Math class

Something interesting happened in math class today.  Straight off Mrs Lorensen rapped the board and called, “Attention, everyone!  We’re going to collect homework.”  Ralph looked my way while the other kids rummaged through their bags and I knew he’d forgotten again.  He sat there without moving.  I wonder what he thought about.  Mrs Lorensen’s shoes clicked like a clock, and there was only so long until she was there, at his desk with no paper on it for her to snatch in her vulturous motion.  Kids on the far side of the room were starting to murmur.  I hate it when they do that.  A paper plane made the loudest noise in the world as it scraped to a stop underneath my desk.

I pushed my chair out very carefully and got on my knees to get the plane.  I know a girl sent it because the word was written in pink ink.  Mrs Lorensen was giving Ralph the business and I stopped for a moment to listen to the strange echoes of her voice from under the desk.  Then I looked down and unfurled the plane fold by fold, until it was a rumpled rectangle with one big word:


That’s stupid, I thought, but then I hit my head on the desk and the pencils and the calculator clattered.  That’s when I saw that someone had carved something into the bottom of the desk. Mrs Lorensen was still talking to Ralph, but the sounds they made were bubbles coming out of the mouths of fish.  I laid down on the cold floor to get a better view of the carving.  I looked around. No one seemed to notice.  I read the carving:

Crazy for feeling so lonely.  Yeah, Patsy Cline… remember last time?

I stared for a long time, until the floor below me became warm and I became cold.

That was ten years ago.  Then this morning I was in the record store looking for a gift for mother. Jack knows me and he nodded when I walked in with my hands in my jacket pockets.  I finger browsed, and kind of got lost in the rhythm of cover hitting cover, when out of the blue appeared one of her LPs.  And I remembered, I remembered last time.

(credit to:


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