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Thursday, 14 September 2000


Written by  Sherri Mandell

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It is a rainy Sunday afternoon in November, with nothing I want to watch on TV.

All of my friends are away.

My sister is at Green Acres Shopping Center.

I walk through the house.

My father is stretched out on the Lazy Boy recliner in the den, watching football. I sit down on the couch. A commercial comes on. A cute guy is in a sports car, driving a beautiful woman through a snowstorm in the mountains. When they arrive at their destination, a Victorian inn, every window is illuminated with a candelabrum.

I walk to my parents' bedroom. The door is closed. I peer in. My mother is asleep.

I wander into the kitchen. Nothing interesting in the fridge. There are Saltines, cans of tuna fish, spaghetti. I look in the breadbox and find a loaf of white bread.

I roll the white bread into little balls of dough between my palms.

I eat ten little balls.

It's 5:00 and getting dark.

I go into my room and look at the poster on the bulletin board: A tanned guy with blonde slicked back hair emerges from the waves, a surfboard balanced on his head.

I turn on the radio. No songs I like. Static.

I go back to my father in the den. He is snoring.

I go back to my room.

I take out a book, Gone With the Wind. I've read it before.

I don't want to read it again.

It is 1968. The Vietnam War is escalating. Martin Luther King has been shot. Bobby Kennedy has been shot. There's a civil rights march on Washington.

I know little of those events.

I am 13 years old, in 8th grade.

In every fiber of my being,

I am waiting not to be bored.

Last modified on Thursday, 14 April 2011 18:34
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Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell

Sherri Mandell has a Master's degree in Creative Writing and has taught writing at the University of Maryland and Penn State University. She is the author of the book Writers of the Holocaust. She has written articles for the Washington Post. She is married with four children

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