Today we finish our painted cigar boxes for Miss Miller’s class. Mine started black, but now navigates a garden jungle of yellow and green stripes. I know my tiger looks more like a smashed and moulding pumpkin. I spend every afternoon waiting for everyone else to realize it is the most beautiful box in the class. When I ask Miss Miller about it she asks questions back, and I have to walk away. No matter how many pictures I copy, no matter how lightly I grip the brush, my tiger stares off the edge of the box at the other kids, asking them to draw him again.
I’ve never wanted anything from school but to do one thing well.
Some days I train to be world champion of the monkey bars.