeter at the edge
of some roof. What scares me is that the building
keeps getting taller, the stakes bigger. I was supposed
to fall years ago. I was supposed to fall when I was a
loudmouth in Junior High. I was supposed to fall when I
cut off my hair. I was supposed to fall when I met
a man twice my age. I was supposed to fall
when I moved out. I was supposed to fall a million times.
The limits keep moving, stretching. I stick
to the edge, daring someone to stop the expansion. I
keep toeing the line, barely, wondering how I got to
this boundary; the one I stand on today is one that would have killed
me years ago.
I don't get it. I was supposed to