THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 221

Interesting Choice

Before I could answer the woman,
someone’s voice reached
over the crowd like a hand,
throwing out an answer for me.
“An archivist! She wants to be
an archivist!”
The woman’s brow went up
as if she never expected
an answer like that
from a high school student.
“Interesting choice,” she said.
“You might want to consider
being a history major in college.”
But I didn’t choose to be the Archivist.
It’s just who I am.

I looked around the crowd
for the person who had spoken for me,
but they had become silent, invisible.
I gathered my things
and left Career Day behind.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 220

Goals

A marketing firm’s representative,
her mouse-brown roots
showing under her platinum-blond
dye job, said,
“You should think
about your future
now.
Don’t wait until senior year
to decide your college major.”
Some girls beside me whispered
while the representative spoke.
“Everyone changes their major
all the time. We’re only, like, 15.
How the hell are we supposed
to know the rest of our lives?”
The woman pointed at me.
It was as if her finger had traced
a spotlight around me.
“You,” she said.
“What are your career goals?”
Images of myself
in different roles
bounced through my head.
Nothing felt right.

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THE ARCHIVES: Chapter 219

Career Day

“Career Day.”
Also known as
one of those elusive
get-out-of-class-free cards.
During our last class,
we grabbed our things
and headed to the gym,
which was overrun by representatives
from every career field imaginable.
We didn’t pay attention
to their fake-happy talk.
We were too busy swiping free stuff
(candy, pens, bookmarks—you name it)
from the bowls
at their booths.
I had never thought of my future
and didn’t want to. Not yet.
High school was a wall I could not see
above, around, under, or through.
So I grabbed a free pen
and pretended to take notes
while they talked.

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