Chaviva High School
Instructor: Ariella Landy
Watching from the Wall.
Watching from the Wall.
For months I sat on the shelf of the department store, lifeless and still. My hours did not tick; My minutes did not tock. What good is a clock with no batteries? Until one fateful morning, Mr. Peterson lifted me off the dusty shelf and placed me in his shopping cart, along with a pack of AA batteries. Before I knew it I was up on the wall hanging next to the Peterson family vacation photos. My hands were all set. My batteries were in. My numbers were bold. I was ready.
Mrs. Peterson walks quietly down the stairs in her matching Lululemon workout set for her morning run. She opens up her cabinet to take out the blender for her daily protein shake. She looks at the time and puts the blender back in its place. She leaves the house and closes the door very softly behind her. Her stealth lets the rest of the family sleep for a little bit longer. Of course, she does this on purpose. Partly out of consideration for her family members. Partly out of wanting just a little bit of extra quiet time when she gets back from her run.
Mrs. Peterson reentered the house and tiptoes her way up the stairs for a short shower and comes down that same staircase after just a few minutes. She brews herself a scolding cup of coffee. No cream. No sugar. Just coffee in its purest form. She sips from her 'best mom ever' cup and listens to the sound of the morning birds singing. Her morning is starting off perfectly. While she sips her bitter beverage as she starts to whip up some quick pancakes. She flips the last flashbacks onto the plate and waits for her family to stampede down the stairs and transform her morning of perfection into a morning of chaos.
The chaos begins. First to fly down the stairs is eleven-year-old Michael. His shirt is on backward and he is wearing two different socks. He quickly grabs a plate and fills it with pancakes before sitting down in front of the television for morning cartoons. The second one down the stairs is Mr. Peterson. The nice man who brought me home from the department store! He's wearing a nice suit that matches his receding head of dark grey hair. He greets his wife with a goodbye peck and rushes out the front door to his sit-down job at a law firm. The third member of the Peterson family to come down the stairs is 16 year old Avery with her shoulder-length blonde hair pulled back into a braid. She's wearing a killer pair of jean overalls with a cropped black tee. Avery approaches her mother to get a serving of breakfast. When they stand next to each other they could easily be mistaken as twins. Same vibrant green eyes, same blonde locks, and same thin figure. The resemblance is remarkable. She sits at the table with her pancakes and starts scrolling through her social media platforms. Last down the stairs is 17 year old Zachary in a black hoodie and sunglasses as if he were a celebrity avoiding paparazzi. He stumbles toward the table and puts his head in his hands. His mother looks at him with a look of 'not again' in her eyes as she shakes her head slowly. She starts to ask him about his choice of outfit and he brushes it off. She continues the interrogation already knowing the answers to most of the questions she was asking. Zachary didn't have an amazing relationship with his parents. They weren't comfortable with his choices to drink and smoke as a teen and he wasn't comfortable being told what to do. Hungover mornings like these were never on the list of activities Mrs. Peterson enjoyed. After everyone stuffed their faces with pancakes and grabbed their things, the Peterson family left the house with the keys to the family station wagon in Mrs. Peterson's hand.
With the family out of the house, I have no real form of entertainment. Instead, I use the time to get myself aware of my new surroundings. The Peterson's living room is a much different environment than the Big Shoppers department store, aisle 13. The gray color palette, with matching light gray, wooden floors definitely trump the extremely bright lights and frequently waxed linoleum floors. The quiet of the empty house is a pleasant contrast to the nearly gibberish store announcements over the broken, high-pitched, speaker system every five minutes. To think it was only yesterday that I was in that horrid place is bizarre. It has only been
Just as I am getting lost in my thoughts, the front door swings open to reveal Mrs. Peterson stumbles into the home with what appears to be the grocery stock-up for the apocalypse in her arms. Just as soon as Mrs. Peterson reaches the dining room, the tower of bags all collapses onto the table. Mrs. Peterson slumps into one of the eight, lavish chairs in the dining room. After a long series of heavy breaths, She finally hoists herself up, into a standing position, using the table as a much-needed support system. You would think that a woman who goes for mile runs every morning would not have this much difficulty with a few shopping bags. She starts pulling out items and sorting them into piles on the table by where they are meant to go. Mustering all her carrying items to all corners of the home. Fruit for the bowl on the coffee table; Toilet paper for the Bathroom; Cleaning supplies for under the kitchen sink: Snacks for in the pantry; etc.
After her long adventure around her home, she settles on the couch for her afternoon soap operas. It's impressive how long a person can sit watching these stupid things. The actors on the screen don't even look entertained. It always amazes me how much human beings can be entertained by a simple screen. The people on the flat-screen are yelling and screaming at each other about stupid things. I wish I could get lost in my thoughts again but I can't hear myself think.
The Peterson kids enter the house while their mother is still watching soap operas like she has been for hours. Avery and Zachary are arguing about a rude comment he made on one of her latest masterpieces. Mrs. Peterson quickly turns off the television at her children's arrival and tries to ask them about their day to no avail. Little Michael walks in after his older siblings with a package occupying his hands. He shuts the door with his foot. He puts the box down on the kitchen island, and with excitement, he opens it. It reveals a sort of game tablet contraption and possibly the longest instruction manual ever. He tries turning on the device with no success. After a while, he realized that he is missing one key ingredient; AA batteries. My life flashes before my eyes as he grabs a chair and puts it on the wall where I hang above the mantelpiece. He stands on the chair and grabs me off the wall. What is he doing? Before I know it I am being turned over and ripped apart. The cover to my battery compartment is on the floor as Michael pulls out the four batteries from my back. And just like that, I am no longer needed.