celia

en liten text jag skrev för ungefär ett år sedan. 


Seconds turn into days which turn into weeks as Celia’s last year of high school becomes part of her habitual patterns. Books placed in her backpack and slow traces to the bus stop are added to her early morning breakfasts and methodically brushed and plaited hair every evening. She places her binders and notebooks in front of her on her white desk and stare at them for a few seconds before organizing them in order of importance. Her pens are aligned perfectly in the right hand corner of her work board and there is no eraser to speak of; she forbids herself of making any mistakes.

These perfections and habits are what make the time pass for Celia. She tells herself that it isn’t necessary for her to follow these routines. But she sees her world like a canvas, and every mistake is acrylic paint that can never be washed off. So she replaces these mistakes with things she can control, like the space between mechanical pencils, and the 30 degree slant of her cursive letters. And perhaps her outward appearance canceled the belief that she could be a perfectionist, with her thick smudged eyeliner and controversial clothing style.

Eventually though, these habits weren’t enough to take Celia’s mind off of the triviality of her life. She could spend all the time in the world perfecting the slant of her cursive letters, but it would never make her biology essay feel important. She could align her notebooks perfectly in her backpack and trace the steps to the bus so that she took exactly as many every day, but it didn’t make her time feel like it was worth spending. She felt like her life was an excuse for something yet to come, but she was starting to wonder what she was actually waiting for. It was at moments like these when she would decide to get drunk.

She would trace her steps back to the bus but perhaps she would take one extra crooked just to feel the anxiety boil. Her backpack was light enough as she had aligned each book in her locker and evenly divided pens and pencils in the remaining space. Right before the bus stop she would take a neat turn 90 degrees to the left. I like to imagine this manoeuvre as a piece from some musical set in New York City, but that kind of allegory would make Celia scowl. One block before her regular pub, she would throw her backpack behind a trash lid and roll her jacket in a ball on top of it. Then she’d lift each pinky evenly toward her eyes and smudge her eyeliner even more. This followed by an even more confident strut.

Most days she’d be let in to the bars. Somedays the bouncers must have had the police up their neck and they would decline with precisely that amount of anger that told her that they were only doing their job. She then knew there was no point in going to the bars on this block and would deliberate taking the long promenade to the other side of town, expose herself to the claustrophobia of the subway system, or call her old boyfriend for some beer up in the northern outskirts of the city. Only she never exposed herself to the claustrophobia of the subway, so she really only had two alternatives, and today her feet really hurt.

image from tumblr

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