It is dark when I wake up.
The alarm hasn't gone off, and so I lay there, waiting.
For what, I'm not exactly sure-but not just for the alarm.
That I know.
Something I think I will always be waiting for.
The daily routine-lather, rinse, repeat-is done on autopilot.
I watch my shape in the mirror-rather critically-
My skin is dry and crackling, dark circles underline my eyes.
It is still dark when I leave the house.
The routine is so simple-so monotonous-
6:42 a.m. is when I leave.
Light is peeking through.
I drive down my street, and my attention is drawn to the left.
There's that car.
It's still running, it's headlights bounce off the white garage door.
I want to look away.
I need to look away.
But instead, I stare in.
The big window stands open as a mom hands over her most precious item.
She hands her baby to someone.
Someone she must trust.
She leaves the baby here each day.
At the same time.
At 6:42 a.m.
This could be me.
This should be me.
I should be stopping.
I should be turning left, pulling in, carefully taking out MY most precious item(s).
But I don't.
And I can't.
And I may not ever.
Instead, I drive.
As I get to the next intersection,
I see an airplane.
It takes off, pulling up its wheels.
Shooting up, up, up in the sky.
Irony at its finest.
How I wish I were on that plane.
Going away, away, away.
I wish I were turning left, pulling into that driveway.
I wish I were on that plane.
Instead I drive ahead.
I enter my silent classroom.
And I pretend.
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