I guess I should tell you a little bit about where we are – where this all takes place.
Imagine heading down to the South Street Seaport. Then, I want you to remove all of the businesses, leaving only ten or twelve of them. I want you to remove all of the people, leaving around five or six percent of everyone who is currently in the Seaport. Then cut that number in half. All of the cars and street fixtures are immediately removed, except for a select few cars and one or two light-posts. Finally remove all of the buildings in the area, leaving no more than two buildings per block.
That’s about as close as I can get to comparing my high school’s location to New York City.
In reality, our campus is smack in the middle of Nowheresville, USA. It’s beautiful and all – the White Mountains replace the skyline, trees and squirrels and bees and a nice fucking breeze – until you realize you live here for nine months out of the year. Suddenly, every tree looks the same, the quaint, New England built houses begin to blend together, and it feels as if you just might fade into the background of nature at it’s finest.
Once you get used to the suffocatingly low amount of air pollution, reality smacks you upside the head. I often keep time – how long it takes to get ready in the morning, how quickly I can make it from the LES to the UWS, how fast is the local Chinese takeout. It takes me approximately fifteen minutes to walk from one end of Main Street to another here in Nowheresville. In this jaunt, I encounter five different restaurants (all outrageously expensive), three different boutiques, one small supermarket (the only one in town), a video store, a post office, a gas station, the local cafe, and a laundromat. I see the same people everyday walking up and down Main Street everyday, completing their routines in record time. And it takes three minutes to walk back over to Church Street, where in approximately twenty-seven steps, I enter a completely different world.
You see, our fine institution is surrounded by the harsh reality for those outside our boundaries. It’s Nowheresville vs. High Society, and that’s the way it’s always been. We haven’t meshed well as you may have thought. It’s townies versus those rich, snobby kids who wear chunky grandmother sweaters and spend over thirty dollars at the one Rite Aid in town. It’s a constant war: us versus them, and we both have our victories…as well as our failures. For me, it’s entertaining to watch some of the wealthiest families in the world drop their children off in a town where women are beautiful if they have a full set of teeth. And it’s entertaining to see kids who have nothing, kids whose lives haven’t extended past the sixty six square miles and two thousand permanent residents of pure country bliss, watch as we elevate ourselves into images of our own hometowns – people from New York, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Providence, Fairfield County, London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, Seoul, Tokyo, and Beijing.
Besides being five minutes away from one of New England’s largest ski resorts, this town has nothing going for it. And that’s why it’s perfect for two hundred and fifty four kids to live in.
We’re all they truly have. And nothing will ever change that.
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