Junior College - Poem by Adam Holmes
Up is down, spin me around. I won myself a degree. Bow at my feet, fear my intellect, I should buy me a new pipe. Perhaps if I felt different I would, but it’s me, the same lost boy I have always been. I knows where I wants to go, but how do I get there? I stare at the map. Straight lines, squiggly lines, no lines, I am still lost. Seems to me I bought the wrong one.
My parents sure were proud. So were my grandparents. Oh yea and my sister and my friend’s mom and my dad’s ex-girlfriend, the family dog, the waitress at the pizza parlor shit, even my boss. What I didn’t tell them through my stupid smile was that I am a fraud. Sure, I had my flashes of pride, but they came and went between roaming clouds. The hardest part of earning this degree was waking up in time to hear my teacher ramble on and on and on about things I already knew and no longer remember. But hey, I have myself a cap and a gown and a piece of paper, that’s all they needed to see.
Gold tassels! I didn’t get one of those. This would have caused poignancy if it wasn’t for the old woman with a limp sitting beside me. Seventy-five years it took her to graduate junior college and she couldn’t be happier. Neither could I, all seven of her great-grandchildren were in attendance. This woman sparked a spark of something in my otherwise numb normal state. I laughed with her, I celebrated with her, I almost cried with her, for goodness sake, I did more then sit there with a blank stare. She counts her days, I piss away mine, yet we graduate together, from the back row.
Am I average because I’m average or is it because I choose to be? A day later, I have forgotten the old woman, and remembered those gold tassels. The deans shake their hands with smiles mine in disgust. Compare them to me. Ha. No comparison, gold is better then green. If only I had woken up a little earlier, opened my textbooks, the same ones I was supposed to have been opening for the last 10 years, maybe I would have that gold tassel. What will become of them? What about me? They know how to get where they are going. I'm stuck circling the same streets. Damn, not only did they get pretty tassels, they got a better map.
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