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I sit up abruptly, the ringing in my ears...but it's only my alarm clock.

The playground of my dreams fades, and I jaunt off to another day's schedule.

Recess is a gap, a space in the day, a pause in events. A time to relax and snack, out from under the watchful eye of...whoever.

Instead, I spend my day surfing and working and peering and waiting and working myself into a frenzy, and becoming better friends with all of my pet ulcers. They're so friendly.

I replace my period of running, ducking, and careening through the monkey bars with sitting in traffic and hope that nobody is desperate enough to challenge the structural makeup of my vehicle, while I attempt not to fall asleep. Yes, let's trade all of our peaceful moments for stress, and surely we will have gained?

I can't even see it straight anymore. What's a vacation, really? It's so scheduled it only happens once. And there are no other participants, I'm not sharing this...

A plethora of children bob and dance through an elaborate structure, or a forest, or collide around a ball of sorts...there is nothing but the game, the play, the activity.

What...would I know freedom if I saw it? But I've left the juice and cookies behind. I twist in my chair, trying to get the crick out of my back, and return to my screen.

That muffled ringing is only my imagination. Duty calls.