Thursday, November 01, 2007

Apathy Jack writes:

Jack is emo and needs to grow some coping mechanisms. Details follow after cut.


So, having spent more of 2007 at the New School than I did at Hoodrat, I’ve just about managed to get over the crushing sense of loss. It’s helped by things like the texts I received last night: one of mine told me she is writing a book for NaNoWriMo, and another asked permission to name the teacher in a story after me. So yes, now, rather than feeling an unbearable weight of sadness All The Fucking Time, it just hits me – like a god damned wave – now and again.

Like tonight. Watching the Hoodrat performance of On The Razzle. I mean, for starters: On The Razzle. I may not miss the corrupt mismanagement or the lack of resources, but I miss a philosophy (even if it was only shared by some of us) that pushes sixth formers to perform Tom Stoppard – miss it so much it feels like a phantom limb... But specifically: one of the musical interludes inserted by the Drama Teacher, a couple of students dancing. One of them, five-foot-nothing of fluid grace. In Year 10 this one was teaching all the juniors in the dance competitions Hoodrat entered. By Year 11 she was teaching everyone. Watching her perform complex twists and twirls with more ease than I feel walking down the street, and I was overwhelmed by a memory:

Last year’s Stage Challenge rehearsal. I was sent to the Staff Room toilets to check on her. I went into the women’s toilets, for what you may be pleased to know was the first time in my half-decade at the school, to see if she was alright.

She hadn’t had breakfast. She never had breakfast. This wasn’t her choice; it was a symptom of her less-than-stellar home life. At school well after nightfall, having spent hours contorting her body over and over – her system had simply rebelled.

I didn’t want her to be alone, but it wasn’t talking time either, so I sat against a wall in the dark, listening to her dry-retch.

Obviously, this was by no stretch of the imagination a good night. But it was an intense night. A real night. One of many.

I’ve been leaving school at three-thirty a lot in the last few months – and God alone knows I deserve it – but walking out of Hoodrat at half past nine, in the middle of a group of students hollering abuse at each other, mock crump-battling, loudly reminiscing about the faked fight from earlier in the week... Laughing with a pack of people I know well enough, have been through enough with, to really laugh with.

Jesus I miss that.

No comments: