I believe it was in the Eighth Grade
. Our teacher
was out, the classroom noisy and disruptive,
and frazzled substitute swishing
Now, when I say weird, I'm not saying that she
was weird to me then. I'd still
call her weird today. Red fluffed out hair,
you could see the whiteness of scalp, and
she was wrinkly, long, long gauzy skirts
with this orange-red-brown tie-died batik
streaky look. And necklaces, beads clanking
and clicking. (Actually, the necklaces were
the one thing I did like about her.)
Anyway, so she's trying to teach us about
life forms, inanimate vs. animate,
rock-tree-dog and stuff. We're talking and
eating and generally ignoring her high pitched
voice. The girl sitting next to me pulls out a
fresh sheet of paper, draws a Hangman tree not
to her liking, so she scrunches it up and throws
it at me.
In a voice filled with horror and outrage and
righteous indignance, the lady leaned over my
friend's desk and pointed a trembling finger
"You just raped a TREE!"
I think that's when we gave up all pretense
of anything and started harassing her big time.
Tearing pages out of notebooks and shredding
them, playing catch across the desks.
We had a different substitute the next day.