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Day 65

Uncalled for exhaustion, anyone? Today is May 21.

Apparently eating cake that has coffee in it was not a good idea right before bedtime because I didn’t end up falling asleep until 5 a.m. My allergies also went into overdrive, which meant I had to sneeze and blow my nose every 10 minutes. Long story short, between the time I went to bed at midnight and the time I actually fell asleep, I felt absolutely miserable. Because I didn’t get to sleep until so late, or maybe so early, I didn’t wake up until after noon.

A little after I got up, my dad called and asked when I was heading over to RBHS to drop off my library books, textbooks and laptop and to pick up my yearbook. I had meant to go to the school early in the morning, but because I’d overslept I decided to go around 2 p.m. I hadn’t taken a shower in quite a while, and I felt grimy and gross, so I shaved and took a shower. My muscles felt sore, and the warm water relaxed them.

This was the first time I’d driven since school got out 65 days ago, so for the first few minutes behind the wheel I felt shaky and had to adjust to the feeling of the car. A squirrel tried to make me hit it because I truly believe squirrels think running under cars is just a fun game, but aside from that my drive to the school was smooth.”

After I’d dried off and tossed on clean clothes, I gathered all of my school supplies to return. Apparently I hadn’t returned any items all year, so I ended up needing a bag to carry my four books, three textbooks, calculator and computer to school. I tend to stick pieces of paper and Post-It notes into my textbooks as placeholders, so I went through my books and textbooks to make sure I didn’t accidentally leave any when I returned them. Once I’d gotten all of my things together (and remembered to grab my driver’s license), I headed out the door. 

This was the first time I’d driven since school got out 65 days ago, so for the first few minutes behind the wheel I felt shaky and had to adjust to the feeling of the car. A squirrel tried to make me hit it because I truly believe squirrels think running under cars is just a fun game, but aside from that my drive to the school was smooth. I parked in North, put on my mask and dropped off my laptop with science teacher Malcolm Smith. We talked for a bit about life, then I headed into the building to return the rest of my items. It felt strange going back into the school after so long, especially since now I suppose I’m not technically a student anymore. I talked with the different administrators and picked up my shirt and package of awards, which I hadn’t known I’d be getting. This was the most contact I’d had with other people in quite some time, so I relished the human interaction and dragged it out for as long as I could.

“Last year I listened to one song on repeat the whole time I wrote nice notes, so I’m listening to that same song while I do them again this year: “Last Summer” by The Shadowboxers. I will forever associate the song with writing nice notes, and I like the idea that any time I hear it I’ll remember journalism.”

When that was done, I went to the circle drive and picked up my yearbook. Once I’d gotten it, I haphazardly parked my car and got out to talk to my mom a bit. She and I went into the school and wandered around. I took photos of the empty hallways, which seemed eerie without any students on what is the official last day of school. I remember many a last day filled with tears and yearbook signings, but now everything feels out of place and time because of the pandemic. When my mom and I went into the journalism room, my heart hurt. I hadn’t really gotten to say good bye to all of the memories I’d made in it over the years, and now it feels as if I’ll never truly get that chance. For the first time since all of this started, I really missed the way life was before, which we might never get back.

After I hugged my mom and we walked out of the school, I got back in my car and headed home. I only have a few days left to write my nice notes, and my late start to the day meant I had to cram to get some written this evening. Between the time I got home and the time my family and I ate dinner, I only managed to write about five, which means I have 21 left to write later this evening and tomorrow. I’m sure I can do it, but I’m also pouring my heart and soul into each letter, so I’m emotionally raw by the time I finish. Last year I listened to one song on repeat the whole time I wrote nice notes, so I’m listening to that same song while I do them again this year: “Last Summer” by The Shadowboxers. I will forever associate the song with writing nice notes, and I like the idea that any time I hear it I’ll remember journalism.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that you are free.”

Jim Morrison

My family and I ordered Las Margaritas for dinner tonight, and the restaurant ended up giving us four bags of chips with our meals. That’s three bags too many for us, so when we finished eating, my brother and I went over to his friend’s house to drop off the extra food. His friend has been having a rough time lately, so we’re doing what we can to help him out. He seemed like a really nice guy, and I’m planning on making something for him tomorrow. Knowing me, it will either be cookies or banana bread. I hate knowing there are people suffering and not being able to help, so I’m going to do my best to make sure he knows there are people on his side.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear. After that you are free.” ― Jim Morrison

How did you spend your 65th day of social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.

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