I walk through the hall. I stop at a locker. Third locker, top row, on the right. I turn the lock.

The locker once belonged to a boy. His name was Jacob Ray. He was in the band. He had a girlfriend named Sue. He was tall. He wore a green class ring.

Further down the hall. Middle row, also on the right. Karen's locker. I don't know her last name. She kept her pom-poms in there. Her blonde hair was permed. She wore short shorts and tan sandals. Her mirror left a little glob of glue on the locker's inside door. She wore braces and gold hoop earrings. She hummed all the time.

A math classroom. The teacher wore red and gold. Her students slept through her class. She didn't care. Michael Henderson sat in this desk. He never listened to the teacher. But he never slept either. He played with his calculator. The entire hour.

Melissa Newman's desk--much more interesting, I realize, as I sit down. Small, skinny girl who was very prone to colds. She never listened to the teacher either. She would place her hand at the corner of her desk and make a mark with her thoughts. Every day, Melissa did this. Always in the exact same place. Her hand was the same size as mine.

Dave Crower carved his initials into his desk with a vengeance.

Jill Barnes was one who slept, but she had terrible day-mares right there in algebra class. She dreamed of candles that stole her soul. She dreamed of being electrocuted. She dreamed of diving into a lake, then coming up to find that the surface of the pond was now solid as glass. She dreamed of falling forever. I get out of her desk very quickly.

The pencil stub was bought at the school store in a package with five other pencils. They belonged to Adam Knight. Adam broke all his pencils while he was pencil-fighting. What a shame.

A happy young woman had once done a cartwheel right in front of the English classroom. Her purse had fallen off her arm and her compact's mirror was broken.

Graffiti had once been on this door. It had been a statement against homosexuals. The perpetrators had been caught. They had to clean the wall and they were punished with detention.

The glass door had once been broken by a boy's fist. He cut his hands and had to get stitches.

The door of the cafeteria was a favorite of the taller people in the school to hang on or touch in habit. A small boy named Brett jumped to touch it many times. He was never tall enough. But one day after track practice Brett's mother had forgotten that he needed a ride home. He waited for over an hour, then re-entered the building. On his way to the lavatory he peeked in the cafeteria and saw no one. He quickly snatched a chair from the top of one of the tables and placed it under the door. He climbed on it and touched the doorframe for the first time.

Then he wrote his name in pencil. Up top, where no one could see it. But it would still be there for him. And for me.