#9 – Time to play

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Nothing zones me out more than having to listen to Principal O’Donnell or Head of Senior School, Mr Tovsky, but to have both of them in the same room with me, damn, it’s like being put to sleep by an anaesthetist just prior to surgery.

Sure enough, five minutes in, every word started to feel like drips of Propofol were being absorbed into my bloodstream. Despite the difficulty though, I was still able to ascertain that I was being praised and scrutinised at the same time, but mostly scrutinised. The scrutiny was based on the fact that teachers are not meant to touch students, especially if student and teacher are not the same gender. There are exceptions of course, that being a medical emergency. Yet even this is only permitted after having undergone certified training, of which I have not. Do I mention to these clowns that surely this too must have exceptions, such as life or death situations? But I really don’t have to, they have already conceded that the actions I took ‘did potentially avert a disaster’. So why the fuck am I here listening to this shit?

“Sorry I’m a little confused. Are you saying I did the right thing or the wrong thing?”

“Hugo please,” Tovsky interrupted, “there’s really no need to be defensive.”

The clever little fucker had hands up in the air as if I’m some type of schizophrenic meth-head that just got done shooting my students, and now I’m on my way to empty the rest of my bullets into the heads of my colleagues. As much as the students piss me off, I wouldn’t shoot them, Tovsky on the other hand.

“No I’m not defensive Alex, just confused” I smiled.

“What Alex is saying,” O’Donnell jumped back in with his painfully slow monotone voice. I couldn’t believe it though when the fucker raised his hands up as well! Fuck me dead. Am I missing something? I perfectly cool, calm and collected. They clearly want to get an emotional reaction out of me, which means they must hate me more than I initially thought. I must confess, this thought does instil a sense of pride and accomplishment, to be hated by these man-bitches. O’Donnell continues,  “There are protocols we need to be aware of. These protocols serve to protect these kids first and foremost, but also our staff as well as the school. We want to avoid lawsuits that can easily arise if these protocols are not adhered to. As educators, we are often put in difficult situations with these kids, many of whom bring their very serious and complicated issues to school. In cases like these …”

My attention drops in and out more frequently the longer his monologue drags. It’s not easy hearing words that are so blatantly obvious it need not be said, and so ridiculously stupid, it becomes too painful to listen to, and so circular that it leaves you feeling both stupid and dizzy for following them for so long, waiting for a fucking answer that will never come.

“Hmmm”, I sound, as though I’m paying attention. I nod as well, attempting to feign interest. I then mix it up by closing my eyelids while I nod, hoping it looks like I’m in deep reflection.

I start to become concerned however when the words become just sound, absent of any meaning.

Hmm, for how long has it just been sound?

The mere fact I had to ask this question was even more concerning. Momentary lapses are easy to recover from, since not much can be said in three or five seconds. Lapses longer than that however will run the risk of completely missing newly introduced context.

I move my bum further back in my chair, hoping this maneuver will pin down my attention, but it’s too late, I can hear my name being called.

“Hugo?” O’Donnell beckoned, with what appeared to be an expression that suggested he was mildly offended.

He leaned forward in his chair, placing his elbows on his desk. It was the type of body language that signalled shit is about to get serious now. Ha! Fool. You can’t intimidate death. His movement also confirmed my initial suspicion, he was definitely offended. Well, news flash you delusional mother fucker, your monologues put people to sleep!

Regardless, for him to have stopped speaking means he is now likely waiting for an answer to a question he posed, but fucked if I know what it was. I’m genuinely unable to recollect anything this fucker had said. This must have looked very bad indeed.

My eyes instinctively move to Tovsky, where I notice, and I’m sure of it, a slight smirk, as though his relishing my subtle display of insolence that had not gone unnoticed. His partly right. There is definitely some percentage of defiant attitude, but in this case, only a very small percentage. The rest is purely my disinterest in what such wretched people have to say. I’m hoping however that my poker face is concealing most of my emotions, but if I’m honest, I do feel my utter disgust in people is constantly waging war against my will, a war fought on the surface of my face, and if I’m brutally honest, I know it’s a coin toss as to who wins those battles. I really need to address this. I always felt it unwise to wear your heart on your sleeve. The heart is behind the rib cage for a reason. Feelings need to be hidden, protected, otherwise you’re just begging to be manipulated. No. Not me. I will do the manipulating thank you very fucking much.

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