today would be my mom’s birthday. no, today is my mom’s birthday. i’m not sure what the right tense is.
i’ve been okay with that today. kind of surprising. my dad and i had a huge moment at breakfast this morning. when we got the bill i was idly looking at it and froze when i read that our waitresses name was baerbel. baerbel was my mother’s given name until she married my dad and had it legally changed to the americanized version, barbara. i have never met another baerbel in my life and it seemed a little eerie to meet this one on my mom’s birthday. i showed it to my dad and he choked up. i saved the receipt, but i am not exactly sure why. i don’t know what to do with it.
kim called me from school at noon to tell me that justin arrington was killed in an accident this weekend. he was one of my seniors two years ago and definitely makes the top ten favorite students list. when kim told me, i sat down at a picnic table – the closest piece of furniture as we were still at the beach – in a daze. i still feel dazed. and of course, i can’t cry. i never seem to be able to when i want to, when i feel like i need to. my emotions are all clogged up.
justin left behind a two-and-a-half year old son.
for a moment today, i wanted to give up teaching. in all seriousness. i guess i was thinking very selfishly. like all these things are happening to me sometimes i get lost in the area between introspection and self-absorbtion.
i’m doing the thing again where i wrack my brain for every memory i have stored there of justin a. the last time i talked to him on valentine’s day. his video for my class. the “fire in the hole” story. how much he loved taylor. the way he looked when he didn’t know how to say thank you. when we yelled at each other and i told him to display a level of maturity greater than that of his son. simulatenous apologies. his first day of school sheet in which he listed “the kama sutra” as his favorite book. the picture he brought me of taylor in his santa suit. how mad i got at him and cree for writing all over my bookcase in glitter glue – i never did end up scratching it off, so it’s still there, and i’m really glad now. these stupid little things become monuments. god, i wish i could cry.