Drool drips onto my arm, propping my head up, pulling me out of my reverie. Saliva just fell out of my mouth. Literally fell out of my mouth. When I sit up straight I can’t stop tapping my foot or shifting in my seat. I could be doing something, accomplishing something far more important than this. Or at least playing video games. “Why?”, I want to scream to the sky. We are zoo animals, shackled to our chairs here, force fed information about “famous” books like the Scarlet Pimpernel or the Scarlet Letter. So much scarlet. They must have loved the color red way back when and hated being entertaining because the Scarlet Letter is a terrible book. I’m supposed to be reading some passage from the book now, but I can’t get past the first sentence before my brain starts thinking about girls or sports.
Maybe if I can get up and stretch for a moment Mr. Griffin won’t mind. I need to stretch. It is essential to my existence. How could he possibly deny me from the very thing keeping me awake and alive? I still need to do it quickly and quietly. I don’t actually want to interrupt class. I don’t want to get in trouble. I need to pick my moment and strike. I hold, and hold, and hold, and then go, sliding out swiftly, casually bending as to not disrupt the ecosystem. But he notices. He always notices.
“Stretch your legs with your butt in the seat Mr. Blake.”
I sit down, defeated and look down at the open book on my desk. If I could use the bathroom again I could spread the rest of this class out, but I already used that excuse once. Mr. Griffin probably won’t buy that I have diarrhea. Maybe if I start farting loudly and consecutively, but that’s going to kill my chances with any ladies in this room and possibly in the school. Word gets around. My face slowly begins to melt. It starts from my forehead and attempts to droop all the way into my lap. It pulls my head down towards the desk, pulling, pulling, resting.
“Head up Mr. Blake.”
I pop back upright, defeated again. I touch my face. Everything is where it’s supposed to be. I look to the clock for support. Only five minutes to go, thank god. I watch the second hand quietly tick along, tick, tick …………………………..tick.
I have to stop watching. It’s going to start going backwards if I keep my eyes glued to it. I always knew that clock hated me. Okay, I have five minutes to read more than one sentence, four really. Maybe three if I start putting my stuff in my backpack. Be prepared, work ahead, that’s what Mr. Griffin always says. I’m just following his advice. Maybe if I just put my notebook away now I’ll get a jump on things. And my pen is askew, I should really put that away too. Oh, nice, only two minutes to go.
“Alright everyone, start packing your things up.”
I’m ahead of the game. I sit back with a confident grin, watching everyone else put their things up. I’m already done. Yeah, I’m ahead of the game. For once I’m the one that got everything done early. Finally the bell rings, freedom, exhilaration, unadulterated joy. Four minutes to be a human again. Four minutes until the next class. What a beautiful four minutes they are! To own my existence, to break the shackles of boredom, to be free. I’m one of the first to the door as I hear Mr. Griffin call out from his desk:
“Don’t forget our quiz tomorrow over the chapters you read today.”
I slow at the door and only one thing crosses my mind.