The Texas heat is especially unforgiving in August. A dark-haired woman sits in her car, flipping a key chain between her fingers, as she eagerly waits for the next green light. She sits, lost in the sensation of the smooth jingling keys, momentarily unaware of the world around her.
In an instant, the woman is jolted back to reality by an unsettling, noise.
A small child is running at full speed up the sidewalk towards the elementary school. Heart racing, it takes Kat a moment to pair the sound, a loud high pitched screech, with the noise maker.
Finally, the light turns green and Kat manages inch up two whole car lengths. She reaches up and adjusts here rear-view mirror. “That happy kid”, she laughs to herself “I was never that happy when I went to that school.”
Suddenly Kat found herself reliving a memory. First person video of a familiar classroom began to roll in her head. Vivid and colorful memories, with infinite looping playback.
Kat found herself toe to toe with an old nemesis, her first-grade teacher.
This new teacher was a force to be reckoned with. Mrs. B. demanded blind obedience from her students. She was a “my way or the highway” kind of teacher. Students who questioned her were quickly placed on her “shit list”.
The traffic light turned green.
Kat quickly re-entered reality, pressing into the accelerator with enough force to make up for the distance she lost while daydreaming at the light.
“Mind on the road!” Kat tells herself, as she hits play on the touch screen car stereo. “No thinking. No distractions!”
Twenty perfect piano notes dance, tickle the car speakers as Mad World by Gary Jules takes over the car.
Once again Kat’s mind had floated away. Gone someplace else, lost in a music video created by her mind. “Teacher tell me what’s my lesson? Looked right through me. . . . looked right through me.”
“Shit!” Red light. Kat slams on the breaks, managing to stop the beat up Nissan Sentra just in time. “Fuck!”
“Mindfulness. Right now. Right now. Right now” she muttered under her breath, as she spun the stereo dial until it clicked into the mute position.