Personal Narrative: My Second Year At Community School

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“It’s okay,” Joe said. “I can't imagine not smelling cow shit every morning anyway. It’s soothing.”
We started laughing until we were both standing there looking at the other, crying. It was the first time Joe and I had spoken that deeply about being an Albert— what it meant and what it felt like. We crumbled at the same time and sat by the wheelbarrow and wiped at our tears and sweat, the liquids hard to tell apart. I ran my palms over the dry grass in the field like it was water, inviting and mysterious. Joe did the same and we didn’t say anything else that afternoon.

Silences
I had come home from class early. It was my second year at community college and before I knew it I would have an English a degree. I would be searching for a job that was the opposite of what my family did for their entire lives.
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“I’m listening.”
The man turned then, stretching his neck to the right so he saw me. Then he turned the other way and looked at Joe. He smiled. “You two can come and sit,” he said. “We encourage a family discussion. That way no one is left out of the loop.”
Joe and I looked at each other— his face a reflection of mine. We had always hidden around corners, eavesdropping on our parents when we wanted to find something out. Like when we thought the farm was going under, we were officially going broke, Joe had hidden under our parents bed one morning when my dad went to milk the cows and my mom went into the kitchen to get breakfast ready. We knew their routine by heart and I imagined Joe holding his breath as his chest pressed against the ugly pink carpet once they got back into their room, my dad undressing for a shower and my mom watching him, asking questions, getting a discussion in because it was one of the only times they could. That morning Joe had learned that Dad’s brother in North Dakota, an uncle we rarely saw, had sold some of his stocks and sent the money to us. We had been running on that money for a few

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