Wednesday, January 23, 2019

I Walk On Grass

by BOOKWORM (writer), Los Angeles, July 30, 2009

Credit: Ninon Nguyen
Breaking rules has never been so beautiful.

A short reflection on the rules I've broken, inspired by the creative prompt found through Google: List 20 Rules You've Broken.

I tend to ignore the flashing DON’T WALK sign every so often. Ok, maybe I ignore it more than I listen to it, but I have a theory. I mean machines can only be so smart right? They can flash and count down all they want but do they really know if a car is coming? And I’m not a 2 year old, I have eyes and a head that I can turn both ways and see pretty clearly that there are no cars coming. For miles. Not even a single speck in the distance moving closer. No engine sounds to be heard. So I cross, and while I don’t encourage others to follow, I stand by my decision. Because as a human, I trust my senses and I like owning my own trust in myself and not a blinking robot, just for that moment. Plus I’m not dead so far so that’s gotta mean something.

School. Now that contains a whole myriad of nice fresh rules just waiting to be broken. I like to imagine them cracking in half like a shiny new pencil, or collapsing to the ground like an expensive glowing chandelier. I now chuckle out loud with pleasure just thinking about it. Oooh the destruction. Of course the first rule always broken in my school is the uniform one. Polka-dotted socks, shirt un-tucked, skirt rolled above-the-knee, blah, blah, blah. Everyone breaks uniform so it’s not fresh enough for me crack, I’ll skip the boring details. Now the bathroom rule, there is one that attracted me from a mile away (namely the last desk in the classroom), and I knew, this was a rule for me to crack. I can almost describe it as love at first sight, or rather love at first pee. The first time I broke it, I actually did need to use the facilities. Be aware this was senior year; I was a few months shy of turning 18 as were my peers in the room. The teacher had proclaimed on the first day that she allowed no leaving of the classroom for bathroom break and my friends were surprisingly observant. Maybe they feared this specific teachers harsh words but day after day they sat squirming in their seats, breathing heavily just waiting for that liberty bell to ring. Me, on the other hand, oh boy, the day I let someone keep me from my toilet is the day my rabbi names his firstborn Jesus. Needless to say I marched right out of that classroom on that crisp Tuesday afternoon, without as much as a glance backwards to the horrified expressions no doubt displayed on every face. It was a liberating feeling, not only because I was the first to crack this ridiculous rule, but because I knew I had done the right thing. We as humans have the right to relieve ourselves when we must, and no one can force us differently. I needed to be the role model for my peers and show them that they to not have to suffer squirming in their seats any longer and that the bathroom, was right across the hall.

This creative prompt encourages writers to list 20 rules they’ve broken and I guess that makes four because this isn’t much of a list is it? Well here goes:

Using 2 cups of coffee without the needed water that the cookbook demanded when I baked a coffee cake. My first and last baking experience after everyone eating it seemed to buzz about. (Happy birthday Mom!)

Walking out of school one day in 8th grade with my best friend and taking the bus to her empty house. Just because we felt like it.

Wanting to watch a sunset very badly one day, and when I couldn’t, going home and painting a huge sunset on my wall so I could see one. It wasn’t really a rule in my house but I’m sure there are rules against painting sunsets on bedroom walls somewhere, so I’m gonna go ahead and count it.

Writing a 3 page paper after our teacher asked for a one page response on his “Diplomacy” game in European History class. I wrote all about how his game glamorized war to teenagers and then told some of what war is really like, namely: losing loved ones.

Touching the artwork at LACMA yesterday, as soon as the guards’ eyes were averted, simply because I wanted to feel what the artist felt, and have history on my fingertips.

Sneaking into a movie theater with a friend who couldn’t afford it, and watching the movie for free. This is one of the ones I regret in a way, but not so much because my friend got to see the movie.

I guess I have to include hanging out with boys throughout high school, which is a very serious offence at Valley Torah High. Honestly, I wish I had never broken this rule because boys are such a nuisance.

Driving my friends before a year with my license. I don’t want to say everyone does it but really mom, everyone does it.

Ditching school to go to my auditions, callbacks and shoots. Best rule I’ve ever broken. Never go to school if you can go be in a music video.

Ditching school to go see an Aaron Carter concert with my mom and friend.

Ditching school because I felt like it.

Ditching school to watch Ferris Bueller for the 78th time.

Ditching school because I went yesterday.

Sitting on the roof on my best friend’s house just to be up high and breathe in the night air with her.

Jumping over serious red ropes at the grove so I could get closer to my then-idol Jesse McCartney. (You’re beginning to see my fetish with tweeny boy singers-I promise I’ve moved on, I like Justin Timberlake now.) I did get closer and he grabbed my hand! (squeal!)

Refusing to hand in my cell phone after being caught texting in a boring class by a boring teacher. My punishment was having to sit in with the 1rst grade boys’ class, which maybe I enjoyed more than I should have.

Not caring that this prompt asked for 20 broken rules and I wrote 22. Ha! (Don’t you try to squash my creative flow with limitations and RULES.)

And finally…

I walk on grass. All grass and every grass. Grass is made to feel my feet.

About the Writer

BOOKWORM is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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5 comments on I Walk On Grass

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By Carol Young on August 02, 2009 at 06:13 pm

Always better to apologize afterwards than to ask permission first.

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By cristogianni on August 02, 2009 at 08:59 pm

Very poetic piece, Bookworm. Like Julian said, sometimes "rules are made to be broken," or perhaps "stretched." Welcome to the Broo. Look forward to reading more of your work. :)


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By Glenn T on August 03, 2009 at 12:55 pm

"I walk on grass. All grass and every grass. Grass is made to feel my feet."

Having gone to military school for college - I remember the horror with which I watched the students at other schools as they galavanted across their landscaped lawns... and it took me over a year at grad school to not feel guilty about doing it myself. 

I think part of me still gets a little nervous - but hell, that's probably why it feels so good.

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By tmoya on August 06, 2009 at 03:35 am

"... the day my rabbi names his firstborn Jesus" that line just cracks me up! Nicely written article. Now you got me thinking of the rules I've broken - staying out too late, drinking too much, and talking to strangers just to name a few :)

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By taking off the mask on November 28, 2009 at 05:40 pm

nice writing "bookworm" although i don't see eye to eye on some of the issues being i was there i none the less find your view interesting and well written. and love the ending line

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