I Believe In Attendance

Annie - Ithaca, New York
Entered on November 18, 2008

I believe in attendance.

I believe in rallying, meeting confidentially, joining boards, signing up for listservs.

I believe in bringing friends, even if they don’t know what you’re taking them to.

I also believe in not bringing friends.

I believe in staring at the grass, at eye level, with your glasses off, until even individual blades don’t look like unified entities, and you can’t tell color from texture.

I believe that sometimes it’s okay to take photographs, even though it under-exposes and over-exposes experience, because seeing through a mechanical lens changes your live vision.

I believe in analog clocks that tick just loudly enough to be heard when the room is silent.

I believe in lying in bed in the morning until you’re done remembering your dreams.

I believe in stopping in the middle of the sidewalk when you’re walking and notice you’ve missed a breath.

I believe in finding exactly the right song to match your mood, and playing it.

I believe in delaying your bike ride when, on your way out, your friend tells you the scratches on her arm are not from tree climbing, and you walk her the twenty minutes to her class, holding hands all across campus, and convince her to call health services to talk to a counselor, and convince her again the next day when she’s recovered her smile and band-aided her arm.

I believe we know when to delay our bike rides, and when to convince again, and how.

But I had no idea that first night whether I should have kept checking in on her in her room, when she said she was sad and didn’t want to change it.

Should have taken away her thumb tacks and scissors?

I believe in chalking poems on the sidewalk.

(But only poems that are short enough for people to read as they walk over them.)