Saturday, October 22, 2016


A downside to living in a college town: I am surrounded by college students.

Young transients; their big muscles and their big phones are going places.

While my world is a straight shot into the glum forever, it seems like theirs breaks open with a thousand possibilities.

I listen to them on the bus:

Or feel an ache as I watch a young couple speed off on a scooter:

It's early autumn, and they are beautiful college students in love. 

Maybe they're headed to the sea, or to a picnic on a mountaintop overlooking a vineyard in Spain.

All the restlessness underpinning my life rises up; the kick in the heart telling me there is a better party than the one I'm at.

But they stop a few blocks down and go into Burrito Joint. She farts as she dismounts and he pretends not to hear. They could've walked, the lazy bastards.

Tim is my constant companion.

In a classroom of fourteen girls and two boys, it is inevitable that I get paired up with "the guys" for frequent bouts of "man time".

I figured out that I have spent about 2,353 hours with Tim.

He's so omnipresent, I often forget he's not a part of me; an extra limb, one that wears camouflage and collects Tom Cruise movies.

Tim was the test audience for my disastrous stand up comedy routine.

"Ewww, diapers?! diapers? diapers?" was the only response I got from him. He kept whispering 'diapers' long after I'd moved on to my next joke.

Tim repeatedly whispers the last word of all his sentences; it's a component of his overall speech impediment.

Most of the time, it's not a big deal.

But there've been a few times when it was problematic.

After a few of Tim's whispered racist outbursts, we had to have a meeting.

Special education meetings are generally painful. 

Experts take turns exspurting bad ideas, parents often cry, and someone writes it all down in a notebook that's tossed on top of other notebooks no one will ever look at again.

Some of the team thought we should update Tim's IEP with a goal saying something like, "Timothy will not say 'nigger' 90% of the time, with minimal prompting."

Others didn't agree.

There's someone at every special ed meeting whose switch is permanently set on 'outrage.' 

They love to exclaim things such as 

Which is true. To get the Ipad to pronounce the names of our more ethnically diverse students, you have to do some phonetic gymnastics. 

Her solution went over well with everyone who was still awake.

I currently get a pass on falling asleep in meetings, because I have a baby at home. People pat my slumbering head knowingly and lay newspapers over me for warmth.

It raises the total uses for babies I can think of to seven.

Anyways, now Tim carries an Ipad with him on all of our trips around the community.

In fact, he doesn't pay much attention to anything.


The song played while our bus pulled out of the terminal.

I felt the bigness of Tim's racism, and the smallness of my own concerns.

Sure, I'm stuck. But what does it matter? 

We all know that people are the same, wherever we go, o-o-o.

This includes ourselves. 

If I'm a whiny dumbass in Michigan, I'll be a whiny dumbass anywhere in the world. 

Friday, October 14, 2016