Up In The Air

by Phoebe Rosenblum
Up In The Air

“It’s like my emotions have just stopped varying and I’m only feeling one way all the time, and I know that’s not human. I could try to fix it, but the problem is I can’t remember why I feel like this in the first place.”

I have trouble getting my dresser drawers open these days. I have trouble opening the doors in my house, putting my clothes on, picking things up, basically doing anything that requires getting a grip on something; physically and/or emotionally. It’s probably because I’ve just been so sad. The saddest I’ve been in a while. So sad that I can’t complete everyday tasks. It’s like my emotions have just stopped varying and I’m only feeling one way all the time, and I know that’s not human. I could try to fix it, but the problem is I can’t remember why I feel like this in the first place.

Did I ever know why? Was there ever a reason? The past few days have been a blur and I can’t seem to stay in sync with my surroundings anymore. What’s wrong with me?

This morning I waste a good ten seconds of my time to get my drawer open, twenty-two seconds put on my clothes and get ready to go to school. I’m too upset to talk to anyone, even my parents, but that’s okay because they’ve been ignoring me too. It’s like they don’t even notice me, but that’s also okay, because I can tell they’re sad about something too. Last month a close friend of my parents’ moved away. My dad got over it quickly, but Mom was really sad about it. When my mom is sad, she isolates herself from reality. I’m almost positive she was beginning to get over it, but who knows? She could have shifted back into the depression at any point without my knowledge. Why on earth could that be? Does she not know why either? Are we experiencing the same thing? This thought hasn’t crossed my mind before so I go up to my mom, who is sitting glumly at the dining room table, reading the paper.

“Mom,” I say, taking my chances. I know she won’t respond but I’m a little more eager to get some answers from her this time, so I press on.

“Mom,” I plead, but as expected, she looks up from the paper, sighs, briefly buries her head in her hands and continues reading the whatever depressing news is in today.

I get the door open after four tries, (a new record,) and go to the bus stop. God, I’m such a mess.

I wait for the bus along with all the other talkative students in my school, but none of them are talking to me. Not even Lucy and Ben. They don’t even see me. They aren’t even talking to each other, they’re just sitting next to each other with their faces sad and their fingers intertwined. When I think I’m too close to them, I back away, because we had a fight last week and I bet they’re still mad at me. I still am a little annoyed with them, but my boyfriend and girlfriend best friends are looking sadder than I’ve ever seen them, and it breaks my heart regardless. Suddenly, Lucy takes out her phone and unlocks it, revealing the picture that we took at Georgiana’s sweet sixteen. She glances at it and then buries her face into Ben’s shoulder. Ben kisses her on the forehead and rubs her back. I never thought they would be that sorry. Just to play hard to get, I leave the premises. The bus approaches and I go up the stairs behind a few other kids.

I watch as they insert their MetroCards, retrieve them and find a seat. As I am about to do the same, the girl behind me shoves me to the side and away from the paying area. I can tell she didn’t see me, but she didn’t react at all. I soon realize that this girl is Ariel Winters, who has hated me since sixth grade. However, I still think it’s weird that she didn’t glare at me afterwards. No one saw it happen, so I sneak my way towards the rest of the seats, because who doesn’t want a free bus ride? The peculiar thing is the bus driver doesn’t notice either, which makes me feel uneasy, but even so, I sit down on the cold, blue bus seat.

I get to school and head to my first class, an acting class for all the seniors rehearsing an audition for Juilliard in the drama department. I’ve been working on my monologues for weeks and the auditions are next weekend. According to Ms. Tristan, I couldn’t be more prepared, and she said last week that she’s going to try to focus on everybody else since they need more help than I do. Even so, Ms. Tristan always makes sure everybody has their turn by the end of the class period.

I walk in and sit down. I’m the first one there, even before Ms. Tristan. Ms. Tristan always comes after everyone is here. A group of my classmates come in talking, and among them is Damien, my crush since middle school. I know he doesn’t like me back, because I got one of our mutual friends to subtly ask him in seventh grade, so that’s been taken care of. I never stopped liking him, though. He never really talks to me, but we exchange our pleases and thank yous when holding the door or undergoing other everyday exchanges. We don’t have any kind of relationship at all, which saddens me every time I think about it.

Everyone is finally in the room, but nobody sits down until Ms. Tristan comes in with her iPad and red horn-rimmed glasses perched on the tip of her upturned nose.

“Settle down, settle down,” she says with her uppity, theatery tone of voice. “I suppose you’ve all memorized your pieces and are ready to perform them in tip top shape, yes?”

The class lets out a disgruntled mix of yeahs and ehs. Damien sits down next to me in one of the chairs that is organized in the semi-circle. I smile to myself since his chair is unusually close to mine.

“Marcus, remind me when your audition is?” Ms. Tristan asks.

“The eleventh,” Marcus replied. “Nine thirty.”

A thought strikes me. That’s when my audition is. January eleventh at nine thirty. The first one of the day. He can’t have my same time. That’s impossible. I must have read the date wrong. I’ll have to check the website.

“Alright, Clarissa. Give us your first one.”

Clarissa stands up, goes to the middle of the circular choir room and performs her monologue. Eventually everyone does their pieces but Ms. Tristan never calls on me. She told me last week that she wouldn’t work as hard with me, but she would still ask me to perform during class. The period ends and I sadly leave the choir room without having done my monologues. I wind up walking out next to Damien. I go to open the door for him. As far as I know, the door knob is in my hand and I am smiling my politest smile, but I don’t realize that the door is still closed until Damien brushes past me to open it. I sigh and go through the door after him.

I don’t understand how my sadness interrupts my daily actions this much. It’s quite annoying, but being annoyed saddens me even more. It isn’t even that I’m capable of feeling another way. When I try to be in another mood, it’s like I stop in my tracks and turn back around.

By second period, I decide I’m too out of it to trudge through a day of school. I can usually push through a Monday, but there’s something about today that is just too exhausting. My sadness is almost so tiring that I can barely stay alive. After math, I go straight home. It’s not like I get good grades anyway. I can see there’s no point in me being here.

I get home and I see my parents are asleep. I decide to lock myself in my room and practice my monologues. I finish the first one, but then I remember what Marcus said about his audition date.

I run to my computer and pull up the Juilliard website. I go to the page where they list all the names and dates of the applicants in chronological order. I skim the list three or four times and I don’t see my name. I feel the anxiety and fear rising up inside of me, mixed with my sadness. I don’t feel this way only because my name has miraculously disappeared from the application list, but because now I remember what happened two days go. I remember why everything has been so off since that fateful day, and why I’ve been so sad and invisible. Two days ago was the car crash. I hear the doorbell ring, but I stay where I am. Why should I answer the door if I’m just a ghost?

 

 

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