Thursday, April 10, 2008
After School, Almost
It's 3:10. My last client is coming at 3:15 and I'm skulking in the storage closet reading the last few pages of a novel I've been nursing for weeks. My client and her mother and brother could come in at any time, and so could any of the myriad of teachers who actually use the storage closet as a storage closet and not as a make-shift office. So I've positioned myself behind the door where, if it's opened, I won't be seen. I read desperately, standing up, sucking the last words dry.
It's later, days or a week even, and B's father finds me in the library before dismissal. To our left, a distance-learning Spanish class is on its last legs; no me gustas mix with whispering, the thwack of spitballs. B's father has come to re-sign a permission slip to get help for his son, who suffered from seizures at two and three and now, at seven, can't speak. The form came back in B's backpack this morning, but B's dad had checked the wrong box and I had to call him. Now I remind B's dad to write his address and phone number next to his signature. He looks at me sideways, nudges the pen into my hands, and I realize he can't read or write.
Why I'm not a professional musician: 300 words or less.