Can I Opt Out of School?

To say I’m sensitive and emotional is like declaring Bashar al-Assad has slight anger issues. It’s as much a part of my being as the color of my eyes. There’s no off button. 70% of the time the volume is an eleven. The other 30% I’m sleeping.

I’m seven years old. My brother could give me a swift kick in the shins and I would prefer it over going to school. The math teacher has it out for me. It may be because my math skills are on par with the lyrical quality of the song MacArthur Park.

Looking back I think the math teacher was in the throes of menopause. At least I hope she was otherwise her life was a giant bad mood with a side of mean.

The teacher calls me out to answer a question that involves purchased apples, eaten apples plus more apples that Johnny brings to the apple party.

I don’t know the answer. The teacher is madder than hell. The entire class turns to see my face that ironically is the shade of an apple.  I want to bolt out of there faster than the Roadrunner on three shots of espresso.

After class I enter the hallway to hordes of students. I hurry by the hallway hectors that are yelling “pee-yew” at Randy Newsome who is wearing a shirt two sizes too small. He holds his head down in shame and it devastates me. I escape into the language arts classroom. The teacher smiles and asks me how I am doing. She likes me despite the fact that I call her Miss Woss instead of Miss Ross.

I sit at the front of the school bus where I always sit. I tell the sweet bus driver that I wish my math teacher was as sweet as her. I exit the bus to my quiet neighborhood in Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s my favorite part of the day.

Mom greets me with a hug. “How was your day, honey?” I lie like I always do. “It was fine, Mom.”