They cover her walls from the slanted, raw ceiling to the splintering floorboards. From every place imaginable. From every season and setting one could desire. Scribbles scrawled across the surface on a special few: Taylor, Daphne, Elliot, Maya, Benjamin, Tammy, Jan, Paula. All experiencing the exotic lifestyles she could only dream about in class when her mind drifted out the window and across the seas.
Images from places she has never seen, but yearns to discover and unravel herself. Many left blank and purchased from stores nearby. Wanting to visit every place possible, but never having been anywhere, Catharine often caught herself dreaming about the the images across her walls – since she has never seen the real thing. The Norwegian fjords, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the sunsets from the top of mountains and the life from beneath the seas.
Catharine’s calculus class was reviewing for the Advanced Placement test today and Catharine’s mind was as far away from calculus as imaginatively possible. Running through the rainforests, swimming with the dolphins, dancing through the streets while the cars drove on the wrong side of the road. Everything that wasn’t here. Everything that wasn’t in this dreary classroom, this boring town, this lifeless state, or this side of the country that she had never managed to escape from.
Her mind throbbed and pounded as she heard the murmurs of derivatives and integrals being contemplated in surround sound. She heard the threatening clicking of the clock as it moved forward telling her she was running out of time. Telling her if she didn’t explore the world now, then when?
A ringing filled her ears causing her to rise from the depths of the ocean; jump from the tops of the fjords; reach the Great Wall, the Eiffel Tower, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Collecting her books and handouts, Catharine left the classroom where her world existed beyond the windows and headed to the convenience store to look for a new postcard.