Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Night school

Torsten and I went to my parents' house in North Carolina this weekend with my sister and brother-in-law, primarily to attend the high school graduation of a family friend. On Saturday night my parents took my sister and brother-in-law to their dance lesson and Torsten and I had some time to ourselves. We first used it, obviously, to go to my favourite sushi restaurant ever, which is surprisingly located in Raleigh.

Afterward as we drove back to Durham, there was a major thunderstorm. The temperature during the day had been a miserable 90ish degrees, and as we drove we watched the number on the outside thermometer drop to 74. It was still early, so Torsten requested that I bring him somewhere nice that he hadn't seen before. Durham isn't exactly the most thrilling of locations, so I ended up bringing him to my old school, which I attended from kindergarten through high school.

By the time we got there, it had stopped raining. The campus was open, as I knew it would be, and nobody was there. In case you can't tell from the pictures on the website, the school strongly resembles a summer camp... a small, sprawling campus set back from the road in the woods. Some of the buildings are very old, built out of weathered wood. The wooden car that I used to pretend to drive when I was six still sits on the lower school playground. Newer buildings sprout among the older structures, but they mostly sit low to the ground and blend in fairly well. The ground was wet and there were a few orange streetlights lit along the driveway. I parked the car by the lower school and we got out and walked around. We could hear frogs, and insects, and electrical humming. I showed Torsten my old playground, my favourite places to play when I was six.

We walked up past the middle school and through what we used to call the "Quaker Dome," the open, barn-shaped structure where we played basketball and volleyball before the gym was built when I was in high school. We left the sidewalk and walked across the middle school soccer field to the bridge over the creek that separates the middle and upper schools. The upper school main building is the structure on campus that looks most like it belongs in a summer camp: an old, creaky wooden building with a huge, wide, wooden staircase leading up to it and trees all around. It was wet, so we didn't sit.

When we were done looking, we walked back to the car. Before we left, we drove to the top of the hill at the back of the campus and looked at the baseball diamond and the early school. The playground hasn't changed since I was five.

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