Thursday, December 10, 2009

On with it! Part 4!

After posting about that Thursday story the other day, and the name that slipped by me, i've come to this conclusion - let's get on with it. I'm going to post the ending of this story that I was prompted to write by an anthropology teacher. And no, I'm not getting rid of the name. It will come up again. I don't care. People are people. I don't mention the full name anyway. There's nothing interesting about it, and I'm excluding the fact that this person happens by in my ebullient imagery during that darn Madness song. It's an extremely good feeling.
Some people's way of life and their personalities are just breath-taking.

Here it is. It is a little long - but hey, it's the ending!:

I departed the area and walked back around to the side of the school, going in to the doors there and coming down the B-wing. Not five minutes later I wound back up in a familiar place. I decided to walk back down the D-wing to check on Mr. Elliot.
He didn’t notice me.
I walked into the stairwell at the end of the D-wing after Mr. Van Dusen, who had been my guidance counsellor the previous semester.
“Hi Justin. How are you doing?”
“Not very good.”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
I decided to summarize my day. But he had to go to the bathroom.
“No, no, I want to listen to you first,” he said. We were standing at the bottom landing that led outside through doors in one direction, and up/down stairs in the other.
“Are you sure you don’t want to go first? And it’s that way,” I said, pointing back up the small set of stairs to the D-wing hallway.
“No. Tell me how your day has been.”
“Okay...” And I told him about all the difficulties that I had to overcome that had no reason to it. My bus didn’t come. I was afraid of being thrown off another due to melodramatic teenage girls. I got to school right when it started. I didn’t see that girl as much as usual. No one could talk to me. Everything was harder than normal, and more boring.
“Very interesting,” he said. Beside us the doors leading outside constantly blew open, and we had to close them to the wind. “I like how you were descriptive about certain things.”
Outside, someone rolled out the opposite doors on a stretcher, accompanied by paramedics and the principal. Getting a better look I noticed the ambulance. I pointed this out to Mr. Van Dusen.
“Looks like someone has had a worse day than you.”
“Yeah, I guess. But their problems have been sudden. Mine have occurred all day.”
“Oh. Okay. Justin, let me suggest something.”
“What’s that?”
“You should write this down. Have you thought about that?”
“Yeah, a little bit, a while ago,” I said. “But that’s an interesting idea.”
“I think it would be very interesting,” he said. “I know you’re a good writer, and the way you’re describing everything and saying things, and how it sounds, would be pretty cool written down. The way you describe the bus, the way you had to sneezed, right here,” he continued, gesturing toward the violent doors, “the way this whole situation looks. It kind of makes it sound almost non-sensical, or eerie.”
“Yeah,” I agreed.
“But right now, as Mr. Mellow has work, I do to, and I really need to go to the bathroom,” he finished. “You get writing.”
“Okay.” I looked up between the staircases above us. Twice I had heard some shuffling up there. “And – Mr. Van Dusen...” I got closer to him and whispered, “I think someone’s listening.”
He grinned at the even more unusual thought. “I don’t know, maybe someone is listening. Hehehe...see you.” He walked off downstairs away from the bathroom I knew to be round the corner upstairs, but I guess there was a teacher bathroom down there as well.
Walking upstairs to partly see if anyone was up there, and partly just to go upstairs, I arrived at the top – to find Henrietta, the girl briefly mentioned in the morning when she’d told the entire school to get to class via the intercom. When I was angry.
“Well, I didn’t expect you to be up here. I thought someone might be listening.”
She noticed me and took her - oh - headphones off. “Sorry?”
“I heard some shuffling up here and thought someone was listening while I was talking to Mr. Van Dusen down there,” I repeated. “Didn’t expect you to be there.”
“Oh, I had music on so I didn’t hear anything,” she said earnestly. Yeah, I knew that now. I walked away.
I walked down the D-wing hallway (but the second floor one) and eventually I came back in the other direction. Heading south toward the back of the building, I saw no one other than Mr. Elliot wandering around.
“Justin, where have you been, I’ve been looking all over for you!” he said agitatedly. “I checked guidance, I checked the office, I checked everywhere looking for you.” Obviously he hadn’t forgotten about our talk. And with some free time he finally went looking for me. But to add to the exasperation to my day, I hadn’t been anywhere, so he’d gone crazy about it, which was my fault.
“Oh, god, this just gets worse,” I said. “I was talking to Mr. Van Dusen. I talked to him about everything.”
“Just a second, I’m trying to find something.” He disappeared into the English office. I stood out there for a little while but soon I went in after him.
“What are you looking for?” He was perusing the book shelves.
“A book, Different Seasons,” he answered. Oh, that was what my English class was reading at the moment. Well, I could help him there. I knew what the book looked like. For two minutes we both looked over the entire book shelf but there weren’t any there. I got an idea.
“Why don’t we go to my English room, Ms. Rankin should have some there.”
“Oh, CampbellTrain, great idea,” he said with relish. We left for the room I’d hung out in earlier in the day with the 'no' teacher.
“CampbellTrain, I don’t see anything negative about your explanation,” Mr. Elliot went on later, after we’d got the book and he’d disappeared into this classroom to set his student up with it while I stood outside for five minutes. I’d sort of given him the same anecdote I’d given Mr. Van Dusen, but it didn’t sound as good or as detailed because I wasn’t really interested in talking about it anymore and the current place and time didn’t fit with me. I was sagging against the wall because my feet were sore and he was standing over me. I’d already cleared it up mostly with Mr. Van Dusen. I tried to convince him the other way around a little bit but in the end he said he’d prefer if I sat in his room on a computer, with company, to write what Mr. V.D. had suggested. I didn’t want to.
“Why should I write it in there?”
“Because you’re not alone, you’re in good company, we’ll get you a juice box. We can set you up with that!”
“I don’t know anyone in there, it’s just a bunch of frustrated credit-recovery students.”
“It’s a good atmosphere.”
“Them doing remediation?”
“No, I’ve got them doing something else at the moment.” He sounded like he just wanted me to stop arguing and just do what he suggested.
“Mr. Elliot, the only goal they’ll be trying to reach is getting that credit they missed.”
“It’s your choice,” he said resignedly. “You can come stay here and work on one of the computers or you can go work alone.”
I walked away after that. I went to the number-one place I always go to in these times: The foyer.
I walked across the space and sat on one of the benches with my bag I had been carrying. My feet were still sore. As usual she came out of the door to the cafe and went to the bathroom, looking at me all the way. I glanced repeatedly at her myself.
Thing was, I had sat in a direct position to the door to the cafeteria, so I could see directly through the room to where she was working. As she came back and walked through the vast cafeteria she ended up directly where I could see her. And I could tell that she soon realized (by glancing repeatedly) that she could see me herself. From then on she didn’t turn away or work on her partner – when I said they were making plaster face masks I meant on their partner’s faces – she kept her stance facing the door I was looking through from my position.
Over time we’d stare at each other for as long as three seconds before looking slightly away. One time she appeared to smile, then pull a friend towards her and point. I looked away immediately while that happened, and she continued to do her walks between the cafe and the bathroom. Soon the period was over and the class filed out, and she walked carefully along the outside of the group, coming very close to my position on the seat. As they walked away I watched her.
I felt much better now. The last of the period had been spent starring at that girl that liked (and I liked back, I should obviously admit) and it rose my spirits significantly.  Soon I started walking toward the hallway at the end of the foyer, taking into account the time it took her to get from class to her locker. As I slowly passed across to the trans-building link, I glanced at her, at her locker. She was there. And she was glancing back, with a smile.
I spent the next period in a back room, on a computer, catching up on things and listening to music. Everything seemed better now.
When I got home and did my usual afternoon stuff, like playing drums and checking my stuff on the Internet, I looked up out the window and realized the clouds had parted, and it was completely sunny. Beautiful. Only now I was down in my basement.
Soon, I opened up Microsoft Word. And I typed the title “Thursday, May 14 2009.”
Here was, and is, my story.

Justin S. Campbell
Ottawa, Ontario, May 14-15, 2009


To sum it up, the story was a detailed recall of an annoying Thursday in the middle of May. I was in the midst of keeping watch on a girl who seemed to do the same with me, and a lot of things weren't going the way they usually did, or properly, which annoyed me. I sneezed in my breakfast, wore my new purple golf shirt but couldn't catch the bus (it never came), missed several other prospective buses, got to school right before the bell, spent English looking out for my English teacher who came extremely late, had a boring photography class in which my friend Fred couldn't finish his work unless I (literally) spelled it out for him (he had trouble spelling some words), had a boring, uninteresting lunch, and wandered about in annoyance in my third period, catching the constant eye of that girl who was working in the cafeteria with her drama class. That was when the day finally brightened up for me, because I felt a lot better after the repeated glances and smiles at that one particular girl. In my smashing new gold shirt.

There were many other small disappointments and annoyances throughout that day, such as when I discovered my teacher friends coming back from a catch-up lunch with Mr. Graham without me, and when I tried to see a friend in the music basement (really just an excuse to glimpse that same girl in the hallway link nearby) and found he was in a music council meeting.

On the subject of the drama class making masks, it was kind of interesting to see them doing that because when I was mistakenly in drama once (the only class available) we had done that as well. I was the only student to have the teacher lay paper mache and glue on my face. Second most-relaxing period ever (the first being when I had a nap throughout English class). However, the tables in the cafeteria were quite hard and cold.

-Justin C.

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