Archive for the ‘James G. Piatt’ Category
Do you know I can’t see the board from the back of the room because I need glasses, but my mom can’t afford to buy them? I really want to learn those important things you write on the board, but I am afraid to sit in the front with all of your good kids. I want to tell you why I wear the same clothes every day too, and only eat breakfast every other day. I am too ashamed though. Teacher, please don’t call on me again today. You know I don’t know the answers. I know you must not like me or you wouldn’t question me every day. I know you don’t like me or you wouldn’t look at me that angry way. I sit in the back of the room to escape your questioning. Each day I pray you will not see me, pray you won’t ask me questions. I die a little bit every time you call my name. I die a little bit every day I enter your class too, knowing you will ask me questions and get angry when I don’t know the answers. Do you wonder why I never know the answers?
Do you know that I am poor and have to work everyday after school to help my mom pay rent on a one-room apartment in the bad part of town? Do you know that I have to cook dinner, and take care of my little brothers and sisters too? Do you know that I am ashamed to eat free lunches at school, even though I am always hungry?
I know I would not be afraid if you would like me and smile at me when I enter your classroom. I want to learn, teacher, but I am tired when I come to school. I am not really a bad person teacher. I am just tired, ashamed, and afraid.
I know you don’t like me because my mom never comes to PTA meetings, or open houses, or to parent conferences. She has to work day and nights in motels and can’t get off. She works real hard, but has a hard time coping with life. She is tired, ashamed, and afraid too, just like me. I guess we are losers, just like all those people say. I guess I will just stay home from school. I won’t bother you then and you won’t have to get angry when I can’t answer your important questions. Will you miss me?
He gazed numbly at old tree limbs with withered leaves through iron bars covering his office window. Bars were symbols of his state of being, a lock in a link of chain wrapped around his mind. He pondered past decisions to elude another prison. He escaped from one intolerable cell only to find himself in one many times darker.
A small metal sign attached to his door denoted his esteemed position, Dean. His sterile cell was fitted with dirty, faded brown carpet and broken ivory Venetian blinds. He sat at a scarred metal desk and stared at dirty white walls soiled by time’s neglect. He was held prisoner to inane and mundane tasks and trivial goals. The gray evening turned ebony before his weary eyes. Black clouds covered the sky and his brain with a gloomy shroud of numbness. His only solace was an old ivory colored radio, softly playing Bach.
He had discovered that happiness and position were unrelated. Too many lives, as one once said, are lives of quiet desperation. Empty jobs and unfulfilled dreams are the outcome of deceitful and beguiling nightmares. Happy are they who, regardless of their position, enjoy the tasks set before them and look foreword each day to their work. Money, position, and status are false phantoms of reality.
He gazed upon the sunrise as he drove to work. Orange and pink clouds appeared, and a new day was born. Thoughts of better days passed briefly across his mind. He attempted to hold on to the image of hope. He knew the image would be driven away soon by a bully in a lofty position who demanded total subservience to accomplish his banal inanities.
His eyes gazed across the silent pastures in the distance. His mind sought to photograph the scene for future desperate hours in the market place of dull gray absurdity. The beautiful images always faded away during the pursuit of trivial tasks made large and ugly by an intolerant and despotic man.
His eyes stared at the dark road that took him home in the early hours of the morning. His mind strived to capture the essence of home and family as he tried to push the day of stressful and bitter work away from his conscious brain. Dark images of an arrogant bureaucratic and incompetent despot still clouded his mind with a gloomy dullness.
His mind thought toward tomorrow. His eyes struggled to capture the image of his ultimate escape. He hoped his mind would remember the image throughout his remaining days of meaningless tasks, boring work and the insane demands of a bureaucratic tormenter with a hollow soul.