Warrior Words: Last-minute wants

I want to express some last-minute/day/week wants before my last minutes/days/weeks as a senior.

I want to set the record straight: senior year was neither easy, nor breezy, nor beautiful.

I want all of you rising juniors to understand that senior year is a cruel, taxing marathon that takes place under the blazing sunbeams of academic rigor and in the humid sultriness that is the pressure to do “well.”

I want a gleaming, solid gold medal when I cross the proverbial finish line, but I know I’ll just be greeted by some unexpected, minuscule, anticlimactic emblem of completion — a small, water-filled Dixie cup of satisfaction, perhaps, provided to me by the unlikeliest of people (maybe Tim, the hall monitor).

I want to leave Wilton behind, but I don’t want to leave behind some of those glimmering shards of memory that came to create the mosaic of my childhood — the feel of sneakered feet against woodchips and sizzling hot blacktops of playgrounds, the stretches of sidewalk sales and languid nights at the local library, the taste of the Tom E Toes chicken crust club, the afternoons of youth when I’d sit in the Cider Mill gymnasium and read illustrated biographies of Calvin Coolidge while my brother rehearsed lines of Shakespeare with marionettes.

I want the past back.

I want too much for myself and I want not enough for others.

(I want myself to realize this soon; now would be preferable.)

I want more people to appreciate the magic that is the Oxford comma.

I want an eggplant parm right now.

I want to write and to sing and to live all that the world has to offer.

I want to offer something to the world in return, even if it seems as pitiful as the sight of a mangy dog dropping the carcass of a freshly killed rodent on the steps to the White House, because isn’t there some sort of crude beauty in that?

I want everyone to know that I think that that was a pretty lame analogy, and that I will try harder next time, and that I will keep trying harder for the rest of my educational career because there’s something hopelessly poetic in trying and in saying “I will try harder next time.”

I want to live a life of next times.

I want to be guaranteed success, although I know I deserve it the least.

I want, as I scratched into a tiny notebook of mine earlier this year with red felt pen, to take up the whole expanse of the planet, the panoramas of each city skyline and the gentle curves of sand dunes and the swallowing funnel of time, into my long arms; I want to condense it all into my heart, pack it all into my lungs, respire, and watch the world react.

I want to rewrite this whole thing and omit all of the “I wants” as they’re really making the whole thing sound self-absorbed and entitled.

I want to let you know that I’ve been reading some Kerouac lately, before shifts at the yogurt shop and during sleepless nights at home and outside my house where I have had the privilege to feel cool grass and soft earth, and that I’ve stumbled across one of his many obscure haiku that, despite its sheer simplicity, seems to speak volumes in the wake of my-our-nervous steps into uncertainty:

The sound of silence

is all the instruction

You’ll get

I want to engage in some silence now.

Nicholas Dehnis is a Wilton High senior. He shares this column with five classmates.