"god," she said. "god, will you help us, god?" she said.

another early morning post - 5:36 a.m. this time. i couldn't go back to sleep because i had a line running through my head, but once i put it down, it won't be as good as i thought it was:

life is a small, good thing when you can read a story, or even just a line that shakes you to the core, written by someone who's long gone, but lets you know that he's alive and well, at least more so than any living person you know.

i guess i'm a weirdo for feeling compelled to get out of bed to write something like that, but i welcome it, since not much else can get me out of bed before six these days.

i've made quite a mess of things by coming back home, yet choosing to not really be here at the same time.

during work, i had an idea for a story about a music teacher, but then it became about a theology teacher. so i don't know what it'll be about. i know it's there, though, and that i should do something about it.

work is a cold, dead place where i try to not look at the clock, and then get angry with myself when i accidentally catch myself staring at it.

in my freshman english xl class, this black kid named caesar once asked me, "you don't talk much, do you?" i think i remember looking at him, and then looking away. barry answered for me: "only when he has to."

this one kid in my geometry xl class named anthony would always ask me, "are you going to the dance?" in the beginning, i said, "yes," and then after i went to one, it became "maybe," but when i finally realized i didn't want anything at all to do with this place, these people, and that i had made an agreement with myself to just shut down completely for the next four years, my answer became a simple and direct, "no."

sometimes i think about lessons i'd like to deliver to a class. i felt like it was really something i could do, and wanted to do, after co-presenting a lesson in conflict resolution to the school council at moreland elementary. it was one of the few times where i felt like i was good at something, that i was funny, and that the kids were actually listening to me. i'm doing this, i said. i'm really doing this. it wasn't too scripted, either. i was able to just talk and talk, and make sense, and it was necessary for me to be there. i was so on. i want to teach quiet kids, ones who "don't talk much." i want to get the shy ones, the sensitive ones, to break out of their shells. but i know it's not always possible. one day, though - not any time soon - i'll just have to try anyway, and see what i can do.

i think about carlos and how he was so willing to admit his ignorance, and how janessa would tell me that she saw me walking home. there was something tragic, yet hopeful about all of them. they were nothing like the self-serving, blank-staring, fatalistic lot we once were. maybe i'm only exaggerating things in my mind, or maybe i'm just seeing things differently as an outsider.

at work sometimes, i kick and kick until my knee cracks. i can also crack my wrists and my elbows.

is there a price to always wanting something better, not just for you, but for everyone? at what point can we just say, that's enough. that's good enough.

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