It is 3:39 p.m. on any given weekday. I sit in a classroom, staring at the clock as the remaining seconds of my school day tick away. Then when the 3:40 p.m. bell rings, my day is far from over. In that last minute, myself and many of my classmates prepare for what I have named the “Dreyfoos Jog”. I would call it the “Dreyfoos Run” but for one, “Dreyfoos Jog” has a nicer ring to it and secondly, we attend an arts school. We don’t run.
Consisting of hundreds of hangry students, the “Dreyfoos Jog” is when we run into Downtown West Palm Beach to indulge in a quick bite before coming right back to school to participate in the extra-curricular/arts activity we may have. Whether it be a light salad from Field of Greens or a savory calzone from Nico’s Pizza, one thing for sure at Dreyfoos School of the Arts is TEAMWORK (and take out) make the dream work.
At 3:39 p.m. my phone begins to have an onslaught of messages. Receiving text messages like “Where are we eating?” and “Can someone grab me some (Insert Menu Choice of the day here)?” come in a mile a minute. I go into defense mode and decide that I will not be the “mule” today. What I mean by “mule” is simple. On particularly busy and trying days, one person is usually sacrificed to take orders and bring back food for the whole group. Speaking from experience, this job is NOT fun. But, the downtown was always a comforting environment to walk in and great time to clear my mind.
By the tone of the incoming text messages, it sounds like today’s restaurant of choice is one of our favorites: Rocco’s Tacos. Like a scene from a movie, the regal storefronts on the route to Rocco’s run through my mind in montage. Field of Greens turns to Palm Sugar turns to Jimmy John’s turns to Kabuki Sushi Thai Tapas. The exteriors of the restaurants remind of memories shared inside. I remember the first time going to Kabuki and fawning over their Krab+Avocado Salad with a friend. I remember nervously walking into Jimmy John’s freshman year to order unique subs for fifteen different individuals and being met with only kindness and understanding from the staff.
We seem to have our thumb on the pulse of Downtown West Palm Beach in those small moments. The moments when we stop at Starbucks to grab coffee on our way to a rehearsal we know will challenge us. The moments where we laugh walking back from Grease with bags full of burgers for our friends in hand. The moments where we get to breathe before diving back into the stress of school. The moments where we make connections. The moments like now, as I sit in a classroom with Downtown West Palm Beach on the other side of the wall and I wait. Wait to do it all over again.
As I think of these moments, I sit back in my chair, I smile, and then the bell rings.