Day 105: Memorial

It was June again and time to make new year’s resolutions.  Matt Stevens, Mr. Stevens, had taught high school for too long to feel like December 31st was the end of anything.  Even with it’s muggy weather and lingering allergies nothing felt as fresh and clean as June.

Next week his classroom would host summer school.  Instead of stacking up desks and chairs for the cleaning crew and the eventual waxing he just had to clean out his desk and lock a few cabinets.  Matt finished that before the last bell.  Now he sat at a student desk–six students’ desk really: Clark, James, Chrissy, Herminia, Allison, and another James (Jimmy)–scratching a bed of triangles with a #2 pencil.  He looked to be thinking.  He even felt like he looked to be thinking.  Instead he was fucking around.

He taught for twenty years in the same school.  Seventeen of those years in this room.  High school Chemistry had not changed in that time and apart from a few experiments OSHA no longer allowed, he taught the same course each year.

Matt didn’t know what to write in is little book that would make the equilibrium go away.  He stopped drawing triangles.  He placed the pencil quietly on the desk.  He leaned back.

Fear shot through him for a moment till he realized his mistake.  He was no longer in college where leaning back in a wooden desk might mean his long hair would get caught in a rivet separating slightly from the back of the desk under his weight.  Strange that old memory should come unbidden to his brain.  Or maybe not.  When water boils slowly there is always one bubble that has to form first, cling fast, then rise to the surface before any of the others.

"Probably I should quit denying I’m gay."

Word count: 307