Mac is a 12th grader.

He’s a student in a creative writing workshop I’m teaching at Olympic High School in Santa Monica.

The students in this school have been kicked out of all the other high schools. Olympic is the last stop on the line. I was a little nervous about volunteering there, images of Class of 1984 coming back to me, desks flying through the air, teachers carrying hand guns. But to my surprise, I found a great group of humble kids ready to share their stories, and no doubt, their hearts. Here’s Mac’s:

I see white powdery snowy mountains, the cold air blowing against my face. I pull down my goggles and I start to go. Going down a blanket of snow. Turning back and forth, missing the trees, missing the people at my side.

I spot behind me and I start to panic. For what I see is a roaring thundering wave of snow chasing me wherever I go. I look ahead and try my best to go faster, but my best isn’t good enough. As the snow surrounds me, darkness creeps up and swallows me whole.

As I come into the full extent of darkness, I feel like I am falling. Falling in a deep hole of darkness where even a shimmer of light would get put out and forgotten like a bad memory.

I try to scream for help, but I have no voice. I try to move, but I am paralyzed. As my mind wanders while I wait here, not knowing where I am or if I am falling or not, I start to wonder if I am going to do die here, frozen in time and space.

Will I be forgotten by my peers and family? Will I be forgotten like a dim light in darkness?

I then realize my own fate, and know that this is an illusion. So I lift up my goggles with all my strength and realize I am still in my same place I was starting at.

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