I arrived early to the reunion but it was already dark. When I went outside, I found that they’d filled my car with sand because I’d parked in a reserved spot. As people left the reunion they saw me in my formalwear, scooping sand out of the front seats with my bare hands so that I could drive home.
* * *
The girl who wrote for BuzzFeed sat behind me, in a tight red evening dress.
Nobody was happy to be there. The classroom was rank and peeling, the teacher was a droning old fellow with a noisehair-moustache.
The girl who wrote for BuzzFeed kept making comments to her study partner at the next desk, who was mumbling in response. The girl who wrote for BuzzFeed’s comments grew increasingly louder and were more critical toward the teacher.
“This is some bullshit, isn’t it?” she said.
The teacher continued talking about Melville.
“This is some bullshit, isn’t it?” she said again, a few seconds later. This time he harumphed to indicate he had heard her, but he ignored it and kept speaking. I couldn’t believe her insolence. Everyone was growing uncomfortable.
“This is some BULLSHIT, isn’t it?” she said, so loud that the teacher had to stop. He walked down the aisle towards us. He looked weary, but not angry. He did not want to teach anymore and she was making a hard thing harder.
“Do you have a problem, Ms. ____?”
“Yeah,” I chimed in, “you think just because you write for BuzzFeed you have a right to disrupt the class and disrespect the teacher?”
The teacher looked at me.
“Mr. Robinson, I don’t think you should talk, given that you’re reading a book about Legos while I’m lecturing about Melville.” The class burst into laughter.
How did I end up the humiliated one?