if i’m a monster
i’m a willing one
this roller coaster ride is an enticing one
on the tip of continuum flowing wave like
through the disorder carry me like a vessel to water
everything you see leaves a mark on your soul
everything you feel leaves a mark on your soul
everything you touch leaves a mark on your soul
everything you make leaves a mark on your soul
if i can touch it
i can destroy it
if it’s imaginable to some degree
i can become it
like a hungry turning vortex that just flickers to existence
consuming bits and pieces until i’m finally extinguished
everything you see leaves a mark on your soul
everything you bare leaves a mark on your soul
everything you touch leaves a mark on you soul
everything you love leaves a mark on your soul
everything you take leaves a mark on your soul
everything you give leaves a mark on your soul
and all the fear and loneliness that’s impossible to control
and every tear you cry leaves a mark on your soul
bad religion – ‘marked’
the above song has been something i have thought about intermittently for many years. i like the idea that all things you feel, experience, participate in and witness leave a mark on you. the title of the song is the current scheduled title of my first novel. i have a great number of ideas and i plan on whipping something up from the middle of nowhere.
been listening to the podcast ‘welcome to night vale’. the weather in particular is speaking to me. check out the tune rachel kann’s ‘i know this’. who knew podcasts could get so deep inside you until your pal sonam recommends serial?
i am re-reading salinger’s the catcher in the rye and for some weird reason multiple students of mine are also reading it; their first time though. imagine how interesting such coincidences are to me.
stephen king says that in order to write well, one must read plenty. in addition to holden caulfield’s struggle, i am reading the end of maxwell’s ‘make today count’ and shakespeare’s ‘king lear’. i really dig the idea of the fool being secretly wise and the wise man being entirely foolish. the plans for my upcoming novel ‘marked’ include two main characters with similarities to lear and the fool. as discussed in a previous post, these characters come from people i have really met. like law & order, however, there will be no real people or situations depicted. i will change shit enough to avoid being sued.
see below another piece taken from something i experienced. it has been fictionised to suit my needs.
lunch ends and jennifer, the grade six and seven teacher, asks me to remind the boys that after lunch it is reading time.
teachers are called by their first names because the boys have problems with authority. so instead of making things as is the norm in the real world, we have created a way in which to institutionalise these boys to the point that they will not function in society beyond release. this name concern is simply one minor detail in the grand scheme.
‘okay guys, it’s time to read, which i understand is the routine every day.’
no one makes any comment, except the greasiest kid in the class. i am astonished that he is walking around in public whilst being so filthy. the boy is thirteen and living in a parent therapist setting. he clearly has never been spoken to about the importance of personal hygiene. perhaps those that live with him have undergone some kind of nasal trauma or are legally blind.
‘we already know!’ the greaser shouts.
‘great, then you know what you are doing.’ i cheerfully add.
i think nothing of it, as these children can be incredibly hostile on a good day. i chalk it up to a mood that he has developed over the lunch break. as far as i am concerned the incident is over.
once the entire class has settled, i take my seat against the wall nearest the door.
another boy, sitting next to me, says: ‘stand up so i can get a better look at you’re beaver.’
i am disgusted for a moment, until i realise that he is drawing instead of participating in the assigned task of reading. he is referring to the beaver sewn onto the shoulder of my roots hoody.
i pass the boy a book to realign his focus to reading.
in a few moments jennifer returns and all seems well in the classroom.
since i am new to this setting, i find myself looking around the room, reading inspirational posters and viewing student work that has been pinned on the wall. i can feel myself tense up and i am unsure of the cause.
i look over at the greaser and meet eyes with him. surprisingly i find that he has his right hand in his soiled army style trousers. i am immediately disgusted that he would be touching himself inappropriately during a lesson.
even though we were told in training that this would be a possibility during lesson time, i still do not believe what i am seeing. i can see him clearly because he is in front of me to my left and the teacher to my right. the other child care therapist in the room is sitting behind all of the boys and cannot see my view.
i look away from the boy, thinking i must be seeing things. i reason that this sort of thing happens after one has been here for quite a time, not a mere two days.
it can’t have been an entire minute before i return my gaze to this dreadful beast of a boy. he is burning me with his stare. i can no longer deny the fact that he is in fact masturbating. most disturbing of all is that he is associating his anger with me and with sexuality.
‘you need to leave now.’ i say calmly and quietly as i look directly into his eyes.
‘why?’ he asks. seemingly innocently for the others in the class not to suspect him of anything.
‘you know why.’ i plainly state and point to the corridor.
he gets up out of his chair in clear discomfort and exits the room. his teacher, jennifer, shrugs as if to ask what went on. i mouth to her that i will explain when it is fitting to do so.
feeling violated, i take a minute to myself to assess what i should do to remedy this situation. i have never been a victim of malicious sexual perversion. i am unsure of how to react.
just then i am called out into the hallway to explain the incident to the person jotting down the reasons for timeouts. it seems the greaser did not want to discuss it.
i explain to eric, outside of the classroom, that the kid was masturbating in class and was sent out for said behaviour. eric states that he agrees the behaviour is unacceptable and warranted removal. he adds that i am now to write a behaviour event tracking form to outline what had happened. especially because this was out of character for this boy.
i am guided into the room where reports are written. there is computer access for such times. it turns out that my profile is not yet loaded into the information system and as a result i am unable to document this under my own name. eric offers his profile and i begin to write my first report.
i feel a heat and rage inside and outline the story while struggling not to cry. during the thirty minutes or so it takes me to archive the details of what led up to the incident, the young man sits in a cubicle, having been given time to think about what has happened.
once the form is complete, there is one more phase to accomplish: i am now required to have a conversation, a sort of debrief as they call it, with this pervert.
i remember from my training to insist that the by recall the events and i am not to give my own opinion. awkwardly the conversation begins with the boy speaking.
‘you think that i was masturbating,’ he says matter-of-factly.
‘why do you think i would come to that conclusion?’
‘because my hand was in my pants. but i only had it there to keep it warm. you see there is a hole in my pocket and i keep it in there for warmth. ‘
while i am comforted that with the fact that his hands are now on the desk in front of him so as not to confuse me in any way, i notice he has old and dried semen stains on his trousers. come to think of it, he was wearing those yesterday.
‘well there is no point in us arguing about whether you were or were not behaving inappropriately. what is done is done. can we agree that when i am around you will keep your hands out of your pants?.’
‘yes, that seems fair. can i return to class now?’
‘i don’t see why not. i am glad we could come to an understanding here.’
with that, he returns to class, seemingly normally.
i have no further problems from greaser for the rest of my interactions with him. i end up helping him with maths and heading home from work as if nothing has happened. that idea of nothing happening was something i would have to carry with me for the duration of my employment at that dreadful place.