“What time is your final exam?” my roommate asks, poking my shoulder.
I open one eye. “Eight o’clock.”
“It’s 8:30,” she says.
I fly out of my top bunk after three hours of sleep. I pull on a sweater that is on the floor. My hair is matted and tangled. Sheets lines etch my face. I grab two pencils, shove on my tennis shoes without bothering with socks, and I run.
I run down six flights of stairs, down the sidewalk, and across the street. It is December in Indiana and the cold sears my insides. Pain stitches through my sides and I keep running until I reach the history building and have to kneel on the stairs until I can breathe.
I get to the third floor holding my side and fling open the doors. Everyone and their pencils stop. I realize then I’m making this screechy, wheezing sound. The professor looks up and waits for me to walk, bent sideways to his desk. He says nothing but hands me the exam.
I sit down and lean forward to rest my forehead on the desk. The guy who sits next to me waits until my breathing steadies and he says, “What the hell happened to you?”
You ever get that feeling that you are never going to get enough done? No matter if you write one word or one-hundred pages, do you think you could’ve written more (never mind better)? Or maybe you are happy that you got something, anything, done at all.
My art show is coming in April and I’m getting that exam week feeling. That feeling you get when you’re faced with an exam and you know you could’ve studied more. You could’ve worked harder instead of gone out dancing. What did dancing get you anyway?