As I washed this morning’s dishes, the green-apple scent of the soap hit my nostrils with springtime memory. I closed my eyes, and smiled.
I had just moved into Rittenhouse Square. I was not yet 22. My Bachelor’s degree–quite literally–sat upon my bookcase among the rows of Stephen Kings.
It was a weird time. Earlier that spring I’d accepted a teaching position for the upcoming school year, which came with a commitment letter stating that I would be placed at a high school, sometime later that summer. In the meantime, I served water ice and cones of custard a few blocks away. I’d work the evenings, close at 11, and walk home to watch two or three episodes of Six Feet Under as I guiltlessly devoured an end-of-shift soft pretzel.
On the last day of June, I got a call from the district. They wanted to know if I was interested in teaching summer school for the month of July. $38 and change per hour. Yes, please.
And the rest of that summer, and really, all of those Philly years–strung between H&M outfits, cursing in the classroom, broken relationships, and an inordinate amount of Dunkin’ Donuts Egg & Cheeses–there grew a strong and ruthless vine.
With every early morning, and every pair of broken down sneakers, I stepped more and more into myself. The tears, the misunderstandings, the drunken bafoonery. The bookstores. The Target runs. The laughter, the jargon, the parking tickets.
The insane commutes. The phone calls. The grad-school papers.
It was all me.
I was, and I am.
With each new set of hours, I open my eyes to an array of simple pleasures.
I will kiss my son hello. I will drink in yesterday’s coffee over a mountain of ice. I will delight in the robin perched upon the lamp-post.
I am here, just as I was there.
And little by little, there grows a SnapDragon.
. . .
SnapDragon is a writer, teacher, mother, and friend.
Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.
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