Archive | 11:54 pm

My First Day at Work

15 Nov

“Morning? What?” I ask, confused.

“What do you mean ‘morning? what?’,” my father asks. “Are you asking me what ‘morning’ is?”

“Yes. What is that?” I lean over the counter, intrigued.

My father closes his eyes and starts massaging the bridge of his nose. He then looks up to the ceiling and quietly asks “Where did we fail him, Paula? Where did I fail him?”

“Are you telling secrets to mom’s ghost again, dad?” I ask, hands on my hips, smiling.

He seems shocked. “Your mother’s ghost? Kyle, mom isn’t dead. She’s just at work.”

“When mom goes to work I go to Frownie Village.”

“What? You go where?”

“It’s in ‘Hungry City,’ the biggest city in ‘No Clean Laundry County.'”

“If you’re insinuating that you don’t have food to eat or any clean clothes to wear because your mother is at work, you’ve got somethin’ else comin’.”

“What is coming? A maid?”

“No! You’re twenty-two years old, Kyle! You can make your own food! You can do your own laundry!”

“Maybe. But tell me more about these mornings!”

The next day, at roughly 6:50am, I wake up to start my first work day. This is easily the earliest I’ve woken up since…since the last t…since ever. I turn off my alarm clock and roll out of bed. I roll onto the ground, then roll to the shower, where I roll into the tub, roll around in some soap, rinse, then repeat. I turn off the shower, and roll into my room. I accidentally roll over a cat. I roll over to the linen closet, get a pillow case, then roll to the garage to get a shovel. I put the cat in the pillow case then roll out to my neighbor’s back yard. I put the cat in the ground and roll back to my room, where I put on my clothes for the day.

I finally get some coffee in me at roughly 7:15am. I stand up, absorbing the rich, full-bodied flavor. My mother walks into the kitchen.

“This coffee is delicious,” I say.

“Where’s the cat?” my mother asks.

I watch a little bit of Today then head out to my car. My neighbor is in his back yard, staring at a small pile of dirt. I honk, run my finger across my throat, point at him, then mime firing a machine gun and point at his dogs, who are barking at me from beyond his chain-link fence. He cocks head, then his eyes drop back to the dirt on the ground. He begins to dig with his hands, furiously.

The drive to Fredricks is uneventful, but scenic, so I enjoy it. I sip my coffee and look at the beautiful landscape. I see three dead things on the side of the road.

At around 8:10, I arrive at Fredricks High School. I walk in, get my badge, and walk to my class room. Looking around, I can already tell I’m going to be the most popular boy in school. Soon after I get there, the other tutors (tooters. lol.) trickle in one by one. Their names are Lauren, Marie, Ashlyn, and Mort.

“What kind of a name is Mort?” I ask when he introduces himself.

“I think it’s Germanic, maybe.”

“I think it’s creepy as hell, maybe.” He starts to protest, but is immediately halted when I put my hand up for a high five. He can’t resist. I receive my high five and walk to my first group of kids.

I’m observing for the first week, so today I sit with Lauren and her group. Lauren is a petite, blond number. She’s cute, except for one horrific, disgusting growth on her left hand that some people would refer to as a “wedding ring.” That’s okay though, because I have a name for things like wedding rings, kids, and restraining orders: Details.

The process of tutoring is thus:

  1. The students go around a circular table, one at a time, presenting a question to the group.
  2. The group then takes turns asking more questions and discussing until the answer to the original question becomes apparent.
  3. The student who asked the question is then graded by the tutor on the intellectual depth of the question.

The first girl goes. She asks a question about the primordial soup.

“Did the first living organisms in the primordial soup travel by cilia or flagella?”

“Primordial soup?” I ask. “The first living organisms on this earth traveled via legs, feet, and wings.” I make a face like “WTF” and look to the other students in the circle.

Lauren interrupts this awesome moment. “He’s kidding, Gabriela. Does anybody have any insight?”

“The Bible does, ” I say. I clap my hands together, bow my head, flap my arms like wings and point to the sky. “All glory to Him, who invented Jennifer Love-Hewitt,” I say to myself. Speaking up to address the group, I continue. “The Bible told me that there was no primordial soup. God’s more of a salad guy.” I wink at the kids. They don’t get humor. They just get pregnant. “Okay, let me break this down for you–”

I’m immediately interrupted by Lauren again. “Kyle, I appreciate your religious perspective, but we should really stick to the curriculum, and the curriculum states that the first organisms in the primordial soup were probably single-cell prokaryotes, and they travel by flagella–”

“–straight to Hell!” I say. Lauren is about to object when I raise my hand for a high five. She starts again and I point to my hand. “Up high,” I say softly, she high fives me. Then, I slowly bring my hand down to the level of the table. Speaking softly, I say “Down low,” she lowers her own hand and we touch. I curve my fingers to create an “O” shape. “Now stick your finger in the hole.” With the slightest trepidation, she reaches out and puts her finger in the hole. I hold it there for a moment. I lean in to her face, so close our lips almost meet, and just below a whisper say “You clean my toilet bowl.” We look to each other with a longing that is deep and timeless.

“I clean your toilet bowl,” she says.

The rest of the day is a blur of study questions, Twilight references, and huffing dry-erase markers in the boys bathroom with some kids in my class.

Work is good.

The End.

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