To be clear, I wasn’t drowning, I was just trying to see how long I could keep my head underwater before my mind went blank.
Of course, my gym teacher didn’t see it that way. Neither did the nurse, the principal, or my mother. But they also don’t have the same sense of humor as I do.
Everyone keeps staring at me now like I might break any minute, and they’re just waiting for that exact minute – except what they don’t know is that I would NEVER break at school. They aren’t worthy enough to see what they’ve done to me. Or what they haven’t done, but don’t realize they haven’t done, which might as well be just as bad.
But none of that matters while there are math problems to be solved, equations to be written and then rewritten as if we need to know all the possible ways math is going to fuck us up when we’re older and dying from some math related ailment. That’s what’s important.
“And the answer is…?” Ms. Wilson is staring at people as if they know the answer but they don’t because no one cares. She looks right at me. DIRECT EYE CONTACT.
27. It’s 27. I know it’s 27.
She smiles faintly. “James.”
“Uh…” the kid next to me is duller than the thumbtack sticking out of the cork board behind Ms. Wilson. “3?”
Genius. Answer a question with a question.
“No,” she says it politely, but I can tell she thinking about what a fucking idiot he is. I raise my hand because I know she won’t call on me otherwise. No one will after what happened in the gym – which was nice at first, because I really didn’t want to talk to anyone, but then I got lonely again. “Mathew.”
That’s me. I’m Mathew.
Ms. Wilson smiles with closed lips and I can tell she’s glad I know what I’m doing, and even more enthused that I didn’t kill myself because if I had that would mean she would have to stand up there for another five minutes waiting for someone to know the right answer. “That’s correct.”