Smell is the best sense when it comes to memory.
I cannot whiff wintergreen without whisking to Kindergarten in my mind and that paste that we used. The teacher would walk around the classroom and place a glob on scrap paper. I remember her shoes. Red with opaque stockings leading up to a pleated plaid skirt which was mid calf.
My stomach still giggles when I think of that first day in school. Sometimes giggling is a nervous reaction. I can smell the peanut butter and fluff sandwich mingling with the brand new plastic smell of my book bag.My stomach wrings wondering if it is still palatable.
My feet hurt. New shoes should be worn a bit before carrying you through a whole day.
I hear a whimper from a corner where another pilgrim starts to lose her cool. Everyone is looking at her. Glad I swallowed my tears. My stomach is very busy today.
I don’t remember ever looking up. Even when we filed to the girl’s room. I see feet and old wooden floors. There’s a heating vent made of ornate metal that we cross in cadence. I don’t think that I will ever be “safe” again.
The day before, I was playing in my yard,on my swing set, at MY home. This adventure seemed more like an exile from my warm place. I don’t remember being asked to go.
In a way, I would never be totally safe again. School is not supposed to be warm and familiar.
When you are five, that is a BIG deal.