Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Latent Regret

Some days are just too mortifying to contemplate.

It all started off at 4:19 am. Nothing good can come of a day that begins at 4:19. There I was in bed, aimed at getting seven hours of sleep when my eyes just popped open. You know how that happens, when you know you're headed for a busy day and some random task pops into your head and seven hours turns into five and three-quarters?

I have days for which all the planets must align for me to get everything done and yesterday was that kind of day. I had offered to make German food for Nick's German class, pork dumplings, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and cookies too. Why had I offered to bring cookies? I had told Nick's English teacher that since I needed to be at school anyway, I should work with kids in her class since Thanksgiving was making me miss our usual.  Then, I was supposed to head over to parent/teacher conferences, and after that, quilt night. Easy, right? Just one thing after another and since I had all the preliminary work done, it would be a breeze, right? Sometimes those days just turn around a slight bend in the path and become something not quite what I had envisioned. Usually, that involves me saying something stupid.

At 4:35, I jumped up and found that Mike was already up.

Oh, you don't want to hear the dreary conversation about who slept how much. You do not want to hear every inane conversation I had with everyone during the day, Mike, Nick, Nick's German teacher, Nick's German class - oh, the agony of trying to speak some German - Nick's English teacher, three of Nick's English teachers students, Nick's German teacher's sixth period class, each of Nick's teachers, the woman from my home town who has a girl in Nick's grade, the PTSA women who suddenly wanted to know some details about trouble with our water but really wanted to get me to volunteer more....

And there was the teacher who wasn't Nick's teacher. Yup. I started talking to this guy who is part of the group eating lunch in the teacher's room with Nick's English teacher. I eat lunch with them once a week when I'm volunteering. I can't show my face there again. I just can't.

I had intended to say a simple hi. Then he mentioned an embarrassing conversation I had with another of the teachers who'd been trying to get me to taste his quiche. He called it unfortunate or awkward or some other perfect word. It had been, an intimacy I didn't crave, tasting someone's lunch and this twenty-something guy who was proud of having made his quiche didn't quite realize it. Hell, I didn't realize it because I love talking about food, especially pie crust and all. It was a delicate little quiche, not more than would fill a ten year old. So, I wouldn't take the bite held up for me and this teacher, who was now sitting in the lunchroom waiting to conference with parents had been a witness.

So, I sat down for a minute since he seemed to be in a lull. Why couldn't I see that he deserved his lull, that he didn't need to do more talking with one more hapless parent that was shuffling around the lunch room? Why?

Because I'm a dork that still loves school. Because I get started talking during a busy day and have no idea how to staunch the flow. Because I only got five and three-quarters hours of sleep and at that count, I never have the judgment I might have on a day when I'm rested. Just imagine that on most days, I walk around as if slightly drunk only no one can smell alcohol on my breath. That's about how I am most days, especially busy insomniac days. So I sat down to talk to this teacher that Nick didn't even have.

Right. The truth? You want the truth?

It's his accent, English and I wanted to hear him talk more with his mouth. I wanted to imagine the perspective of a British teacher lecturing about American History. So, I rattled on and on and eventually asked him what Nick should read. I imagined my Grandpa who was always reading some history book or other. I actually pictured these two men sitting over coffee after Thanksgiving and my grandpa asking if he thought it was really the Spanish flu that ended the war.

So, yes, I had a parent/teacher conference with a teacher who didn't have Coop in class.

Can I just dry up and blow away now?

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment