The Desire to Escape

The noise of dozens of conversations holds my ears captive. I desperately want to, but just can’t seem to be able to tune it out. It’s hard to think in all this distraction. I want to leave, but know I cannot.

“I saw the TV show!” comes piercing through the dull roar. I look up to find the face belonging to this sharp, disembodied voice and see she is only one row in front of me. We are waiting. Crammed into a room not much larger than a standard classroom, those of us on time wait for the rest of our large numbered staff to arrive. It’s training day and now we must learn.

Wait! I know this software! I use it every day in my classroom. My mind wanders. The presenter keeps talking and it’s hard to focus on either her voice or my own thinking. Thoughts rush in and out in fits.

My back hurts. Why do they make our old bodies sit in these hard plastic chairs for an hour or more?

At least I’m sitting at the back, by the open door. A cool breeze moves the back of my hair and captures my attention. The presenter is still talking enthusiastically, so animated, about this website, but I am no longer listening.

How can I listen? She is telling me information, showing me tabs and resources I already know very well.

My thoughts are becoming more organized now. Have my boys finished their homework yet? I still need to sharpen pencils before I go home tonight.

What else could I be doing during this hour? What will I cook for dinner tonight? My thoughts fly around searching for answers.

A breeze moves the back of my hair again and rests on my shoulder tugging at me, beckoning me toward the door. My resolve to tough out this training, this mandated time in the seat, keeps me from answering its siren like call.

Someone’s mobile goes off and like everyone else I turn toward the strange music. Turning back toward the presenter, as I must, I sneak a peak out the open door. My car is visible, beckoning me from the parking lot. “Where would you like to go?” the headlights tauntingly ask me as the front grill smiles slyly. I could walk out this back door and hop into that car and drive away. Not to any place in particular, just drive, just feeling the openness of driving with no set destination, no expected arrival time. But I must stay.

My thoughts come to a crashing halt. All of my focus is suddenly snapped onto the present. “Ok, we’re done now. Have a great year!” I hear the presenter say and know my time in this torturous chair is now at an end. I am free to escape.

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