And sometimes it makes for an awkward situation.

Neighbor's husband just got home, and I hear their hellos and their happiness through the wall that I lean against. This wall is too thin.

I like it today-now, though, because I like their happy hugging sounds, and the exclaim of "you're home!" and their chatter from the day that they just had. They are nice people, they have a nice life.

But sometimes, late at night, when my husband comes home, and we are together, and we talk about secret stuff like babies and dreams and growing up, they are home too. We live our lives separately, always knowing that the other is there, always knowing that the other could be listening.. not for purpose, but because it's impossible to help.

And we never talk about it, either.

Because that would be improper, right?

Sometimes, when they are in the middle of happy conversations, and when they call each other those pet names that lots of people use but will never admit to using, and when she is making dinner and he tells her how good it smells, and when he says that her hair is beautiful, and she tells him that she likes his tie, and when he answers the phone "what can I do ya for?" I just want to yell through the wall-- I know you're there! I'm glad you're happy! I'm glad we're neighbors! I'm glad that two people as nice as you got married to one another!

But I don't. Because only outgoing five-year-olds do that. And even when I was five, I wasn't outgoing.

This year I had a class where I felt completely safe.

Usually, when in class, I never raise my hand. I never contribute my ideas to the discussion. Usually, I will formulate ideas in my head and script every word of my comment to be made and let my stomach get all knotty and worry until my face gets all hot and my hands get jittery and itchy and I will jiggle my leg up and down until I eventually work myself up to the prospect of alerting the class of my pre-scripted comment by waving my shaky hand at the teacher. But usually there's the boy in the red baseball cap with the ballpoint pen and the thick-rimmed glasses on my left that will make the comment that I had previously scripted in my head exactly 4 seconds before I can work up enough adrenaline just to raise my hand.


I didn't like Shakespeare. Last year.
I didn't like Shakespeare my whole life.

But this year, I fell in love with him. And in his class, I found my confidence. I learned that yes, I am intelligent, and yes, I have good ideas, and yes, I am a capable, functioning, educated human being.

Sometimes you wonder, ya know?

I raise my hand every class, though. I express myself.
And I tell my small class of 16 that I know I am important.

It's a big step for me.

I'm finding my way out, guys.
Today my soul breathes. It is a little more free.

And about these thinned walls?
They won't keep me bound.

I've found a window to lean my back against.


leah marie said...

Kaylie. I love your blog, your writing style, the whole thing. and this one really got to me. Love it! I'm so happy you're happy! :)

Allie said...

does the boy with the red baseball cap and thick glasses wear t-shirts with cartoon characters on them almost every day? if so, i know him. and he does comment. a lot. plus, love your writing. :)

Julie said...

I love this. I'm so glad that person is everywhere, the one who thinks of it four seconds before I do, too.

Lyndsi Shae* said...

I love what you said about your neighbors and I love that you're speakin up with that wise Claudia Harris. It's a shame that we don't yell happy things through walls these days.

Angie said...

I hear things from our next-door neighbors through the thin walls that I don't want to hear. Late late at night. Loud enough to wake me up. It kind of (totally) makes me feel violated. I hope you never hear that kind of thing from your nice neighbors. Talk about awkward.

And I know just the feeling of getting up the courage to raise your hand and someone stealing your comment. Man. Annoying. I'm glad you've had a better experience this semester.

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Wow... I totally relate to this. Me &my husband share a wall with out neighbor which is very thin &we hear EVERYTHING... sometimes TOO much. haha I loved this post.

hannah joel said...

You're rather wonderful and quite the writer.
Whimsical. Lovely, lady.