School is closed in observance of Memorial Day weekend so I'm going to my new job for the whole day. My morning schedule has for decades begun around five with me writing Morning Pages, packing a lunch, grabbing a bite and some coffee, then hustling to school at seven. This new job doesn't begin until nine and so I'm home with time on my hands. It feels lovely and has me remembering high school.
Back then I got up early to dress, have breakfast, and get my books together, but really I got up to have time to listen to "Supper's Ready" from Genesis's double live album Seconds Out before school. That song plays for just over twenty-four minutes, so I got started early and, for at least one school year, listened to that song almost every morning. It was a reliably happy beginning to the day.
This morning I have A Trick Of The Tail on the turntable. My wife and daughters have left for their schools. The cats and dog are asleep and I'm almost back in my childhood bedroom, the door closed, the world contained inside those walls and the song on the record, the world enclosed in the wide pastures of my mind.
What I did I do back then while "Supper's Ready" played? I wasn't writing. Maybe I just listened. Probably I sang along. I know I was happy. Going to school wasn't my favorite thing but wasn't terrible either. Especially at the end of my senior year it could be wonderful. Some days I had to go before the song ended but I hardly remember those days and recall mostly feeling like I was on a lake in the still of morning under a brightening sky.
Teaching school hasn't been good for a long time. Yesterday it was dangerous. I was threatened by three different students and thought I might for the first time take a punch. It took a while to calm down from that and remember there are only twenty school days left for me in that awful place. Thank goodness.
Today, instead of school, I'll go to a new job, one that so far feels good and full of possibility. This morning I've got Genesis on the turntable and plenty of time. Side one of A Trick Of The Tail is almost over. I know what song to play next.