The same thing always seems to happen.
A voyage approaches with the tick tocking of the clock high up on the wall—ever coming nearer; it waits in the wings for its cue to take center stage.
I sit alone in my classroom; I’ve been here getting ready for the substitute for both Monday and Tuesday for quite a few hours.
My lessons plans finally reached page six before I decided that enough was enough—planning for every possible scenario was no longer an option at this point. I slumped back in my plastic swivel chair, listening to the well-known music that outlines my little world, and the familiarity it affords…the commonalty it brings to me and the little niche I’ve managed to carve into this place over the past few decades while on this spinning world is comforting.
I organized all of the assignments and items for my students into piles, and breathed out a heavy sigh. I rubbed my eyes and remembered that I really should look up the directions my brother sent me last year to reach his flat in New York—as well as print my flight itinerary and boarding pass.
As I read over the directions in the email from a year ago, I felt recoil in my guts which seemed to signify the arrival of something new and foreign to my little world. Something strange to the place I have come to know and find comfort.
I thought of the bustling streets of New York, the chaos and rushing of thousands of people to whom I did not know, and those who did not know me. All too soon I’d be lost amidst a sea of faces—nothing more than a face in the crowd.
I looked around my classroom, at my students’ desks—some crammed with their varied jumble of this, that, and the other—small extensions of themselves while they’re not here.
Man, but I’m going to miss them.
I’m going to miss this little place where, like what’s said the theme song of Cheers, “Everybody knows my name.”
The clock still ticks from its place on the wall, reminding me that there is still a lot to do, and sitting here is no longer a luxury I can afford. Time still trudges onward.
My thoughts turn to my brother, my sister-in-law, and my nephew all waiting for me in New York. When I do, I feel the flicker of excitement rising.
The red-eye will taxi from the runway tonight, and when it does, I will be in it bound for a week in the Big Apple.
Should you find yourself in this grand city in the next seven days, I’d love the chance to meet you…but if you’re there and you’d rather not, that’s okay, too…for now we’ll just see each other as faces in the crowd, but I’ll tell you what…
P.S. If so, drop an email to teachinfourth@yahoo
And yes, I left the .com off on purpose…I didn’t want spamming.