Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Two Years Out

Q. Can I use the first person?

A. Evidently.
Chicago Style Q&A

It's hard to sit in the office. Almost as soon as the last class lets out, the lights are turned off upstairs, and the second floor goes to a dark I find incongruent to the amount of activity that has just ceased. I'm not sure which is more obligating, a full school or one in which all the lights are off.

People stare at me. One of my favorite things is to make faces at children—I mean, really get the tongue way out there. There's a fair number of them who stick their tongues out back. At school, the students' sticking tongues out is pretty much a sign of friendship between them and me. Not all of them are my students even.

The threat level was orange the day I left. A woman next to me on the plane got up to use the lavatory as we were taking off. A flight attendant ran back to stop her, and the plane had to touch back down. "Really!" the woman said. "I've never been treated so rudely in my life." The captain came on to tell us we'd be grounded for a while while we waited to get back in line for takeoff. I worried I wouldn't be able to recognize the Japanese for "Seoul" in the Tokyo airport.

I keep getting up. There are many days when I feel uncomfortable in this online space. Overexposed.

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