Monday, May 17, 2004

It's right after the last day of high school, but I'm older. But for some reason me and a lot of people my age that I remember are at the 7-11 in Jacksonville, Maryland. Standing around, waiting. I feel a little uncomfortable and decide to try to deal with it by being loud and confident. I talk with the guy behind the counter about the new fruit flavors of some weird health drink, and about some ranch-flavored chips that have been dipped in mangos. All these kids are waiting around for a party to start. There are two high school senior girls in their pajamas filming everything on a consumer-model video camera. Some busses arrive with teachers and students on them, and everyone starts rushing towards the tennis courts beside the 7-11.

I never really find out what exactly people are supposed to be doing. A bunch of people have their names read by a teacher standing in the tennis court but it seems like no one is paying attention. I get on one of the busses and it drives somewhere that it is night, where a bunch of kids are finishing taking a test in a large storefront-- like an Office Depot that's been emptied and filled with those chair-desks that lecture halls have. We're all disappointed for some reason-- I think we wanted to go in that building? We keep driving and it turns back into day, but not the next day-- the same afternoon that I first started waiting in the 7-11.

I think about going home. I get in a fight with a really tiny kid a few seats behind me--- I'm sitting at the very front, behind the driver, and the two teachers who are on the bus for some reason are sitting across on the other side of the aisle. The little kid is really small but has some real coarse language for me-- apparently I hit him with a ball or a rock or did something like that to him a while ago. I don't remember it, but I tell him I'm sorry if I did and try to squash the beef. He seemed ready to really let me have it, but drops it when I refuse to get amped up myself. We start talking. He mentions that the girls shooting with the video camera don't have any underwear on, and he uses some slang acronym I'd never heard before that means a girl with no underwear on. I tell him that it doesn't really matter because they're both buckled and he laughs. I ask where the bus is going and he says Kansas City. I think that maybe I should get off before the bus pulls out of Jacksonville again and go home, so at the stoplight of Sweet Air and Jarrettsville Pike, I lean forward and ask the driver where the bus is going. He says "Tennessee, maybe North Tennessee County," and I ask him how long that drive is and he says "Maybe 1 or 2 hours."

I think, "Hmm, I wonder if I should get off the bus. I'll probably just end up going home since I didn't know many of the kids at the 7-11 or the tennis court--- I'm not even their age or attending this school anymore..." but I don't really have anything to do that day, and the bus is in motion, so once we pull away from the light I'm pretty much going to Tennessee with these kids.