Many therapists come and go in our special education classroom.
Some are kind of good, I guess. It's never quite clear what they are doing, but they leave looking drained and defeated, so I figure they are at least trying.
But some of the therapists are crazy:
Kitty is a Braille expert.
She thinks the rest of the world is worthless because they refuse to learn Braille.
Kitty believes they should put Braille on billboards, so blind drivers can stop their cars, rub their fingers over giant Braille letters, and realize the nearest McDonald's is only a half mile away.
Because she is partially deaf but refuses to wear her hearing aid, Kitty is always loud.
She often yells observations about my lunch choices:
You may have noticed from my photorealistic renderings: Kitty is very handsy with others.
She is known for sidling up behind people and intimately embracing them, the way you would approach a lover in front of a mirror, wrap your arms softly around their waist, and whisper, "hey, princess" into their ear.
Kitty mostly Princess hugs other women, but I make sure to never turn my back on her.
Anyways, no matter what I am having for lunch, Kitty always ends her commentary with "It looks better than what I'm having...."
I am not a social brainfart; I know this is my cue to tilt my head to a listening position, open my eyes anime-wide, and ask, "oh no....what do you have for lunch today? Is it diarrhea again?"
But I just can't bring myself too. I can't go down that road in our relationship because I don't know where it will lead.
She may expect me to sample her various broths and chowders, brought in a tall metal thermos, and have hurt feelings when I decline.
It's laughably easy to hurt those feelings, though they are most injured when people act disrespectfully to Braille.
Our blind student, Regna, mistakenly Brailled the title to the Temptations classic "My Girl" as "My But Girl".
Kitty became very angry.
"MY BUT GIRL??? WHAT IS THAT??? MY BUT GIRL???"
"Yes," Regna answered nervously, each time Kitty repeated the incorrect title of the song. She scanned her fingers over the Braille again. "It says 'My But Girl'."
The conversation became stuck in a loop of everyone either asking "My But Girl?" or stating "My But Girl".
You wouldn't think an exchange like this could continue on for more than, say, two volleys, but somehow, it did. I really liked it.
Whenever we sing "Happy Birthday" in the class, Kitty announces that she knows how to sing it in Dutch.
She waits a moment, allowing us time to say incredulous things like "Really?", or "No way. That's impossible. Prove it by singing it right now, really loudly, with strange, Wagnerian gravity, or get the hell out of here."
But nobody says anything.
For some reason, the Dutch version of "Happy Birthday" is seven minutes long and involves flinging a lot of imaginary bouquets from your bosoms.
Kitty soldiers through it while not a single person, staff or student, gives her any kind of attention at all. Like it's not really happening.
She finishes by bowing her head.
We recently had to attend a meeting on mental health.
The presenter began his remarks by stating that fifty-percent of the homeless population in our county are mentally ill.
"HOLY SHIT!" bellowed Kitty, from her folding chair in the front row.
Everyone stared at her.
"DID HE JUST SAY FIFTY PERCENT OF PEOPLE ARE CRAZY???" she asked the teacher next to her.
"Fifty percent of homeless people," her neighbor whispered back.
"OH. PHEW. I WAS GOING TO SAY. THAT WOULD MEAN HALF OF EVERYBODY IN HERE WAS NUTS." She turned in her chair to look at all of us. Seeing no evident mental illness, she gave a satisfied nod and turned back.
The presenter cleared his throat and began his Powerpoint again.
Several slides later, Kitty Frokee fell asleep.
She slumbered through the whole meeting, a professional among her peers, and her snores were surprisingly quiet.