Seventeen

I’m so sick of it all. Here’s the bitter truth of it. I wake up in the morning, roll out of my single bed in the basement and touch my toes to the cold synthetic hardwood. I’ll put on whatever clothes I want to wear for the day, then maybe do some quick makeup. Then I’ll walk up the stairs to the main floor where my room used to be, turn on the fluorescent light, and pour myself a bowl of cereal — everyone else will have left for work or school by now.

I’ll finish my first bowl of cereal and then, even though I should’ve left 2 mins ago for the train, I’ll pour myself a second bowl. I’m not hungry. I’m stuffed, in fact. The cereal is acridly sweet but the milk is so delightfully satiating and I pour some more for the last flakes. I’ve poured too much milk now, so I pour more cereal to compensate.

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Sometimes I’ll dress nicely for school, with tights and a skirt and maybe a nice scarf. Then standing there on the train platform, I’ll feel out of place. The outfit suits me but it’s just not what I want to be dressed like. I just want to be out in the forest, hiking in the mountains, skiing, with nature’s wise breath on my face: and you don’t need tights in a forest.

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In between classes I’ll walk through the university cafeteria and I’m just not interested. So much food, and so many takeouts containers, and so many squirts of teriyaki and packets of sweet n’ sour, and chocolate chip cookies on the side. A friendly place I’d normally love to hang out. Or Ridley Ave just a bus ride away with its consignment boutiques, weekend market, Friday night bars and board game cafes. I just want to be outside.

Coffee shops and fuzzy socks and classrooms and Netflix and Tim Horton’s seasonal chocolate peppermint doughnuts. I just want to be outside.

I’d rather eat carrots and stale pound bread and wear the same Costco down jacket every day and walk among nature until the sun goes down. It’s like I’m homesick for a home I’ve never known yet is so familiar; I want to get in touch with the land I’m living on.

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You can find such gorgeous photographs of all sorts of animal species on the internet or in books nowadays, and I realize that we are just killing off a hundred of them each day. And I feel little to no connection or concern whatsoever for these animals. When is the last time I’ve ever made eye contact with an animal?

No amount of concrete can ever patch this divide.


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