That sentence contains the most letter s's I have ever typed.
S's looks like the first syllable in a stupid Star Wars name.
It is suffocating because all the staff around here for the summer are new, at least to me.
I have to restrain myself and I do not like it.
No random dancing, no loud singing, no freestyle 'rappin while dishing up refried beans.
No walking around, jutting out my belly and pretending I am pregnant.
A man's job is his castle, and when he cannot play 3rd Trimester in his own castle, than his kingdom has deteriorated into one of those dumb republics where everyone gets to have an opinion and men cannot hide around corners and shake their buns behind the backs of other staff.
"Why are you all laughing?!?!" the frustrated staff asks.
The kids all point to the empty air, where only a moment before I was miming that the teacher has a big butt and look at me limbo under my own arm.
In short, the eagle of my own amusement has had his wings clipped, leaving me on the ground and drooling over the field mice that now take great delight in mocking me.
Which also means that since I cannot entertain myself, this job has been reduced to being a job again.
When I see this job as a job and a job alone, the genuine terribleness of it shines through.
Fresh faces among the students can sometimes make things a little more interesting.
This is Ellen:
She has Down Syndrome, which is one of the few socially acceptable forms of developmental disability.
Perhaps because it is recognizable.
You walk into Whole Foods with a normal looking kid who all of a sudden starts barking like a dog and taking his pants off, and people clutch their apple crusted tilapia and get the heck out.
They figure some serious shit is about to go down.
Make that kid Down Syndrome, though, and people smile knowingly as the rays of Downsness warms their heart.
"He must be too hot, " someone says.
"His bark sounds just like my lapdog!" observes a nice old lady, as she slurps her barley green soda that is a little bit of heaven for her colon.
By the time he is naked and smearing feces, people are cheering and offering to buy prints of his artwork.
It is societal fallout from the Corky effect; he made it OK to have Down Syndrome; just not the other stuff.
Ellen is very short, and I keep finding her places, watching me with a sly expression.
She winks and rubs her hands together.
It makes me feel like I am food to be eaten.
Ever the eyes upon me, to a creepy enough extent that I had to investigate a little deeper.
I dug up Ellen's IEP.
I fear that Ellen is in love with me.
Sometimes, there really is no flattery in discovering someone is attracted to you.
Sometimes it marches right in step with all the other bitter disappointments in your life.
She sits across the table from me, sighs, and leans dreamily on her hands.
I stick my belly out as far as I can and announce, "I'm fatter than any-bodee heah."
A look of shaken conviction crosses her face, and she says "What the heck?" in a gravelly little mumble.
Ellen is one of those students who has more going on upstairs then she wants people to know, I see.
She is content to play helpless and let her well-meaning parents coddle her for the rest of her life.
Some parents of special needs kids have clung so desperately to the idea that their children are helpless and vulnerable that they have kept them in a state of suspended infancy.
Or they do not seperate syndrome from behavior, and feel that everything their child does is under the umbrella of their diagnosis; it is society that has the problem, and it should bend itself to accomodate the individual, no matter how purposefully rude or disruptive that individual is choosing to be.
To be fair, though, I cannot imagine being the parent of a child with special needs.
The difficulty, the heartache. The reconfiguration of love that must take place in order to accept them as they are, regardless of how you had hoped they would be.
Maybe the strain of it is why so many of our parents come off as crazy.
Knowing myself, the marshmallowy nougat I hide beneath my Teflon exterior, I could quite likely fall into the same kinds of traps.