Oh derby girl with wheels so fast and free
A happy heart with many joys and loves
A fan of fiend and foe, of masks and gloves
a gift for mat, she numbers seeks and sees.
Sir Fibonacci made a math so grand
it changed the way we see the world today.
She loves those sums and adds a mighty band
of numbers ranging through infinity.
The whip, the jam, the crash, among the pack
the rush of roller derby stirs the crowd
to stand and scream and cheer the girl’s attack
these girls will make their mothers very proud
The bat, the cat, the spider, and the rest
this derby girl will always like the best.
Will took a deep breath to savor the scent of ripening cherries This only added to the regret he was feeling over his upcoming choice. Will wouldn’t miss this orchard, there were plenty others just like the one owned by Harold Wallace out there, but he enjoyed the men and women he’d had for companions over the last six months.
He sat on the porch with his feet propped up on the railing. This wasn’t the job he wanted. Well, he wasn’t going to complain about getting the day off, but he knew that this change in plans meant it was time to leave again. Will picked up his laptop and started checking his emails. There were the usual assortment of junk mails and a few genuine job offers in the mix, but he deleted all of them. He stopped for a moment to look over the message from his mother.
It was the usual message. “Where are you? When are you coming home? You could at least call, or write back. Do you know what you’re putting your Father through?”
There was more, but Will deleted it before he got upset. It might have been different if she would write something new, but it was almost exactly the same email that he’d gotten a hundred times. She didn’t understand the choices he’d made with his life, and as a result, she didn’t get a response from him anymore.
This was probably the worst last day of work that Will had ever had. His boss didn’t even know that Will was going to leave at the end of the day, but it was definitely time to get out. Will hadn’t come to California to sit on a porch drinking pink lemonade and playing on the computer. There was a little bit more to the job, but waiting for someone to drive down a dirt road looking to buy used furniture was truly pointless.
It was even more pointless when you considered that there hadn’t been a single car that drove past the main house in the four hours that had passed since Will started. This wasn’t exactly a public road. Just as Will was thinking this, he noticed that there was a cloud of dust heading his way.
At first, he couldn’t make out what kind of a car it was because of all the dust. Will thought about leaving a note for Wallace that the road could definitely use some maintenance, but then Wallace probably wouldn’t bother to do anything about it. Besides, how many cars actually drove on this road?
Oddly, the car started to slow down as it approached the house. Will set down his glass of lemonade and his laptop, then he stood up with his hands on the railing in order to get a better look at whoever was driving the bright red ’72 Oldsmobile Station Wagon that was pulling up to the house.
The driver-side window rolled down and a woman’s hand with bright red nails reached out of the window and opened the door. The driver stepped out of the car. She was quite tall for a girl which was something that Will appreciated. She had blonde hair that was extremely curly, and fell down below her shoulders. Her outfit was distracting because she was dressed like a colorblind gypsy. The long skirt and long-sleeved top were fine, but it was the layers of clothes each with its own strange pattern and colors that were an issue. She was certainly pretty, but Will just wasn’t sure what she was trying to accomplish with her outfit.
“Can you tell me where I am?” the girl asked breaking Will out of his train of thought.
“This is the Wallace farm,” Will replied.
“That doesn’t help me at all,” she answered back. “I’m trying to get back to the city.”
“I’m afraid you’re going the wrong way then.” Will said. “If you go back the way you just came, and just keep driving straight for about 15 miles, you’ll find the main road again.”
“I guess I got a little more lost than I thought,” she said with a big smile.
Will took a moment to enjoy her smile and the beautiful brown eyes that looked at him. “Can I offer you a drink before you take off?”
“I could use a drink, but I’m going to be driving so I guess I should say no.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Will said with a laugh. “My boss doesn’t drink alcohol so the strongest thing I can offer you is some lemonade.”
“I guess I can handle that,” she laughed. “So what are you doing here on the porch in the middle of the day? Doesn’t your boss have something for you to do?”
Will walked up to the porch and poured the girl a glass of lemonade. “It’s a long story, but I guess he’s decided that I’m more valuable here on the porch than out working in the fields today. There is more than just sitting and drinking lemonade though.”
“Really?” she asked with mocking surprise. “What more could he possibly ask you to do?”
Will pointed to the furniture by the side of the road. “My extremely important task is to sell this furniture. Impressive isn’t it?”
The girl walked over to look at the two chairs that were there by the road. Will sat down in one of them and invited her to take the seat next to him.
“These are some extraordinary chairs,” she said taking a seat.
“Yes, the Queen Anne style is quite nice,” Will replied. “They have been made since the 18th century. These chairs aren’t quite that old, but at least a hundred years old.”
“So, what are you looking to get for them?”
“I don’t really care.” Will answered. “I’m pretty much done here, and I’ll probably move on tonight. I’ll take whatever you want to offer.”
“Do you like cherries?” she asked.
“Cherries?” he queried in return.
“Yes, cherries, I just happen to have a couple of baskets of cherries I was hoping to sell out of the back of my car until I got a little lost earlier today.”
“Two baskets of cherries in exchange for two chairs made out of cherry?” Will pondered. “I think we can make that work.”
“Seriously?” the girl asked.
“Sure, I’ll even help you load them up in your car.”
“Any chance you’ll help me unload them too?” she asked with a playful grin.
Will thought for a minute. “I don’t even know your name. What’s in it for me?”
The girl smiled. “I don’t know your name either.”
“I’m Will, and you are?”
“Maybe I’ll tell you tonight when you stop by to help me with these chairs.”
Will laughed as he agreed. They unloaded the cherries and loaded up the chairs. Will took the address to her house and walked back to his room to pack. There wasn’t any point in staying and it was time to move on anyway.
Will loaded up his few possessions and made his way to move some chairs.
What happens when two strangers who are running away from their past meet? What if their pasts overlap in unexpected ways
Will- went to an outstanding college and got an MBA and a high-paying job and one day left it all behind because his grandfather taught him to “never have a job you can’t walk away from.” He left his rich family, his girlfriend, and his job without a second thought. After twelve years as a migrant farmer, perhaps he has found a reason to stick around.
Patri- an artist and a vagabond, Patri has been running and hiding for the past decade. She isn’t open with her secrets or her trust, but there is something about Will Staige that convinces her to take a chance.
There comes a time when you have to stop running away from your past. Have Will and Patri found that time together?
Mr. Brenner never missed anything. You could be whispering in the back of the class with Penelope Parker, the quietest girl in class, while there was a fire drill clanging in the background, and he would know every word that came out of your mouth. A single fly buzzing around the room (an there was never any more than a single fly in the room at any time) was quickly targeted by Mr. Brenner’s ear and quickly clapped between his chalk-stained hands.
He was the best teacher in the school. Everyone that had him.for a teacher agreed with that. He was the only teacher that my brother,Henry actually liked, and and I think the only reason Henry ever passed the other grades was because the teachers wanted to get rid of him.
That was something I appreciated about Mr Brenner. He never judged me based on his experiences with my brother. Mr Brenner always let me stand as an individual. That’s what made his announcement so hard to accept.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he started in a quiet voice that still filled the classroom, “I have an announcement that you will either take with joy or sadness. I will be retiring when the school year has come to an end.”
Sixteen voices started murmuring around the room while I sat in stunned silence. How could Mr Brenner leave teaching? How could he abandon us?
“I know this comes as a surprise to everyone, but Mrs Brenner and I have talked about this for months and we decided it’s time for a change.”
The murmuring started again, and Mr Brenner let the class have their moment. He walked towards his desk and quietly took his seat.
“I suppose that you will have plenty of questions about this matter,” he suggested as every hand in the room shot into the air.
“I suppose I should have expected as much,” Mr Brenner mused. “Let’s start with Sally.”
“Thank you, Mr Brenner,” she started with that tone that I found extremely annoying. “I am sure that you will recall that I have always been one of the best students at Grover Cleveland Elementary school. As such, I find such news disturbing. I fear for the academic growth of the entire school. Why just the other day I was telling telling my mother how much your influence has meant to me as a scholar.”
“Thank you,Sally,” Mr Brenner acknowledged. “And how do you feel Mr Ross?”
Jeremy Ross was one of the worst students in the class, and I was fairly certain what response to expect. Jeremy stood up and ran his fingers through his hair.
“Mr Brenner,” he mumbled.
“Mr Ross,” Mr Brenner interrupted, “I cannot understand you when you talk with your mouth full of marbles. Please take them out and try again.”
“That’s what I like about you, Mr Brenner,” Jeremy chuckled. “You tell it like it is. None of my other teachers were like that.They were always trying to help me ‘very in touch with my feelings’ or yelling at me thinking that would make a difference. No, you just expected more from me, so I felt I needed to give it.”
As more students said what was on their minds,my hand sank lower and lower. I knew the thoughts that were on my mind, but I didn’t know how to put them into words. Maybe he would miss me in all the confusion. No such luck.
“Miss Foster,” I heard from the front of the room, “do you have anything you would like to add?”
I tried to slide under my desk,but by that time the whole class was looking at me.
“I’ll be sad to see you go,” I answered meekly.
“That is very kind of you,” Mr Brenner replied with a smile in my direction. “There is still seven months before the end of the yea,and I plan to be here until then. For now, I believe that it is time for you to go to the playground.”
Everyone got up from their seats and headed into the hall go to their lockers. I dragged my feet. I wasn’t sure what I would say, but, I wanted to let Mr Brenner know how much he had changed my life since I’d started fourth grade.
“Is there something I can help you with, Miss Foster?” Mr Brenner inquired.
“Um, no, sir,” I stammered. I ran into the hallway and struggled with the combination for my locker. I had messed up my chance to tell Mr Brenner how I felt. I had to come up with a way to make up for that. Mr Brenner was fond of saying, “You have to take your chances when they come to you.”
Stepping outside, I found my best friend, Kimmie. She was several inches shorter than me, but no one ever gave her a hard time about it because the last boy that tried it had gone home with two black eyes. She was my best friend because she was always followed me in my wild schemes.
“What is on your mind?” Kimmie asked with a sly grin.
“I don’t know yet,” I whispered.
“Some big secret?”
“So big I haven’t even told myself yet,” I laughed. “I just feel like we have to do something special for Mr Brenner.”
“Will you tell me when you let yourself in on the big secret?”
“You’ll be the second person I tell,”I promised as I crossed my heart with the fingers of my right hand.
Twelve feet by twelve feet, this room is unique in all the world because it serves no purpose and has no function. There are no inhabitants or passers-by. It is simply a room.
Did you ever have an art teacher or anyone else show you a blank piece of paper and tell you that it was a polar bear in a blizzard? The room is something like that, only more white.
There is no furniture, just white walls and layers of white curtains suspended from a white ceiling that fall to a white floor. There are no doors or windows so the room feels no need to be anything for you. It simply exists.
I don’t know what it is about summer, but the nights seem to take much longer. Maybe it is the fact that the sun stays up so late, maybe it’s just that you don’t have to hide inside from the cold and wind. For good or for bad, that’s the way that it seems to me.
Maybe it’s just that I’m all alone again.
“I love you,” she would whisper as the sound of life rushed past us. I didn’t care then, but now I wish I could gt that time back. Actually, I wish life could fly by again, but that isn’t how it works.
What do I do now that I’m alone?
When I first read Virginia Woolf, I didn’t really care for her. I know that the real reason was that I was in three Lit classes, including British Literature. I was reading on a frantic pace, and “A Room of Her Own” was not to my liking at that point, especially when she only started getting to the point around page 5 of 20. (Woolf was saying that in order for a woman to write in the Modern Era, she would need to have a space of her own, and lots of free time-not very likely at that time.)
When a friend of mine planned to do her honors project on “The Waves” (a Woolf book) I decided that I needed to read some of Woolf’s works to better understand what she was writing about.
I found a collection of short stories, and I was hooked from the first one. What really caught my attention was that the characters seemed to come close to connecting and always missing the mark. That is where this play comes from.
Debbie: A 20-year-old woman with long dark hair. She is dressed for a warm summer day.
Romaine: A 25-year-old man with black hair. He is dressed very sharply.
Debbie is at the bus stop. Romaine approaches.