by Brian Oliu
Week Eight: Alabama 45 – Tennessee 10
It starts off with me trying to find out where I get the anger from; it is not something that is natural to me–the idea of interpretation of wrongness, the need to react to something that my life does not depend upon. When I came here, it was a given: this is what is expected of us–to despise any mention of the state to the north, to have a long list of reasons despite not needing any of them. My first day inside the spaceship that Bryant built (presumably with his bare hands, no use of alien technology except for mud & spit) was against those dogs from the north–an ugly affair that left no one wanting something more beautiful: a duck of a kick up & through the uprights & the smell of cheap cigars filling the night air; old men with tears in their eyes out of love of situations; that from these death stares comes something that resembles emotions that won’t put you in the papers the following morning for the wrong reasons. Here, older, I find myself giving reasons to get angry: to stress the importance of all of this–to pass down something larger than what I am.
Week Nine: BYE WEEK
It’s quiet here: the students have all taken their large trucks & large hearts home, or to somewhere that will have them. The streets are a bit cleaner: there aren’t cars parked on lawns, I can find quietness in places that seem impossible. It is like this for summers–those who did not beg their parents to let them stay to finish up an extra class, those who convinced others that there are jobs here, that there is rent to pay, are all missing, snug in their hometowns counting the days until they could return to whatever Valhalla this is: smashed blue bottles like mosaics at the bottom of pools, houses larger than ones they will ever own. The warriors, they do not get to go home: they are in meetings, they are planning for the following week–a date that has been circled for months. It is our leaders’ birthday on the day of the dead: the town vacated as if it has been ransacked, the icing licked clean.