Shallow Guy Eating Chips

There's something lonely living here. Everyone feels it, including all of the teachers.

I know about the teachers and the things they believe because I have a hiding place in their lounge. Ever since my early student days, the teacher's lounge gripped me with fascination that couldn't be fully realized in glimpses through the cracked door. I found reasons to stay at school as long as possible: extracurricular enrichments and playing the volunteer. I became the child ghost of the waxed linoleum.

Mrs. Linkage had me assist her with the decorations for Mr. Tolbin's retirement party. As I hung crepe paper owls and twists of tiny incandescent bulbs about the room, my breath was thick and fruity in my chest and my eyes felt heavy with tears. I also felt Mrs. Linkage's gaze upon my deliberate child arms. She felt such happiness in my presence. I was an awed child, calmly appreciative of these teachers, a small walker with gentle footsteps. There was a natural goodness in me that she never recognized in her own children.

None of this is conjecture; my aforementioned hiding place made me privy to such things. In my old age, the ache in my knees is the legacy of my crouching teacher's lounge hours.