drunken tiger racer

I don’t know what peculiar synthesis of fate brought Chubby Hump and his wife together; all I know is that she is altogether too much for him. She is beautiful, and he is not good looking, not any type or sort of good looking, not even sexy ugly. She is funny and witty, and he is not, his jokes being of the either completely confusing or knock-knock level variety. She is sexy, statuesque I think is the word – and he is round, like a dinner roll. In fact the man is entirely too much like a dinner roll, round and soft and white and equally bland.

This assessment is harsh. I refrained from making such assessments of him earlier, kept the thought of him suspended in a sort of opinion-less ether, never revisited. Then one day I saw her looking on the verge of tears, and I felt that familiar chest tinge that meant my empathy was acting up again, and I asked her what was wrong. She told me that it was nothing, but she had a job interview, and in bits and pieces it came out that she couldn’t afford a new business suit for the interview, but it didn’t matter of course, she was just on a budget, after all it was fair. I consoled her without verbal opinion – what good could it possibly do – but you must know the man is rich. Whether or not she was bringing in ‘her share of the bacon’ there would be no shortage of money. If our state was plunged into fiscal drought, there would still be no shortage of money. If their child grew up to become a drunken tiger racer, there would still be no shortage of money. If the western part of the continent fell into the ocean – still, no shortage of money.

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babies

There is always at least one moment in time in which people are happy with their babies. At least one moment that they can hold them up to a mirror and smile at each other’s reflections and agree this is a good thing. The dissatisfaction sets in later if it does.

Everyone was someone’s baby once, even if no one likes to think about it much. Babies are babies after all, not humans but proto-humans.

I was someone’s baby once, even though I know nobody thinks about it at all. I must have been held up to mirrors too like all the babies I see are held up to the big plasticky mirror in the main classroom.

There must have been hopes and dreams for me, maybe even wishes too. No one could have known what the future held.

No one could have even guessed.

guinea pig grandma

“So the guinea pig bit it?” I asked, looking at the empty cage. “Hmm?” asked the director, not really listening, looking over the month’s lesson plans. “Guinea pig,” I pointed to the cage. “The sad sot finally bit it, huh?” She gave me a look that implied I was heartless. “Oh come on,” I protested. “There aren’t any kids here right now and it’s like ‘guinea pig the 15th’ so one gets a little, you know, inured to small rodent death.” A new thought struck me. “Can you even remember its name?” She put the papers down. “Of course! It was . . . George?”

I shook my head. “No. Bonnie.”
“Oh yeah Bonnie of course I was thinking of the, um,”
“Hamster. George was the, well, hamsters.” I wonder if she noticed the plural. She didn’t seem to be in a very good mood.
“So what did you tell them happened to it?” I said, hoping I could steer the conversation away from the sudden chill. “Oh!” she smiled. “I told them he’d gone to see his grandma.”
“Grandma?! That’s novel.”
“Well you know how right now the parents are discussing whether it goes to Heaven or it just dies? I thought it would be best to just say something no one could argue over. So: grandma’s.”
“Did the kiddos buy it?” She brought the papers in front of her, stood them up and aligned the sides. “Not at first. They said they’d never heard of a guinea pig having a grandma. Then I told them ‘You know how all of you went on vacation for Christmas? So did the guinea pig. And you know how all of you came back to go to school? Well the guinea pig didn’t.”

It suddenly stuck me a little sad. “That guinea pig is a callous bastard, you know.”
“I covered that too,” she continued. “I said that ‘oh, the guinea pig doesn’t want you to be lonely, so he’s going to send his cousin,”
“Her cousin,” I corrected before I could stop myself. She glared at me momentarily. “The children corrected me as well. Anyway,” she sighed, “then they were all excited to meet the guinea pig’s cousin.”
“Great story,” I told her. “But where’s the guinea pig cousin?” She looked at me blankly, then quickly at her watch. “Shit! I have to buy a little furball don’t I?”

teacher

“Amelia is such a great teacher,” Mary told the director. “Her idea for the paper-bag costumes was really cute. I loved it! I would never have thought that it worked but it did! You can really tell the difference when you have a real teacher with a proper education and training, right?”

The director smiled. “Actually, that was Lola’s idea. Wasn’t it great though?” Mary looked at me. “You? You thought of that?” I nodded. “Yep, I just thought that – ”

“Well when you are young you have all kinds of crazy ideas and sometimes they work out.” She said, then turning to Carl announced “Mommy is so tired! I bet Carl is tired too and wants to go home right away. Let’s go home and see daddy!” She left with a quick wave.

“What was that?” asked the director. I sighed. “I don’t know.”
“I think she doesn’t like you.” I looked around. The room was empty and the stacks of paper fluttered in intervals from the ceiling fan. Maybe nobody does – not as a teacher.

skeletor vs. world

“How is Elsa doing, seeing the world?” Skeletor asked me abruptly. I glanced quickly over my shoulder. She is talking to me, right? “Does she like it?” she continued loudly. “Where did she go anyway?” I smiled. “She likes it very much, I’d say,”

“What? Speak louder. I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” I sighed. Any louder and I’d be pushing my voice. “She says,” I continued in a voice I should be typing in all-caps “She says she likes it a lot.”

“Stupid girl. Likes it now. You know what’s going to happen to her?” I shook my head, and looked down at Clary. His eyes were wide and he watched his mother expectantly. “RAPE. That is what happens to women who think they can travel abroad solo. RAPE. That girl is so going to get so raped so quickly -”

“Oh well wow who knows! Look who that is Clary is that one of your little friends you should go over and say hello and look there are the drums you like what is the guinea pig doing?” I squeaked out quickly.

“Rape,” she muttered.

purple drank

“What’s wrong?” I asked Clary, putting the back of my hand to his forehead. “Don’t you feel well?” He shook his head, lower lip trembling. He was a little too warm to the touch – but just a little. “Are you sad or do you think you’re sick?” He feels roughly the same way about Christmas that an elf does. He shouldn’t start looking vaguely tearful midway through painting reindeer. But he shook his head again. “Alright, what do you think is wrong?” He sighed deeply. “I don’t think what is wrong, I know what is wrong, but the purple drink made it better for a little bit.” Oh no. Not purple drink. “So your mommy already knows you’re sick?” He sighed again. “She said it was a very big secret and not to tell anyone at all especially not teachers! but even my friends that I have nununyah.”

“You have what?” And even as I was asking him to repeat it I already had the word. “Pneumonia. You have pneumonia, Clary.”

I jumped back. I needed to wash my hands, find the director, and – my head reeled a little. Maybe it’ll be fine, I lied to myself. Maybe no one will get it.

at it, 2

The formula for being ‘at it’ is more or less as follows:

(Name) is (verb) because he/she wants/feels/needs (noun) or he/she will (verb).

As in, “Isabella is calling because she feels her child should be allowed to hit the other children as a form of self-expression or she will quit.”

searches the third

Today’s post is another round of searches, sponsored by the endless imagination of the collective internet unconscious.

1) Unknown search terms (why are they unknown? Is Google keeping secrets from me? Highly unsatisfactory)

2) christmas daycare worker humor (is there really an internet-appetite for this?)

3) fancy dad (people have been searching for this but I imagine they are just looking for some sort of bedazzled father and it has nothing specifically to do with the Chronicles)

4) naked lola wordpress (finally displaced by ‘fancy dad’)

5) daycare for sale point pleasant (this is disappointingly humdrum)

6) grizzled naked blog (whoa, is ‘grizzled naked’ a thing? I feel like the director when I tried to explain ‘grime’ to her and she kept saying “dirty music?” only now I am the olds. Or not. I’m scared to look this up and get unwanted image search scarring. Is ‘grizzled naked’ some sort of art house segue from torture porn? There’s always one really unsavoury search term, isn’t t here?)

I am again amused and mystified. Thank you readers, thank you internets.

goodbye teacher

Sometimes I look at them, the stubby little bodies and tops of heads, and hope that they’re okay – in the larger sense. I hope their parents are good to them. I hope they’re loved, and protected, and I guess I have to hope they’re lucky too, because so many weird accidents can happen before adulthood, and maybe it’s saddest when it happens before adulthood, because how do you know who they are? Who they would have become, rather, and the path of that sort of thinking is morbid and torturous and best avoided.

They aren’t my children, I didn’t make them with my body and I don’t get to keep them. They grow up, age out of our programs and into other schools, and the parents leave promising to write. They seldom do. If they do, it’s the kids who ask. “Can we send Miss Lola a Christmas card?” they, the parents, repeat these anecdotes to you when they bump into you next, in a grocery store aisle, completely confused by their offspring’s request. “She remembers you!” they squeak, amazed and proud. I always, always feel a little tempted to ask them where they thought their kid was all day – it wasn’t with mommy and daddy. It was in school, day in and day out, and sometimes late at night, and sometimes weekends, and then one day there is no more Misses at all, and the friends from school only appear awkwardly in the park or coming through the front door. I always just press my lips together and conclude it isn’t worth it, that whatever I said they’d write off as rude, and that after all none of us are going to change. I shift my groceries from one hip to another and remark vaguely that isn’t it funny how they always remember, isn’t it nice, I guess we were all such a part of each other’s lives . . .

Paper, plastic, or nostalgia.